Stop dividing history into conversations?

John Bailey rekkanoryo at
Wed Feb 13 20:04:45 EST 2008

Mr. Brad wrote:
> I know; I don't work on this project, but I am a professional programmer 
> working on very large projects (Guitar Hero), and I have to disagree 
> that splitting a log file serves any useful purpose.
> To me, the log file should store important events: messages, timestamps, 
> and possibly status changes.  Splitting a log file based on a window 
> event seems arbitrary.  If someone wants to view their logs that way, 
> the window events should be stored in the log file, and it should be an 
> option in the log file viewer to display it in conversations. 

I'll defer to Ethan's excellent post on this part of your message, adding that I
agree with him completely.

> My log folders are rapidly filling with hundreds of separate files.  Why 
> doesn't each contact have one log file, with an option to view them 
> however the user wants?  Splitting them forces the user to adhere to 
> your standard (each new window is a separate conversation), whereas 
> storing one log file doesn't prevent you from viewing it as 
> conversations - the viewer would just need to split it up at display time.

For the record, a plugin exists that reimplements Pidgin's ancient one-flat-file
logging approach.  That plugin is called Old Logger and can be found in the
Purple Plugin Pack (  Enable the plugin, then
go to Preferences and change the logging format to "Old plain text" or "Old
HTML."  Just don't complain when the log files grow to be so large that loading
in the log viewer takes forever.

> The message dialog window is also the easiest place to view recent 
> history, so it's quite useful to have more than just the last 
> conversation in there.  My conversation might have ended, but maybe I 
> want to go back and grab that link someone sent me, or maybe I need the 
> shopping list my wife sent earlier in the day.  With the log split, I 
> have to remember what time I got that message.  Why?  I know it came 
> recently, so why can't I just see the recent messages?  I have to search 
> through conversations.

Another plugin exists that allows more than the most recent conversation to
appear.  This plugin is called Enhanced History, and was inspired by (and
possibly based on) the History plugin we provide as part of the Pidgin
distribution.  I have ported it to the Purple Plugin Pack as well, but it has
not been officially released as part of that plugin pack yet.  In the meantime,
Andrew Pangborn, the original author, has been keeping his old standalone
version available.  A simple google query can find it for you.

This plugin allows a user-configurable number of conversations to be inserted
into the history pane and can insert based on a maximum age as well.  It will
likely achieve everything you want without requiring a single change to the
Pidgin and libpurple code.


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