Jabber vcard icons

Ethan Blanton elb at pidgin.im
Fri Aug 14 15:18:01 EDT 2009

Mark Doliner spake unto us the following wisdom:
> On Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 6:16 PM, Richard Laager<rlaager at wiktel.com> wrote:
> > On Mon, 2009-08-10 at 14:44 -0700, Mark Doliner wrote:
> >> I kind of see the rationale for wanting to have a
> >> different icon in each location where you log into your jabber
> >> account, but you really only have one vcard, and it is meant to
> >> describe your person, not your location.  It seems like Pidgin should
> >> inherit the vcard icon from the server, instead.
> >>
> >> What do other people think?
> >
> > I don't know anything about the Jabber protocol, but if we "inherit the
> > vcard icon from the server", how does a user change their vcard icon?
> You would have to set the icon while you're logged in.  Which means if
> you try to set it while you're not logged in, your change is lost,
> which is sad.

So ... how about this.  It's consistent, but complicated.  It's sort
of a riff on the Adium trick of keeping a notation that the icon was
set offline.  I'm not actually sure I like it.

When setting the buddy icon while online, just do the normal thing,
and update the server to match.  No big deal here.

When setting the buddy icon while offline, do the Adium thing and set
a flag that remembers this, then update the server at next signon.  No
big deal here.

When signing on when the buddy icon has *not* been changed locally,
but the vcard is changed, pop up a dialog that displays both icons and
says "Your buddy icon has changed.  Do you want to keep the new icon,
or revert to your locally stored icon?".  Put a "remember this
decision" checkbox in there someplace.  Update per the user's
preferences, and if the user chooses to remember the decision, store
the hash of both icons and the user's decision.  Don't prompt again
until one of those hashes changes.

I don't think I would actually recommend this, but it seems to solve
the problem in a logical fashion.


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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