disable local buddy list storage

John Bailey rekkanoryo at rekkanoryo.org
Wed Oct 31 01:49:31 EDT 2007

Bin Chen wrote:
> Hi,
> Many times when I change buddy list setting in MSN windows, the next
> time I open pidgin it will ask me to add a buddy to local(or add local
> to server, etc). I think every time the pidgin login in to MSN it will
> retrieve the buddy list from server, why we need to store a bak in
> local? Can I disable it?
> Thanks.
> Bin

There are a variety of reasons for which we store a local copy of the buddy
list, including the ability to group buddies from multiple accounts into a
single contact that represents a person.  A number of plugins also store
information on a per-buddy basis, and this uses the local cache of the buddy
list as well.

At one point in time, it was very easy to lose your buddy list on MSN--the
servers would randomly "eat" contacts (or so I've seen people say; I never
experienced this), so the prompts were essentially a safeguard against server
stupidity.  While you actually see these effects of our storing a local copy of
the list for MSN, we actually store the buddy lists for *all* your accounts.
Most of the protocol plugins just silently trust the server-side buddy list; MSN
is the most noticed exception.

There is no way to disable this behavior, but there has been talk of developing
a consistent buddy list merging feature that would work the same across all
protocols.  This merging feature would consolidate all the requests into a
single dialog and ideally make managing these changes much easier.  No one has
had the time or willpower to start working on this yet, however.


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