Conversation window redesign

Steven Garrity stevelist at
Tue May 22 21:10:36 EDT 2007

This is so post-2.0 - nice to see this kind of thing being worked on.

I turn off the formatting bar - if it were up to me, that would be off 
by default.

I don't like the duplication of the contact name in the tab, and then 
again immediately below. I think this could be an opportunity to hid the 
single tab/tab-bar when there is only one tab - and still find a place 
to display the status icon.

For what it's worth, the Tomboy note-taking app has a single "Text" menu 
with all text formatting options in one small list. Here's a screenshot:

Steven Garrity

Sean Egan wrote:
> 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
> descriptions.
> 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
> regard.
> Thoughts?
> -s.
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