On Nov 30, 2005, at 2:59 AM, Sean Egan wrote:
> On 11/29/05, Colin Barrett <timber@...> wrote:
>> Why? I don't care what protocol someone is on, I just care if I can
>> chat with them.
> I've debated this very point with an Adium-using friend. A few
> scenarios of various levels of contrivedness:
> I have on my buddy list "seanegan" on AIM and "seanegan" on IRC.
> "seanegan" on IRC is me, "seanegan" on AIM is some other Sean Egan I
> talk to from time to time. Obviously, this can be solved by aliasing,
> but it's still nice to know which is which without having to setup
> Context menus vary greatly depending on the protocol. I want to know
> if I'm going to be able to edit a buddy comment, initiate a
> conference, or temporarily cancel presence notification without just
> test-clicking everyone on my list.
> Presence features vary by account. Is my away but not-idle buddy
> actually at his computer, or is he just on an MSN account?
> If I want to drag a buddy into the Invite to Chat dialog, I want only
> to drag someone on the same protocol.
> If I want to drag a file onto someone in my buddy list, I only want to
> drag it onto buddy that supports file transfer.
> Obviously, abstracting the difference between the various IM protocols
> is, like, the whole point of clients like Gaim and Adium, but as much
> as Persons and aliases and whatnot help, I think that eventually the
> abstraction breaks down and you benefit from knowing what protocol a
> buddy is on.
I agree with pretty much everything you're saying here. There is a
need to know what protocol someone is on, that's fairly obvious. But
there are also situations when it's *not* needed, such as when
glancing at the buddy list. If I want to know what protocol someone
is on, I'll hover over them and see it in the tooltip. But it's
certainly not information that I absolutely at all times must know
about a contact, and that's the point of the original poster's patch.
If I want to talk to seanegan, first I care if he's online or not.
Then, if he is, I can inspect it further. Maybe he has a GTalk
account he only uses at work, so I know not to bother him on that
unless it's important. But that's secondary information, and varies
from person to person. The point of the buddy list is to show
essential information, i.e. to provide an "at-a-glance" overview of
people who are online. There are many ways of introspecting contacts
further, but again, like I said, not all of it is essential to know
at a glance.
(summary, for people who got lost: What protocol someone is on is not
important enough, IMO, to be so prominently featured on the buddy list)