Pidgin usability look on the web

Richard Laager rlaager at
Tue Aug 26 09:32:25 EDT 2008

On Tue, 2008-08-26 at 13:52 +0100, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> >> Once I’d entered someone’s name, Pidgin would then unfailingly report
> >> that “No logs were found”, because “Instant messages will only be
> >> logged if the "Log all instant messages" preference is enabled”, and
> >> that preference was disabled by default.
> > 
> > The preference is disabled by default for privacy reasons.
> I can understand that that would make sense on an OS that encourages a
> single user account, or at a kiosk or Internet cafe where many people
> use the same computer without having individual accounts. But Ubuntu
> both encourages individuals to have separate accounts, and (as of
> Intrepid) will have a guest account that better caters for the kiosk case.
> Even so, Web browsers collect history by default, so it's surprising for
> Pidgin to take the opposite approach.

That history disappears after a while, whereas chat logs would not.
Additionally, I think there's a very real privacy difference between the
sites someone visits and their conversations. Comparing this to
Evolution saving messages by default would be more appropriate. Do you
know if it does? I guess it wouldn't surprise me if it did.

Even if we don't change the default upstream, Ubuntu could trivially
turn on logging by default in their default prefs. This would probably
be a reasonable first step. If the Ubuntu users don't freak out about
it, then perhaps we should do it upstream.

> And at the very, very least, the autocomplete menu could autocomplete
> names from your buddy list regardless of whether they had logged
> conversations yet, *but* disable the "OK" button for those who didn't,
> offering an inline explanation above. That would at least save you two
> clicks/keypresses in opening and closing the error alert.

What if we did this and when opening the "View User Log" window,
pre-filled it with the name of the current buddy (and highlighted it).
Thus, it's just as easy to type new text as now, but you save some
effort if you want the currently selected buddy. We could probably also
special-case the "no logs at all" case. This should be relatively easy
to implement, so we'd get some benefits now. A "Log Manager" could be
implemented later.

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