Taskbar Flashing

David Woolley forums at david-woolley.me.uk
Fri Oct 23 03:39:31 EDT 2009


Kelly Brownsberger wrote:
> I'm running Pidgin on Windows (XP) - is there a setting/preference to 
> instruct Pidgin to not flash in the Windows taskbar while running?  I'm 
> not really sure why it's flashing exactly, but I'm guessing it's 
> notifying me that one or more buddies just came online.  That's not 

This change might be more difficult than it seems!

Firstly the flashing is actually done by Windows and is the result of a 
window requesting focus when it belongs to an application that is not 
currently running, so it would be the byproduct of Pidgin trying to 
focus a window, and therefore difficult to remove without also 
preventing Pidgin switching windows automatically when it is the current 
foreground application.

Secondly, searching the code for likely keywords failed to find any 
place, except when trying to start a second copy of Pidgin, where it 
explicitly sets focus.  This could be because I didn't try the right 
keywords, but it could mean that it is the side effect of modifying the 
contents of a window using the graphics library that Pidgin uses.

On the other hand, focus setting operations on the buddy window do seem 
to trigger protocol dependent operations, so not trying to set focus may 
result in the buddy window not updating properly.  (Windows relies on 
message which can be spied on by various windows, and the buddy window 
is responding to such a message, which means that there need not be any 
place in the code where the request is explicitly made.)  I'm not sure 
if this is actually the actual final focussing, which will probably 
still happen, or the request to focus.

I'm not an expert on the structure of the Pidgin source code, nor on 
Win32 APIs that support the Windows GUI, but it seems, at least, 
possible that this behaviour may be difficult to change.  On the other 
hand, I may well have overlooked something.


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David Woolley
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