feature request - with an explanation

Luke Schierer lschiere at pidgin.im
Tue May 29 16:30:00 EDT 2007

On Tue, May 29, 2007 at 11:11:24PM +0300, Ivan Levchenko wrote:
> Hello Pidgin developers, qa testers, users,
> I wanted to talk to all about this - http://developer.pidgin.im/ticket/414.
> Now I use a lot of IM accounts - currently 5 ( 2 msn, 2 jabber and 1
> icq, soon going to be adding skype to it). Two of them are work
> accounts and 3 of them, personal. I need to be constantly in touch
> with a lot of people at all times. Before version 2.0b7, each contact
> had its protocol icon displayed in the contact list itself and it is
> very easy to choose the right contact i needed. I will explain why it
> is important for me: at work i use jabber and msn, it just so happens
> that we have both, even though we are all trying to migrate to the
> more secure and stable xmpp protocol, there are still a lot of people
> that just don't want to use it because they like msn (yuck!), a lot of
> times, i have to be sending out passwords or other delicate info, that
> i don't want to be sniffed or something so i HAVE to use the jabber
> network for the work contacts. earlier, it was a lot easier to choose
> the right contact for the person - i just had to make a quick look and
> bang - i have the jabber window open with the guy, and i'm already
> talking to him. now, its a lot easier for me to make a mistake and to
> send the guy a message via msn. - this was an opposition to comment
> number seven in bug 414. It really DOES matter what protocol I am
> using when i am talking to a person. I don't want to talk about my
> personal things via a work account. and i don't want to be thinking
> about what i am saying thinking about if somebody at work can access
> my im logs.

I wonder how carefully you read that bug, we addressed this very use
case, and are discussing how best to modify _the conversation window_ to
handle it.  This is not truly a bug in the buddy list change, it is a
lack of information in the conversation window.

> Another point is that a lot of people use different accounts at home
> and at work, for example at home my friend uses his yahoo account and
> at work, he uses his msn, but he seldom puts an away message on his
> home computer when he goes to work. Earlier it was a lot easier to get
> to the right im account to talk to my friend, now, it isn't.

If you had set up contacts for this person, 9 times out of 10 it should
Just Work.  His home computer will go idle while he commutes, and the
lack of idle time on his work account will cause Pidgin to prefer that
account.  Alternately, the same conversation window work I refered to
above would address this, again if contacts are set up.

> In the comments, you guys, the developers talk about how much of a
> good decision it was to make the icon standard for the people, but
> take a look at it from a different perspective -
> since the day the bug was opened - one month ago, till the day
> comments were turned off for the bug - you got 114 comments!!! That
> means that it really was important for a lot of people.

Or it could mean that each of 57 comments by 1 person have had exactly
one reply each.  In reality, neither of these two hypothetical
situations is true.  The 114 comments represent many replies from a very
small (but larger than 1) sample of very noisy users.

What *each* of those comments fails to even *consider* is that this was
a *requested* change.  Each of those users in that ticket has implicetly
or explicetly stated that they think that *no user* likes this change.

> When i first started to use linux and open source software, i was
> really happy about one thing - you always have choice in everything
> and you can always make a difference in something. In the world of
> Microsoft - when you don't like something that has been changed in yet
> another version of windows - TOO BAD; but in open source software, you
> always had the choice to change it yourself. unfortunatley, i'm not a
> developer, so i will have to rely on you guys  - the people that are
> giving the world a choice - a choice other than proprietary software.
> But since this has happened, its just going away from the open source
> way as i see it.

You come so close to understanding open source here, only to fail in the
last line.  Open source philosphy has nothing to do with making options
available in a *single* program.  Rather, this one-size-fits-all
approach typifies *proprietary* systems, as does a concern with "market
share."  The choice open source enables is the choice to use something
different, be it your own forked version of an existing project, or to
start from scratch and write your own from the ground up.  You chose the
software you use.


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