Developers, Community, Progress

Timo Jyrinki timo.jyrinki at
Fri May 2 18:17:29 EDT 2008

2008/5/2 Richard Allen <ra at>:
>  Great work on Pidgin, and belive it or not, most of us users are grateful
>  for your work and for Pidgin.  Keep up the good work :)

Yeah, true, I'm a happy Pidgin user. I think one problem Pidgin as a
project could be handling better is describing the real state of
various developments. Ie. communicating to the outside world.

Ordinary users always get somewhat detached from the reality of who is
actually coding the software (people on their free time), and start
piling up hopes on how something should develop. Now many users have
become frustrated since they've seen years of talk about the video &
voice features, and better MSN support. I believe many of the
frustrated voices are vv-hope-to-be-users and MSN users who feel that
"nothing is happening". I understand them, since it's really easy to
fall towards negative emotions when one realized that it's been years
since one thought gaim-vv was going to be merged etc, and almost the
same with msnp13/14/15 support.

I don't know how to put it, but some projects cope better with
describing their roadmap and who is working on which features (who the
active developers even currently are, giving faces to the "mysterious,
distant" developers), keeping some kind of "progress report" somewhere
etc. Currently it could be just a wiki page which states (the often
(?) stated fact) that no-one is currently working on video & voice,
and what are the obstacles (maybe with ticket numbers) that have to be
overcome in which parts of libpurple, what actually happened with
gaim-vv. Same goes for MSNp14/15, an explanation of past efforts,
current status in trunk and why msn-pecan is separate, what is needed
for its merge or current p14 code enablement etc.

All of these subjects are such that I've randomly read about on the
mailing list, but in reality I'm way more informed than the ordinary
user, to whom probably it seems that "nothing is happening" and
"nothing is being told to anyone, but I see here and there some
unclear explanations on why video & voice or good msn support is still
not there". Additionally, given there seem to have been disputes overs
some of these issues, it may even seem that the project is not a
completely healthy open source project. Not claiming it would be so
(still producing very good quality releases etc. from my point of
view), but the impression may be such if one tries find out
information about these issues and finds the disputes but not the

Does this make any sense? [insert 20min here] I started a page now at . If someone thinks
there is some sense to it, please improve it and maybe link from the
front page or something?

-Timo (Finnish (fi) translator of Pidgin)

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