Developers, Community, Progress

Ethan Blanton elb at
Fri May 2 20:38:15 EDT 2008

Timo Jyrinki spake unto us the following wisdom:
> 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.

This is something which has been discussed, on this list and on
various other media, multiple times.  The problem here is basically
that the Pidgin developers don't have a real urge to spend time with
this sort of meta-task, and so it doesn't get done.  There are enough
of us that many of us aren't really up-to-date with the state of
Pidgin-related projects that don't interest us, even; for example, I
had to spend some time querying other developers on IRC the other day
to find out the state of the MSN protocols, as I don't really use or
care about MSN except as it relates to Pidgin as a whole and reducing
support burden.

The sort of communication you are proposing, and I think we all agree
is a good idea, requires real effort to keep up.  This is a place
where a non-developer who wanted to contribute to the project could
make a very valuable and widely appreciated contribution -- simply
hang out on IRC/XMPP and the mailing lists, keep track of what is
going on where, and document it in some fashion which is approachable
by non-technical users.  Unfortunately, this is a relatively large
amount of effort, and every time I make this suggestion (I'd say at
least every 3-4 months) there's a round of head-nodding and agreement,
and nothing happens about it.  :-)

The bottom line is that this is a particular effort which the
developers have shown that they are not going to put forth, for good
or for ill.  We have even tried on several occasions to improve this
process, but it's a significant amount of effort, and that effort
always winds up reverting to hacking on Pidgin at some point.  I don't
think people want to see less hacking on Pidgin, either.  ;-)  We'd
love to have someone step up to help us with the task.


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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