Away status indicator/icon missing in IRC channel user list

Ethan Blanton elb at
Thu Dec 12 16:33:37 EST 2013

Kaarel Jõgi spake unto us the following wisdom:
> I am looking for easy to see away status indicator/icon for irc
> channel user list, however can not find a way to turn it on in any
> options or plugins.
> Away status is available in rightclick-info panel and status changes
> can be seen in main window messages but this does not give instant
> overview.  Can anyone help me figure out how to get away icons in irc?
>  Brief look at the code hints that that information is queried for
> channel but i cant make out why its not used.

We no longer request this information automatically, because it
engenders a large amount of traffic and was causing users in a large
number of channels or in very large channels to be booted from some
servers for flooding.  The root problem is that IRC has no plan for
this, so in order to maintain this information the client must
manually and repeatedly request status for *every* user in every
channel to which it is joined.  This is, of course, very noisy and
wasteful.  Normal IM protocols allow the user to say something like "I
am interested in away status for the users in #pidgin", after which
the server sends only *updates* to this information.  IRC has no such

So, long story short, Pidgin doesn't do this.


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