Tab display feature requests

Dexx Mandele probatos at
Wed Nov 28 09:13:52 EST 2012

First of all the obligatory (though entirely honest) gushing praise for the
product. You guys make my work so much easier, thank you.

Now to get down to brass tacks: there are two, admittedly minor, problems
that have been bugging me for ages, both regarding your tab system.

1) I have a very narrow chat window and my open windows are listed at the
top of my window. This means that I usually have more tabs open than can
comfortably fit. Fortunately Pidgin crops those off the screen, allowing me
to access them with either ctrl+tab or by clicking the tiny arrows left and
right of the visible tabs. This is pretty close to my ideal solution, it
allows easy access to out-of-sight tabs without distorting my chat window
too much. My problem is with the left and right arrow keys (as mentioned
before, the ones to the left and right of the visible tabs), which shift
the focus of my current window one tab to the left or right on click. This
makes absolutely no sense to me. If I wanted to shift focus from one
visible tab to another I'd simply be clicking the other tab as it is far
more visible and easier to pinpoint than the tiny arrow. The arrow should
be shifting the entire selection of visible tabs. To illustrate:

I'm talking to Hank, and at the top of my screen I see (all-caps = the tab
with focus)


If I want to talk to Jeff (who I know is in a tab to the right of Tom), I
naturally click >, which I presume will leave me with


With either Don having focus or focus remaining on Hank, either makes some
degree of sense. I now have access to four more tabs, with a significant
chance of locating and finding the person I'm looking for, all with a
single click.

Instead, Pidgin gives me


Once again, if I wanted to talk to Jane, I'd be clicking Jane, instead of
finding the tiny little arrow button and clicking that. If I want to
navigate to an invisible tab I have to click the button three more times
before finally having just one more tab appear. Slightly more ideal is
clicking Tom and then clicking the arrow key, which still leaves me with
just one previously invisible tab and at least one superfluous click.

In practice the lack of a practical tab searching system means I often
switch back to my buddy list and finding a user there, even though I know I
already have a conversation with that person open, simply because it's
faster than ctrl+tabbing my way through 10+ tabs one by one.

2) When I have a new message waiting for me in a tab, the tab title turns
blue. When I open that tab and view the contents, the title switches back
to black. I love that. The simple and intuitive visualization is obvious
without being obtrusive. What I don't get is why that can't be implemented
for 'user is typing' and 'user has stopped typing'. Respectively, these
states change the title color to yellow and green. However, if I click the
tab, thereby acknowledging the change in state, the title remains yellow or
green! Only if the other user submits his message (turning the title blue)
does the system allow me to revert the message title to black. This
wouldn't be a significant problem if all messages ever started were also
submitted within a reasonable time-frame. However, in my less than ideal
world users often start typing something, think better of it, and end up
responding hours later (if at all). This leaves me with a green/yellow
warning title that constantly catches my eye and triggers a curious 'hey,
did I get a new message?' response without actually providing new info.

In short; please revert the message title to black after I open a window in
which a user is typing/has stopped typing.

In conclusion: love you guys, great product, keep up the good work, and
thanks in advance for anything you could do to help me out with my horrific
first world problems.
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