Status/Idle options in Pidgin (windows) not clear

Daniel Atallah daniel.atallah at
Fri Jul 18 17:31:00 EDT 2008

On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 8:45 AM, MDW <pidgin.mdw at> wrote:
> Hi,
> I noticed the following bug/inconsistencies with the Status/Idle
> options in Pidgin for Windows when I was trying to set my idle options
> how I like them.
> What I'm trying to achieve:  Report myself as "Idle" when I don't use
> the computer for a set length of time, but do not show others how long
> I have been idle (this is possible in Yahoo Messenger for instance -
> you can have the 'Show me as idle..' checkbox enabled and also the 'do
> not show anyone how long i have been idle' checkbox enabled.)
> In Pidgin preferences I found:
> - Its impossible to have idle reporting enabled but at the same time
> disable the reporting of HOW LONG you have been idle.
> - The 'Minutes before becoming idle' parameter should be under the
> 'Idle' section at the top, and it should not be greyed out if
> 'Auto-away change status when idle' is unchecked.  i.e. the value here
> is still used for the idle function, even if auto-away is not being
> used.
> - If you set "report idle time" to Never, then auto-away does not
> function at all.  I guess this means auto-away options should all be
> greyed out, but I'd prefer to still have the "idle" option separate
> from the "how long have i been idle (idle time)" option which would
> mean auto-away could still function.
> Please do let me know if I have got any of the above wrong or there
> are workarounds.

Your evaluation of the preferences isn't quite right, partially
because of the different ways that idleness works for different

"Report idle time" refers to whether or not to report idleness to the
server (what the server chooses to do with that varies by protocol).

Auto-Away (and the settings below it) is a different animal - whether
or not we're tell the server that we're idle has no bearing on whether
we want pidgin to automatically switch status.

So, back to your initial question.  The core doesn't support the
concept of reporting idleness to the server, but asking it not to tell
anybody.   As this is a yahoo-specific behavior, perhaps a
account-specific preference could be added if you like you can file an
Enhancement request ticket.


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