question about Pidgin

Ethan Blanton elb at
Mon Sep 3 12:26:34 EDT 2007

Josh Williams spake unto us the following wisdom:
> On 9/3/07, John Bailey <rekkanoryo at> wrote:
> > As everyone on the development list is aware, we have been over this "vocal
> > minority" argument several times.  I think it's counterproductive at this point
> > to continue to bring the argument up, or even hint at it with references to it,
> > when we've had significantly less than 100 users complaining and we know our
> > user base to be *at least* 100,000 users, most likely over a million.  It is
> > particularly counterproductive now that Sean has accepted a patch to put
> > protocol icons back in the buddy list.
> Yes, it's true that your user base is much larger than that, but you
> must also consider the fact that not very many of them _know_ how to
> present the issue. Not a lot of people know how to use mailing lists
> and IRC.
> Has there ever been another issue that received more feedback than
> this? Probably not many, if any at all.

This is a typical "vocal minority" type argument -- you have no idea
what has received feedback and what has not, so you make an unfounded
statement like this, assuming that because *you* have an opinion, it
really must be common and important.

Let me give you an example of a change which engendered _far more_
negative feedback than this one:

    The move from Gtk 1.x to Gtk 2.0.

I am completely serious.  We had *multiple* people create Gaim "forks"
just to preserve a Gtk1.x version.  They trotted out *so* many of the
same tired, ignorant arguments as in this discussion that you wouldn't
believe it -- maybe it would put your own ignorant railings in
perspective.  For example, "why not just maintain it as an option?"
was a popular request.

Their forks died, of course, because they were forking for a stupid
reason and they misjudged the amount of effort which goes into even
simple maintenance of an open source software project.

> That said, I agree that this argument should be considered dead, so
> long as you realise that the "matter of principle" for the "vocal
> minority" is that the maintainers are so unwilling to listen to the
> users. But I am very grateful that Sean has decided to include this
> patch.

I am very, very tired of this fictitious claim.  We are _not_
unwilling to listen to users, and in fact, we take good ideas from
users all the time.  The fundamental difference here is that this is
not a good idea, and never will be.  Since you have proven entirely
impervious to logic and reason in the past, and this has been hashed
over at least a dozen times, I will spare the rest of the list Yet
Another attempt to lift your confusion.

See the list archive for dozens and dozens of examples where a user
has said, "I would like to see foo", and we have replied with "that's
a great idea".  Please, do _not_ confuse "my idea" with "good idea",
or the fact that you happen to fall on the losing side of a particular
argument with blanket realities of Pidgin, or indeed Open Source,

For the record, note that *your* maunderings on this topic,
specifically, have engendered nearly as many "I really like the new
way" responses as there have been complaints in total.  Interesting,
that ...

It would be great if you could let it go.  I can't wait to see 'kim'.


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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