Pop Up Notifications?

Ethan Blanton elb at pidgin.im
Mon Sep 14 15:22:33 EDT 2009

Michael Wolf spake unto us the following wisdom:
[snip background]

> If anyone has a copy of Gaim 1.5 for Linux, I would be very grateful for 
> a copy.  I don't care if Pidgin is considered by the community to be 
> "more secure."  I have a good firewall and have NEVER had an issue with 
> security in Gaim and have been using Gaim 1.3.1 in Windows for 4 years 
> now.

Pidgin 1.5.1 is clearly listed on our downloads page on SourceForge:


It has the interface you are looking for.

Note that your firewall is entirely irrelevant to the security of old
versions of Pidgin, and that your past experiences are also not an
indicator of future performance.  However, if you wish to install old,
vulnerable software on your computer, we certainly cannot stop you --
and you are the one who has to decide whether the reward is worth the

> I must also say that I am deeply disappointed with my experience with 
> this community so far.  I have been taunted for my disability by people 
> who do not know me and thus could not possibly understand what I have 
> been through.  

Note that this was the actions of random members of a
public-accessible mailing list, and to throw "the community" to the
dogs because of a few users who were publically dressed down by
*actual* memebers of the community for their behavior is rather low.
I trust it won't happen again.

> People have assumed I am some expert in Linux even when I have stated
> that I am brand-new to it or have otherwise assumed that all Linux
> users are supposed to have some magic level of experience that 
> includes command-line knowledge.  I don't think Linux users realize
> that this merely makes people want to go back to Windows, where at
> least Microsoft treats everyone like idiots and thus doesn't assume
> any user-knowledge whatsoever.  I would much rather deal with a
> community that assumes I know nothing than one that insults me by
> treating me like an idiot because I don't know what they expect me to
> know.  

If you wish to use Windows, that's your choice.

I did not particularly witness anyone insulting you for not knowing
your way around Linux, maybe I just missed it.

Many people *will* tend to assume that you have some familiarity with
Liux until shown otherwise, simply because questions are easier to
answer if the answerer does not have to cover a lot of background
information.  We are all volunteers.  You received Pidgin for free,
and any help we give you (or anyone else) is purely out of the
goodness of our hearts and in our spare time.  We all have families,
hobbies, projects, etc. which are *not* helping Pidgin users, so we
are making a donation of our time and effort to you, specifically,
when we provide help.  If that help does not meet your requirements,
you have a few choices: you an ask for clarification, you can rephrase
the question, or you can look for help somewhere else.  Notice that
accusing us of some nefarious plot to talk over your head is not on
this list.

> And finally, I am terribly upset that Gaim was phased out and replaced
> by Pidgin with the level of changes made.  There are a great many
> people who like things the way they are.  That Pidgin made so many
> changes and didn't allow for users to select restoration of the old
> ways suggests that the community is engrossed in the same nonsensical
> development strategy of Microsoft software writers, and major
> corporate product makers who think that they have to rebrand and
> repackage everything to make it more "sexy." 

This is patently false and unreasonable.  We develop Pidgin to be the
best software we feel we can make it.  We believe that the current
interface is fundamentally superior to the old interface.  You may not
agree, and that is fine -- but it is *our* software, created in our
free time, and given to you, free of charge, to use if you see fit.
Clearly you DID see fit, and you appreciated the thousands of man
hours of effor that went into our software.  To declare that a
particular interface you liked should be maintained forever more
regardless of the cost, simply because you like it, is unreasonable.
We have a limited amount of time and energy to put into Pidgin.

I realize from your previous messages that you may have some sort of
handicap which causes you to have trouble adjusting to change (or
whatever).  However, that does not in any reasonable world force upon
us the *obligation* of expending time and energy to modify a program
which we gave to you, _for free_, to revert it to a previous state
which we decided was suboptimal for reasons of our own.

You may make requests for particular behavior, if you like, but this
approach of declaring our actions invalid, unjustified, unfair, or
whatever it was supposed to have declared is not tenable.

> I use Windows 2000 because it works.  I don't care if it isn't all
> fancy.  That's not why I have a computer - so it can be flashy and
> pretty.  I have a computer so it can FUNCTION in predictable ways and
> be user-friendly.  And believe me, I am not alone.  Only the ignorant
> majority swallows rebranding enough to create what you would consider
> demand for it.

The "rebranding", as you call it, was a legal requirement, brought
about to defuse a lawsuit.  I assume you don't intend to go back and
spend your own time and money in a long, drawn out lawsuit to defend a
"brand" which was irrelevant anyway.  We chose to settle -- again, we
make no money off this, and we weren't going to donate our *capital*
as well as our effort to provide you with free software.

> If the Pidgin/Gaim development community wants to appease those who
> want sexier software, then implement it with skins, not with basic
> functionality.

This is not a reasonable statement.  It's not about sexy, it's about
functionality improvements.  Again, you happen to dislike the changes
-- that's fine, but it's not our responsibility to maintain every old
version ever written forever, just in case someone likes it better.
The 'skins' comment is simply technically infeasible.

> I think the community would benefit significantly from reading the
> World Wide Web Consortium's accessibility documentation.

This is very possible.  We do our best to maintain an accessible
interface, but accessibility requirements take a large variety of
forms and have a lot of subtleties.  As none of the regular Pidgin
developers (who, I stress again, are volunteers, giving you valuable
software for FREE) have any particular accessibility requirements[1],
we are beholden to users and other communities to inform us of
accessibility problems, and then either wait patiently for them to be
dealt with as we get to them, or provide fixes to us.

[1] We actually have several colorblind developers, and our color
    schemes, icons, etc. are indeed designed with this particular
    disability in mind, to at least some degree.

Note that some companies have in the past invested developer time and
effort in providing accessibility information and fixes to us.  We
appreciate such efforts.

Out of your entire email, what I gathered is that you would like to
see a persistent, popup mail notification in Pidgin.  This is a
valuable and useful bit of feedback, and we will take it into
consideration.  This does NOT mean that the next release of Pidgin
will contain such a notification, or anything like it, but it *is* a
piece of information which we as a project, or our contributors, can
use in our efforts to make Pidgin better for users such as yourself in
the fullness of time.

The rest of your email was nothing but attacks and accusations, which
I do not appreciate.  I will say it one last time:

We write Pidgin, of our own accord, in our free time, giving up time
doing other things we enjoy, for no compensation whatsoever.  We give
it to users like you in the hopes that you will find it useful, but
this does NOT incur any obligation to you.  If I were to walk up to
you on the street and hand you a $50 bill, it would be ridiculous of
you to cast aspersions upon me because your favorite convenience store
takes no bills larger than $20.  You have just committed the free
software equivalent.

> So, my request then is for a copy of Gaim 1.5 for Linux.  If it isn't a  
> .DEB package, I will figure out how to make it so myself.

I gave you a link for this above.  I hope it helps you.


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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