Pidgin 3 - Is there any point?

David Woodhouse dwmw2 at
Thu Jan 24 04:25:16 EST 2019

On Thu, 2019-01-24 at 19:41 +1300, Eion Robb wrote:
> Hi all,
> Forgive the clickbaity subject line, but I'm hoping to open some
> discussions.
> Over the past few years, there's been a few times where I've though
> "oh, it'd be good to send a PR to fix up XYZ issue with Pidgin2" but
> then my response is "well, I shouldn't do that because everything is
> going on in Pidgin3" and then "well, Pidgin3 is a moving target that
> I'm not personally using so I can't test my changes, so I better not
> break things for other people, so I won't make a PR"
> So this got me thinking.....
> Is there any real use for users to adopt Pidgin 3?  Is there any
> "killer feature" that means they should want to give up on Pidgin 2
> and get mass-adoption of the new and shiny, or are we just making
> work for the sake of work, and breaking everything in the process?
> Because right now, the way I see it from a user perspective is:
> Pros:    Gtk3 (does this even matter?), possible pro: "v/v on
> windows"
> Cons:   All my plugins/themes/customisations don't work
> So I want to ask everyone else's opinions....
> Have we shot ourselves in the foot, trying to clean up the code
> without any actual end-user-benefit?
> Is Pidgin3 the next "PHP6"?
> Are we better off focusing our efforts on Pidgin 2 and merge in all
> the plugins/hacks/workarounds that people have made, to improve it?
> Or, do we need to release a Pidgin2 plugin loader that can load the
> "100 most popular plugins" for Pidgin3 to be usable and have a safe
> transition process?

I think the "all my plugins/themes/customisations don't work" part is a
little bit of a red herring. Once 3.0 is released, those will hopefully
catch up relatively quickly.

I do think that moving to GTK3 is useful for maintainability in the
long term, and also for being *perceived* as a modern, maintained

I think the main hurdle is getting 3.0 to the point where we can
release it. It doesn't need to be perfect; we can always do later

What needs to be fixed before we can do a 3.0 release? Especially, what
features is the user going to miss? And what APIs do we *want* to
change but haven't managed yet, which would cause another breakage for
plugins in the future if we don't get it in before 3.0?

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