Status/Idle options in Pidgin (windows) not clear

MDW pidgin.mdw at
Mon Jul 21 04:09:56 EDT 2008

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your comments.  It is still true (for Yahoo at least) that
Pidgin is using the greyed out timer value under Auto-Away to specify
how long to wait before reporting idle to the server.  Assuming I
don't want to use Auto-Away but I do want to specify how long before
reporting idle, I have to temporarily enable auto-away to update the
value and then disable it again.  This seems counter intuitive for
newcomers, but I can see that its not exactly a major issue and
perhaps most people do use auto away.


2008/7/18 Daniel Atallah <daniel.atallah at>:
> 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
> protocols.
> "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.
> -D

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