Finch: questions on development, usage, etc

Sadrul Habib Chowdhury sadrul at pidgin.im
Thu Jun 25 00:08:56 EDT 2009


* Daniel had this to say on [24 Jun 2009, 13:33:49 -0700]:
> Sadrul,
> 
> I've got some more feedback for you. I ended up going back to centerim
> for now, but I'd like to share my opinion so you have a users
>   perspective.
> 
> * The lack of of a state of it remembering what messages were unread was
> one of the big factors for me moving back to centerim.
> 
> I think that could easily solved by a plugin or better yet, nativly which just remembers which
> windows were open last. Kind of like most web browsers remember what
> tabs you had opened when you exit/crash.
> 

Indeed. Try out 'Session Save' from
http://developer.pidgin.im/wiki/ThirdPartyPlugins, for example.

> * getting around in the logs is annoying. Especially if chats are opened
>   and closed for brief periods of time. The excellent search
>   capabilities only make up for parts of it.
> 
> I don't know if it shares the logging structure with pidgin, and that's
> why it's done this way, but I think timestamps should be in epoch, and
> the log could be a single file. I don't really see an advantage of using
> multiple files for the logs.

libpurple handles the logging, which is why these functionalities are
similar in Pidgin and Finch. Plugins can implement different logging
mechanisms, though.

> * lack of challenge question
> I got spam from a whole bunch of users just for the few days I used
> finch. centerim uses challenge questions for users not on the list.
> Example: What color is a banana? If the bot can't answer "yellow" I just
> never see the messages.
> 

Try out 'Bot Sentry' (third party plugin).
 
> * I end up sending quite a bit of offline messages. However, when both
>   offline and online contacts are being displayed, there's no way to
>   sort the contacts so the online contacts are sorted first.
> 
> online vs. offline status makes a huge difference. Have an option to
> have alphabetical and still show offline users at the bottom.
> 
> Coupled with this have an option to not show groups at all.

Enable the 'Grouping' plugin shipped with Finch, and look under the
'Grouping' menu in the buddy list.

> * Since I didn't want to see groups, I tried to figure out how to move a
>   user from one group to another, but I couldn't figure it out. Lacking
>   feature?
> 

This is answered in the FAQ
(http://developer.pidgin.im/wiki/Using%20Finch)

> * when doing a search for a user in the contact list, getting that user
>   highlighted was painful. Just highlight the first user in the results
>   list automatically rather than have to hit arrow keys until something
>   at all gets highlighted.

This was a bug fixed for 2.6.0.
 
> Things I really liked:
> * The scrolling and moving around in chats was really a welcome way
> compared the really backwards way centerim does things.
> 
> * tabbing through windows with active messages was very intuitive.
> 
> 
> I didn't play around with scripting at all, so I can't give much
> feedback on that. Looks like all plugins were .so's though. I didn't see
> any bundled perl, or tcl ones.

perl or tcl plugins written for libpurple will work in finch. It _might_ be
possible to write finch-specific perl plugins that tweak the UI somehow
using the unofficial perl bindings (http://git.perldition.org/?p=Gnt.git;a=summary)
for libgnt (libgnt is the widget toolkit finch uses for the UI)

Cheers,
Sadrul

> Anyway, I hope this helps for something :)
> 
> -d
> 
> 
> 
> On Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 01:16:10PM -0400, Sadrul Habib Chowdhury wrote:
> > * Daniel had this to say on [23 Jun 2009, 10:00:46 -0700]:
> > > Hi,
> > > 
> > > I'm currently trying out finch for the first time. I spent some time
> > > last evening with it, and now I have some questions. I come from using
> > > centerim (http://centerim.org), another console IM client.
> > > 
> > > 1. Is it being actively developed? Are new features being added etc.
> > > 
> > 
> > Yes!
> > 
> > > 2. Are patches actively accepted for it by users?
> > > 
> > 
> > Yes! If you are interested, you can write a patch for a bug, or a new
> > feature you want, or for a ticket from this list:
> > http://developer.pidgin.im/query?status=new&status=assigned&status=reopened&max=0&order=id&col=id&col=status&col=summary&milestone=Patches+welcome&owner=sadrul&row=description
> > 
> > > 3. Can I rename a contact in the buddy list? Try as I may, I can't seem
> > > to remember the ICQ UIN's for all my friends :)
> > > 
> > 
> > Use the context menu (ctrl+x).
> > 
> > > 4. I'm using osx, and I can't seem to get any of the windows to have
> > > menues as invoked by Ctrl+o. What windows should I expect to have menus?
> > > This is the same for F11.
> > 
> > The buddylist and the conversation windows have menus. I don't know why
> > Ctrl+o or F10 (those are the default key-bindings, not F11) don't work.
> > Try binding some other key for the 'show-menu' action on windows (read
> > the manpage to see how).
> >  
> > > 5. Since I can't get window menues etc, I don't know if this is
> > > possible, but how I can I access the logs for a chat window?
> > 
> > Yes, from the menu of the window! If you have the chat in the buddylist,
> > then also from its context menu.
> > 
> > 
> > > 6. To whom, or where can I direct feature requests?
> > > 
> > 
> > http://developer.pidgin.im/simpleticket
> > 
> > > 
> > > Finch is a really nice console client. I'm looking forward to having
> > > this issues resolved so I can start using it in ernest!
> > 
> > Excellent!
> > 
> > Sadrul
> 
> -- 
> "Liberty cannot be caged into a charter or handed on ready-made to the next
> generation.  Each generation must recreate liberty for its own times.  Whether
> or not we establish freedom rests with ourselves."
> -- Florence Ellinwood Allen (1884-1966)
> Source: This Constitution of Ours, 1940



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