Why is orphans group created?

Mark Doliner mark at kingant.net
Wed Oct 31 02:40:36 EDT 2007

On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 20:22:27 -0400, Pat Marion wrote
> My friend says "something strange is going on with my pidgin buddy 
> list, new folders keep getting made titled "orphans" and random 
> people are in it"
> She means a group named "orphans" is being created and buddies from her
> buddy list (already in other groups) are being added to the orphans group.
> I grepped through the code and found this in
> libpurple/protocols/oscar/family_feedbag.c:
> aim_ssi_addbuddy(od, cur->name, "orphans", NULL, alias, NULL, NULL,
>  FALSE);
> A couple lines above I found a nice comment :-)  :
>     /* This will kind of mess up if you hit the item limit, but this
> function isn't too critical */
> I'm not familiar enough with libpurple code to diagnose the problem. 
>  Any suggestions?  Is there an easy fix?  Is this a known issue?  I 
> tried to search the bug tracker before posting.
> This is with an AIM account in Pidgin 2.2.0 on Windows XP SP2.
> Pat

The "orphans" group was originally used to try to fix a bug in really old
versions of Gaim (like, from early 2004) where buddies would be added to your
buddy list but they wouldn't be inside any particular group.  So Gaim tried to
fix this by moving them into an arbitrary group ("orphans").

I'm not sure why your friend would have buddies who weren't in a group... I DO
know why they've only started showing up recently, though.  It's because of
another change where made.  Up until Pidgin 2.2.something we would only show a
buddy at most one time, however buddies are allowed to be in more than one
group.  After 2.2.something we starting showing a buddy in every group that
they're in in your buddy list.

Summary: Your friend should be able to just delete the orphans group and it
shouldn't come back and everything should be fine.  If that isn't the case
then please let me know.


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