Pidgin Pulls a Firefox

After reading endless reports about the controversy over the non-resizable chat window in Pidgin, I decided to upgrade to see what all the hub-bub was about. Suffice it to say that the new builds of Pidgin are pretty much unusable for me. The typing portion is now only two rows high and cannot be resized unless you fill it with more text. The gist of the argument is that the code already exists, but the developers chose to remove it and then stuck by their decision, despite a lot of user feedback protesting.

Click the image for a larger version

The problem is, like some others, my text box is locked even smaller, at just TWO lines, like below. The two lines are so small on the application canvas that it’s awkward – it feels wrong.

Click the image for a larger version

Nothing frustrates me more than when open source developer’s forget that their users are important, and the few that take the time to communicate shouldn’t be brushed off and treated like they are unimportant. The Mozilla Firefox developers did this to me before and as a result, I stopped using their software. The Pidgin devs are much worse in this case. They can’t even justify their decision without looking foolish. Score -1 to the Pidgin devs. I’ve reverted to the Pidgin 2.3-series for the time being, but I’m actively searching for a replacement.

3 Replies to “Pidgin Pulls a Firefox”

  1. Do they really forget that “users are important” ? I don’t think so. It’s really hard to please everyone. Especially when some users feel they represent all the users there can be and that a single preference is the preference of the masses. I don’t say this pidgin stuff is a good move, hell no, yet, if it stops behaving the way you expect it to, well, use something else. It’s not like we wouldn’t have enough multiprotocol messengers. Anyway, I highly doubt the devs will leave this behavior to stay like this for good. The firefox-rss matter… I never understood [well, in fact I do, nevertheless] why someone wanted to use a browser as a feed agregator when we have so many good tools – online and local apps – for that.

  2. I have spoken with the developers of Gaim in the past, and it comes across as if they know the right way to build the application, they know what the application should be, and if the user disagrees, they just don’t know or don’t understand how gaim works.

    The result is that features people like are removed because ‘the developer knows best how it should be done’ and people are disgruntled.

    Take Adium as an example. The default text entry ares is one line, and it auto expands as you type. But you can click and drag it if you want it bigger. How hard would it honestly have been to implement that feature in Pidgin? In fact, the resizable feature was there – and it was DELIBERATELY removed! This is definitely a case of “we’ll tell you how the application works, if you don’t like it, it’s because you just don’t get it”.

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