Stop dividing history into conversations?

Mr. Brad brad at
Wed Feb 13 17:33:41 EST 2008

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. 

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.

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.

Anyway, it's free and it's great, so I hope I'm not annoying you.  Just 
a suggestion :)


Etan Reisner wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 11, 2008 at 10:14:55PM -0500, Mark Doliner wrote:
>> On Mon, 11 Feb 2008 19:30:37 -0500, Etan Reisner wrote
>>> P.S. But really, stop compulsively closing the conversation window,
>>>  it doesn't help you, it doesn't help your conversation, it likely
>>> just makes the windows appearance more annoying (as it likely pops
>>> up in front of things you might be paying attention to), and as
>>> you've noticed it makes keeping the conversation in your head more difficult.
>> Doesn't it seem a bit oppressive of us to command people not to close the
>> conversation window?  I kinda feel like, if someone wants to close the
>> conversation window then, uh, we should probably let them.
>> -Mark
> If that was read as a command it shouldn't have been, my point was that
> the original poster even admits that his compulsive window closing causes
> him extra work because keeping the thread of a conversation swapped in is
> made more difficult. Further, most window managers handle new windows in
> ways that are decidedly sub-optimal (as can be seen by the constant
> requests we get for not "stealing focus" on new windows, and the "hide new
> IMs" preference) which means that compulsive closing makes effective and
> efficient workspace management a harder task.
> Nothing about our current scheme prevents people from closing the windows
> as often as they want to, whereas not breaking the logs up does in fact
> prevent people from having logically encapsulated log files. We also made
> it a point of having logging extensible from plugins, perhaps one of the
> many people who don't want per-conversation logs should actually step up
> and write a better logging plugin (side note: Does the new immediate close
> behaviour complicate writing logging plugins?), I will be more than happy
> to include a per-day logger in pidgin.
> Finally, there was a reason I made my comment via P.S. it was to indicate
> that it was outside the normal realm of help/support and was intended to
> be taken as guidance for why the current practice is probably, at its
> root, unhelpful in many ways.
>     -Etan

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