Finch: questions on development, usage, etc

Daniel pidgin-im at
Wed Jun 24 16:33:49 EDT 2009


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

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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

* 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.

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.

Anyway, I hope this helps for something :)


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 (, 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:
> > 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?
> > 
> > 
> > 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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