Conversation window redesign

Ethan Blanton elb at
Tue May 22 20:23:28 EDT 2007

Sean Egan spake unto us the following wisdom:
> 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.

To say that I hate it would be too strong, but I don't think it is
wholly a step forward.  There are two things that I really like about
it, which is that the buddy icon is of fixed (and reasonable) size,
and the buddy's status message is visible.  The buddy's name
(presumably the alias; although, given that Hylke is an MSN user,
perhaps it's intended to be the 'friendly name') is redundant with the
tab title (possibly useful if you have only one, hidden tab, or aren't
using tabs, but I know that my *own* use typically involves multiple
open tabs at all times), and I think should be removed.  The buddy's
actual screen name is likewise not particularly noteworthy enough to
be visible at a glance, or the protocol icon.

I don't use font formatting, the smiley dropdown, etc. so I cannot
comment to these changes.

How much of the benefit here could we get by fixing the buddy icon's
size and leaving its location unchanged (adjacent to the input box),
and inserting the buddy's status message in a single line at the top
of the conversation?  My intuition is that this would fix the current
problems, while using much less space and adding less clutter.


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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