Changing user icons

Jim Fenstemacher s0cman7 at
Sun Jan 18 15:30:44 EST 2009

Let me preface this by saying that I have read Sean Egan's post on
Identity<>as well as
two tickets
here <> and

I understand the reason for using the "green dots" rather than the im
protocol icons (Gaim-style icons) is that the developers wish for the end
users to be recognized as a single person rather than multiple people on
multiple networks.  And that they wish screen names to be associated with a
person rather than a network.  I get that and I can completely understand
that most people would prefer that, as it simplifies the information that is
presented to the user.  Also, I have implemented the option to show the
protocol icons as secondary icons.

With respect to all of this I still would like to have the option to use the
protocol icons instead of the "green dot", the way Gaim looked.  I have a
few reasons for this:

   1. Icon simplicity:  Current there are two icons displayed for each user,
   one to show their status and one to show their protocol.  This could be
   simplified into one icon showing both, they way Gaim showed worked.
   2. Aesthetics (for some):  I prefer the way Gaim looked simply because I
   liked it.  I do not have a specific reason other than personal preference.
   I know that other people prefer the way pidgin currently looks, but that
   again is a personal preference.  You can look at this another way, some
   people think that Picasso's painting of Three
a beautiful master piece and that it cannot be improved on.  While
   do not understand it and believe that a 3-year old child could have painted
   it.  It is simple a matter of personal preference.
   3. Open source:  This is open source software and as such is a
   collaborative project.  It requires input from all parties to develop the
   best software that the community can.  Simply ignoring part of that
   community and rejecting their ideas alienates part of the community.  This
   is not the xxx behind an open source project.
   4. Appease a small group:  Again, I understand that this would only be
   helpful for a small group of users, but that was part of the idea behind the
   "green dot".  While reading one of the tickets a developer mentioned that
   the "green dot" was implemented so that it would be easier for color blind
   people to use.  This is a very small amount of the population (even though 2
   of the developers are color blind).  So part of the reason the "green dot"
   was implemented was to appease a small group of users.  I think the
   implementing Gaim-style icons would appease an equally small group of users.
   5. What the developers believe:  The Gaim-style icons are no longer used
   because the developers do not believe people should use their program that
   way.  I believe that end users should be able to use programs the way they
   see fit.  This is a belief and I think the developers should
   respecteveryone's beliefs.  They should not try to impose their beliefs on
   others (as with religion, political views, morals, etc.), but rather give
   the end user the option to use the program the way they believe it should be

Again, I completely understand why the "green dot" is used as opposed to
Gaim-style icons.  I am simply asking the the end user be given the option
to use the icons they wish, no matter what their reason.  I hope I have not
been too long winded, I am simply voicing my opinion in the hopes that I can
improve the program.  If I knew anything about programming I would probably
take the time to modify is myself, but unfortunately I do not.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully you consider my

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