Conversation window redesign

Sean Egan seanegan at
Tue May 22 20:09:38 EDT 2007

I have a number of bugs assigned to me for 2.0.1 about the
conversation window layout, especially with regard to the IM entry
imhtml, the buddy icon, and the toolbar. Specifically, the IM entry
doesn't resize properly, the buddy icon doesn't resize at all, and
draws itself over other elements, and the toolbar is too long to be
useful at reasonable sizes (it also draws itsefl over other elements).

Hylke has made some suggestions, and a mockup that should fix all
these issues are at I
don't think I hate it.

The buddy icon has its own pane now, and includes some additional,
potentially useful information: the status message, the protocol, and
the screenname.

Additionally, this could serve as a useful drag-and-drop target, which
would allow us to remove the tabs in one-conversation windows, which
provides consistency with other popular tabbed applications.

Additionally, Hylke intends this pane to be used by -vv. His mockup
includes "Voice" and "Video" buttons in this pane. Presumingly, during
a voice call, this pane might include audio indicator bars and the
sort. Unitl we implement -vv, some other, carefully selected toolbar
items might be prudent to include here: "Get Info," "Send File,"
"Direct IM," etc.

This, of course, would be controlled by the "show buddy icon" preference.

The toolbar is drastically simplified. Rather than 8 font buttons, we
have a single Font button that, presumingly, opens the standard GTK+
font selector, from which all the available features may be set.

'Reset formatting' remains (unfortunately, as I see it mostly as a bug
workaround), and "Insert link" and "Insert image" are killed off,
presumingly moved to a menu.

This fixes all the main problems I have assigned regarding the
conversation window: the buddy icon has its own pane, and so cannot
interfere with other conversation elements. We also scale it neatly to
a default size. The IM entry resizing problem is due largely to it
being complicated by the buddy icon changing and scaling. Not needing
to worry about that would make that problem simple. The toolbar is
quite manageable with only three elements, even with text

Additionally, it solves other problems people have brought up: namely
that (while not necessary at a glance in the buddy list) it can be
useful to know what buddy you're speaking with at a given moment, and
it provides a drag and drop target for conversations, such that we
don't need the tabs visible in one-conversation windows.

The major downside, of course, is that it takes (in this mockup) 38
additional vertical pixels.  The current buddy icon implementation
also takes up space; I'm not sure how much worse this is in that



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