A blog about someones first time with a Linux desktop which mentions Pidgin

Ethan Blanton elb at pidgin.im
Tue Apr 29 09:33:29 EDT 2008

Felipe Contreras spake unto us the following wisdom:
> 2008/4/29 Phil Hannent <phil at hannent.co.uk>:
> >  This blog entry is about a guy that got his girlfriend to try out ubuntu
> > 8.04 from a fresh install.  He gave her a set list of tasks to complete and
> > task eleven was to logon to MSN.  She used Pidgin but seemed to have a
> > little trouble with the add account screen (expecting add to create a new
> > account):

Some of the points in this post are things we have discussed several
times; for example, the text prompt in the buddy list and the open add
account dialog on startup with no configuration came from such
discussions.  We aren't sure how to "fix" some of the problems, though
-- for example, the confusion about multiple protocols in the add
account dialog.  A multiprotocol messenger just has multiple
protocols, and there's not a lot we can do about it.  We might be able
to make it "friendlier" (quotes intentional) by changing to a
wizard-style addition, but only at the expense of annoying a large
portion of our userbase (including most of the developers) who
*expect* Pidgin to me multiprotocol.  This part is tough.

> Right:
>  * The local alias field is completely confusing

It does seem to confuse some people, and not just on account addition.
(Some people set an alias and then are later upset that things like
nick changes on IRC are not reflected in the local UI.)  However, it's
also a useful and very Pidgin-esque feature; do you have any
suggestions for how to make it less confusing?

>  * The screen name field should be renamed to something
> understandable; like username

Maybe.  "Screen name" is very familiar to a huge number of users, as
well, because it's what AIM uses.  This assertion is another
protocol-centric assumption.

I'm inclined to agree that username is better on the whole, but
there's not just one side to this issue.

>  * The remember password check is stupid, if you don't want the
> password to be saved why write it on the password field in the first
> place (on the add account dialog)

I completely agree.

> I also don't understand why clicking on the X button moves Pidgin to
> the notification area. It should "close" Pidgin.

I completely agree here, as well.  Clicking on the X button moves
Pidgin to the notification area _because users asked for it_.  Maybe
this should be remembered the next time a user asserts that not
implementing their favorite behavior constitutes dictatorial refusal
to listen on the part of the developers.  ;-)  At the very least, this
behavior should not be default; I'm surprised that it is.


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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