#52 Confusing GUI for merging contacts


I have seen other chat clients where it is possible to
merge two or more contacts into a "meta-contact" [as
Trillian would have it]. I don't think I've seen one
quite as confusing as Ayttm's, though.

Firstly, it's not obvious which contact to right-click
on. The difference between "account" and "contact"
isn't made clear, so the "add contact" window is very

I have three different contacts [or accounts?] for one
of my RL friends. How do I merge them? Where do they
end up? And what do the colours on the cubes mean?

I know I could probably work it out by RTFM, but most
users are lazy and will just delete the app instead.
IMHO the GUI should be reasonably easy to work out
without the manual.

Maybe you guys could add helpful tooltips or something?
Thanks for reading this.

Hope you can help,
[Great proggie btw! :) ]


  • Edward L. Haletky

    • labels: 518537 -->
  • Jonathan Berry

    Jonathan Berry - 2004-07-26

    Logged In: YES

    Hi Fatman,
    Yes, I agree that the distinction between a contact and an
    account can be confusing. A contact is an actual person (or
    virtual person, if you wish) that has one or more accounts
    under it. The accounts are the actual names used by the IM
    services. Contacts are shown under the groups in the tree
    list, and acounts are under them. The contact name is like
    an alias in other clients (or "meta-contact" in Trillian, as you
    said). To add accounts to a contact, you can right click that
    contact and click "Add Account to Contact" or in the "Add
    Contact" window, click on the contact drop down list and
    select the contact name. To alias the contact, right click on
    the contact and click "Edit Contact" and change the contact
    name. Groups are the top level of the tree, contacts are on
    the next level, and accounts on the next level, such as:
    - Group1
    L - Contact1
    | L Account1
    | L Account2
    L + Contact2
    The colors of the "cubes" for the accounts indicate which
    protocol the account uses, and the one for the contact
    indicates the default protocol (changed in the "Edit Contact"
    window). Red is for MSN, blue for AIM, yellow (or brown?) for
    Yahoo!, etc.
    Hope this helps.

  • Fatman

    Fatman - 2004-07-26

    Logged In: YES

    Hi plasmoidia,
    Thanks for the clarification. I was intrigued however to
    note that when I added an account to a contact and that
    account was already present as an individual contact, the
    colour of the account added to the contact was green instead
    of [I think it was red]. Perhaps this signifies that I've
    added a duplicate account. :)
    Not that I would change the colour coded cubes themselves, I
    think they're fantastic.

  • Laura Vance

    Laura Vance - 2004-08-12

    Logged In: YES

    The thing that probably happened is what happens to me
    sometimes. When I add an account to a contact, I sometimes
    forget to select the protocol. I've had them end up as ICQ
    sometimes (green is ICQ).

    To move an account from one contact to another (in the event
    that you have two contacts that are the same person and you
    want to file all of their accounts into a single AYTTM
    contact). All you have to do is the following:

    ("from" is used to indicate the contact name that the
    account is moving from, and "to" is used for the one it is
    moving "to".)

    1. right-click on the account that you wish to move and
    select "Edit Account".
    2. In the window that comes up, you'll notice a "Contact
    Name" "Group Name" and "Local Account".
    3. If necessary, change the Group Name first if the "to"
    contact group is different from the "from" contact group.
    4. Once the correct group name is selected, click the
    drop-down for the contact name and pick the "to" contact.
    5. click save, and you'll notice that the old contact is
    gone and the new contact now has multiple accounts under it.

    To use the visual example from plasmoidia:
    alignment before:
    ||-jmt982 (AIM account)
    |-janemt (yahoo account)

    alignment after:
    |-janemt (yahoo account)
    |-jmt982 (AIM account)

    Each protocol has their default groups that basically mean
    the same thing. AIM calls a group "buddies" that Yahoo
    calls "Friends", etc. So if you have a contact under the
    "Buddies" group and you want to move them to the other one,
    that's when moving the group becomes important.

    Once you've done it a couple of times, it's a breeze.


Get latest updates about Open Source Projects, Conferences and News.

Sign up for the SourceForge newsletter:

JavaScript is required for this form.

No, thanks