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Pidgin Controversy Triggers Fork

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the you-gotta-bit-kidding-me dept.

Software 1104

paleshadows writes "Pidgin, the premier multi-protocol instant messaging client, has been forked. This is the result of a heated, emotional, and very interesting debate over a controversial new feature: As of version 2.4, the ability to manually resize the text input area has been removed; instead, it automatically resizes depending on how much is typed. It turns out that this feature, along with the uncompromising unwillingness of the developers to provide an option to turn it off, annoys the bejesus of very many users. One comment made by a Professor that teaches "Collaboration in an Open Source World" argued that 'It's easy to see why open source developers could develop dogmas. [...] The most dangerous dogma is the one exhibited here: the God feature. "One technological solution can meet every possible user-desired variation of a feature." [...] You [the developers] are ignoring the fan base with a dedication to your convictions that is alarmingly evident to even the most unobservant of followers, and as such, you are demonstrating that you no longer deserve to be in the position of servicing the needs of your user base.'" Does anyone besides me find this utterly ridiculous?

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Pigeons (5, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23253988)

Just can't get our act together. It's why we've never been able to get past our image as disorganized and in general lower than the other birds.

Re:Pigeons (1)

PitViper401 (619163) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254006)

That, and you're so damn ugly. /Just saying it like it is.

Re:Pigeons (1)

qcubed (655212) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254070)

That, and you're so damn ugly. /Just saying it like it is.
Whale biologist?

Re:Pigeons (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254130)

Just can't get our act together. It's why we've never been able to get past our image as disorganized and in general lower than the other birds.

Pigeon controversies triggering forks is nothing.

For a fork, you'd have had to go all the way to Soviet Russia, but a dart was close enough to prove that In Moderately Liberal Seattle, dart triggers pigeon controversy [nwsource.com] .

Re:Pigeons (5, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254352)

Mmmm, forked Pidgin, reminds me of my last Thanksgiving dinner.

i for one... (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254010)

never adopted pidgin, i still use GAIM 1.5, it does everything i need, and the default emoticons are much less... gay? (and i bet you thought this was going to be about overlords)

Re:i for one... (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254086)

Agreed - I liked Pidgin much better when it was GAIM. There were some oddities I just couldn't get used to.

Good God (0)

Egonis (155154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254012)

Can you imagine the flamewars that take place between M$ staff? This issue with Pidgin is tiny in comparison to development issues faced in larger projects.

Re:Good God (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254182)

MS would might have just made it an option.. doesn't sound like it would have been difficult to do. This issue has been brought on by the users anyway, MS users don't have the option to fork off a new codebase, they just have to take it up the ass with whatever MS does (I'm thinking of Office here mainly, where you just don't have many viable alternatives because of the attitude of the world that Office is the only thing you can use to write letters or make presentations and spreadsheets)

Re:Good God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254260)

It's just another instance of the eternal color of the bikeshed debate.

Re:Good God (4, Funny)

thePsychologist (1062886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254304)

I think we ought to formulate the Slashdot law, in a similar spirit to Godwin's law:

Slashdot Law: As a conversation on Slashdot grows longer, the probability of comparing someone to or bashing Microsoft approaches 1.

Re:Good God (1)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254322)

I could not see Microsoft staff having the same kind of issue that the OSS community has with dogma and development. Simply because if this is your job you won't care as much as if it was your personal pet project. That, and you have the option to find another job if things get bad at work (aka you could fork your carrier away from your current company)

Also, if you are a boss with an employee that is demanding and dogmatic you could (a) let him have his way, (b) fire him, or (c) give him money to shut up. In the OSS community if you have a developer that wants to do his own thing with your project he just takes the code he wants and dose his thing.

Re:Good God (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254336)

Just staying AC
But, yeah it's no joke... I gave up on being a test engineer for software after being let go (along with some others) at M.S. because I a would not pass a product with a clearly significant usability flaw. The development said it was by design and a feature. (Very similiar to the resizing functions mentioned above.)

I went and did the numbers and a full quality project, VOC data, etc. I presented my case at a later build. The developer, not having any actual evidence but his opinion, went into a flame war, trying to take me down. Effectively, I was insulting is 'intellegence' and want to 'undo months of work'. When that failed, he called me racist. He won, I got let go. I found out he was let go a couple months later over trying to defend the same 'feature' after a presentation with some higher ups, and insulted someone above him.

These flame wars happen all to much, I've found many programmers have 'control issues', perhaps that's what makes them good programmers; but lousy decision makers.

Re:Good God (2, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254388)

The difference with Open Source and other groups of talented, opinionated, and driven technical groups is that with OSS the "discussions" are held in mostly public forums.

Rediculous. (1, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254020)

Insert metaphor regarding painting a barn here.

Am I the only person who judges programs by their available options, not just feature set?

What is it with IM-devs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254042)

Similar event: The Miranda devs took out multi-send.

GET OFF MY LAUN! (4, Insightful)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254046)

This whole situation reeks of some crusty developer stuck in his ways.

Re:GET OFF MY LAUN! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254210)

Such a developer would have abhorred such a crazy idea for a feature though? :P I can't see much point in this one. It would make a nice novelty but I doubt I'd use it myself.

Re:GET OFF MY LAUN! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254408)

There are two "U"s in lawn.

Is there a technical reason not to allow both ways (4, Insightful)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254058)

If there's no technical reason not to allow both options with a simple option in a menu somewhere, then yes it is ridiculous. If there is some downside to allowing users to resize the text input area then a fork is exactly what is needed. Open source is awesome.

Re:Is there a technical reason not to allow both w (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254180)

I agree. Their are any number of other UI enhancements they refused to make as well. I'm excited to see they forked it.

Re:Is there a technical reason not to allow both w (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254230)

Maybe the developers don't know how to do scroll bars

Re:Is there a technical reason not to allow both w (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254334)

I think the main reason to not make it an option is because it is such a tiny obscure detail that you wouldn't even think to look for an option in the first place. And thus adding the option to the GUI would be useless clutter. Good usability is often about removing options and make things behave the right way at default.

More options are always better! (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254060)

More options are always better, right?

I mean, sure, forking a project means that we now have fewer developers concentrating on a product than before, but it's for the best because now we'll have two IM clients that are nearly identical except for some minor things. All because some programmers are egotistical assholes!

The Open Source world needs to grow the fuck up. More options aren't always better - more good options are better, more options for the sake of having more options or because you can't learn to play nicely with the other kids are stupid.

Re:More options are always better! (5, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254374)

I'd take this fork as an extreme example of the Open Source world "growing the fuck up," as you put it. The original developers choose not to fulfill a need of their user base, so a new crowd with the wherewithal to do it decides to work on achieving that rather than exchanging flames with the old guard.

If the kid with the ball doesn't want to play fair, you either cry about it, or get your own ball and play like reasonable people. These folks did the latter.

That's why Open-Source fails on the desktop (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254066)

I know some will probably tag this as a troll or a flamebait, however IMHO this is exactly why Linux will never be able to really replace either Windows or Mac OS X for desktop usage.

Too many people who think they know better than the end-users, and too much work being done by lots of people on different, competing projects. You need to unite your efforts, not work against each others. This fork is just another proof (and WTH is with that "premier multi-protocol instant messaging client" remark? Nobody uses that on Windows and Mac OS X).

The whole KDE vs Gnome debate is one of the things that keeps Windows on PCs.

Posted as AC because of Linux and OSS zealots.

Re:That's why Open-Source fails on the desktop (4, Interesting)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254148)

All the Windows clients here use Pidgin for their IM, and it's one of the clients recommended by IT for the internal IM server.

Re:That's why Open-Source fails on the desktop (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254238)

All the people I know either use Trillian or MSN Messenger on Windows and Adium on Mac OS X.

Anecdotal evidence isn't a strong argument, unless you only wanted to prove that AC wrong.

Re:That's why Open-Source fails on the desktop (2, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254314)

want to know something silly. Adium is based off of the same libraries as pidign. Just a different set of devs. In fact there are so many ways to customize adium it is scary.

Re:That's why Open-Source fails on the desktop (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254344)

Well the evidence against the AC didn't need to be anything more than anecdotal. He stated that "No one uses those on Windows or OS X.". The GP responded with a counterexample that disproves that. No statistics or measures analysis are needed in such a case.

Re:That's why Open-Source fails on the desktop (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254266)

(and WTH is with that "premier multi-protocol instant messaging client" remark? Nobody uses that on Windows and Mac OS X).

I do. I think it's the best of a bad lot.

Re:That's why Open-Source fails on the desktop (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254270)

Most people I know who use Windows use MSN. Of course, they don't have a "multi-protocol" instant messaging client. If you want a multi-protocol instant messaging client on windows, you pretty much have to go with pidgin. Does KDE4 Kopete work on Windows yet? Maybe i'll see if I can get that working. There isn't much choice when it comes to multi protocol IM clients. And Pidgin is probably one of the better ones (as sad as that is).

Re:That's why Open-Source fails on the desktop (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254366)

Trillian, Miranda and... what was the other one called... oh yes, Psi all beat it. I personally like Miranda a lot. Pidgin feels like your typical Linux software trying to run on Windows: it fails, is ugly to look at, crashes and doesn't behave.

Re:That's why Open-Source fails on the desktop (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254320)

Maybe F/O projects need actual end users contributing to the UI design.

-uso.

Re:That's why Open-Source fails on the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254338)

I actually find that insightful rather than flamebait. I completely agree. Im not a developer so I have never participated personally, but the internal conflict between developing parties is quite clear from this example. Its the same ol' too many cheifs not enough indians problem I think.

As I said, I am not a developer, but I am rather active in the forums and discussions for the OSS that I do use. I think that there is a definite need for a NON-developing user base that is willing to give feedback and say what THEY want. Otherwise you just have people adding in what they like and conflicting with another persons opinion.

On the other hand, I dont use pidgin because my linux machine is an alternate set up. Its biggest drawback for me to switching to pidgin for good is no support for the g15. Little stuff like that add up and keep me from making a the swap to Ubuntu for good.

Posting as AC cause I used my mod point.

All Too Often (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254068)

All too often on software projects, I see someone spend several days figuring out a neat thing to implement that they personally think is a great addition.

And when it comes time to remove it they defend it. They may even realize that they were wrong thinking everyone would love it. But they just don't want to give up that code that cost them so much time to figure out and write.

Coding for several days only to realize that you need to throw everything you wrote away is one of the hardest skills for a developer to learn ...

Re:All Too Often (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254170)

How about asking actual users before starting to code anything?

Or at the very least, fellow programmers who work on the same project?

Re:All Too Often (5, Funny)

hercubus (755805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254300)

How about asking actual users before starting to code anything? Or at the very least, fellow programmers who work on the same project?

when i want an actual user's opinion, i'll beat it out of him

come on, every developer's thunk it at least once...

Murdering your darlings (3, Informative)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254214)

A writing professor once called this "murdering your darlings," in the context of writing fiction.

You develop a scene with blood, sweat and tears, and then realize it's baggage and there's a better way, and shorter/more compact is always better.

It hurts but it beats the alternative, which is reduced quality of writing.

Re:Murdering your darlings (1)

adnonsense (826530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254368)

Methinks there's a file system developer who took this a bit too literally...

Slashdotted (1)

dar (15755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254076)

The pidgin site has been slashdotted.

Hmm or perhaps is pretending in order not to air its dirty laundry.

Makes perfect sense to me... (1)

danbeck (5706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254084)

Many times we have to put up with stupid and poorly thought out "features" in OSS software and our only recourse is to "submit a patch".

Well, these guys have taken that one step further and I say more power to them. It's about time someone took asshole OSS developers to task and answer these ridiculous calls to submit patches when we are voicing real concerns.

Nope (1)

YaroMan86 (1180585) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254088)

I don't find this ridiculous at all. Sure it was heated and emotional. SURE it was over a minor feature.

Big deal. The nature of open source, especially under the GPL is that if you don't like something, you can change it and make your own fork. I, for one, look forward to seeing just how different this fork from Pidgin will be.

Grow (0, Troll)

Symbolis (1157151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254090)

the fuck up.

Seriously.

All of you.

Re:Grow (0, Offtopic)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254208)

NO U!

How to unfork: (4, Insightful)

wbren (682133) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254092)

Add the following in Preferences window:

[X] Allow resizing of chat input area

Re:How to unfork: (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254206)

The option should be called

[X] Automatically control chat input window size.

"Does anyone besides me find this utterly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254094)

ridiculous?"

It might help to, I dunno, specify which part you find "ridiculous":
that the dev's would remove a feature that users liked, or
that the users are complaining about such a 'small' feature.

If the project is threatening to fork, then I lean with the users. Isn't OSS great?!?

Of course (1)

wireloose (759042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254096)

Ridiculous that developers will not listen to their users, yes. The Open Source world is just as much a free market as the commercial world. With more options - can't fork your code in the commercial world, but I can certainly change brands / vendors / providers easily enough. Beautiful, isn't it?

Oh, jesus - this sets new stupidity levels (1)

Gossi (731861) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254108)

I'm serious, I'm not trolling. Why on earth didn't they just, like, make it a feature people can toggle in the options? A fork over this is insane.

Find *what* utterly ridiculous? (5, Insightful)

bigskank (748551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254110)

"Does anyone besides me find this utterly ridiculous?"

Depends on what you mean. Do I find it ridiculous that developers are ignoring a sizable portion of their userbase and implementing a feature that many people would like to disable? Yes, I find it ridiculous. Not terribly surprising, but ridiculous nonetheless.

Do I find it ridiculous that it's causing a project to fork? Not particularly. This is supposed to be the one of the greatest advantages of open source; if you don't like the way people play, you can pick up the pieces and start your own game. Silly me, I had secretly hoped that the threat of something like this happening would keep software like pidgin from ignoring its user base. Guess I was wrong.

Re:Find *what* utterly ridiculous? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254386)

All these forks of projects lead to a countless number of OSS application that simply overloads regular computer users.

I still have friends who ask me where "Internet Explorer" is on my Mac desktop. When I point at the Safari icon, they reply "I don't want a compass icon, I want a big blue E icon".

Imagine these people trying to install a distro and being given a choice of 3 browsers, 5 IM clients, 4 email programs, 3 media players, etc.

Choice is NOT good for the average end-user. All this childish bickering is slowing the adoption of Linux on the desktop.

A lot of programmers are switching from Linux to Mac OS X simply because all that crap is not as huge a concern in OS X. There is one desktop, one GUI, one way to code things. When you stop wasting time trying to be compatible with 15 desktop GUIs, you can do actual work.

Linux GUI coding seems to be akin to web programming right now: coding for Mac OS X is like coding to W3C standards, and coding for Linux is like having to code for IE 5, IE 6, IE 7 and IE 8. They're all similar yet all require a bit of work to do the same damn thing.

This is good. (1)

Bohabo (1273432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254116)

This DOES seem pretty ridiculous, but more open-source IM clients can only be a good thing. Maybe eventually there will be an open, unofficial MSN client that supports voice and video messaging, the sending and receiving of custom emotions and handwritten messages, and has a decent interface.

Re:This is good. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254390)

I for one, consider the lack of winks in nudges in Pidgin to be a feature. Down with IM clients for 13 year old girls.

The debate is now over... (4, Funny)

Bazman (4849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254118)

...because their Trac is slashdotted. Problem solved.

Re:The debate is now over... (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254246)

I'm not sure where you are looking. This [pidgin.im] works, and here is another mirror [sourceforge.net] , and here's one more [filehippo.com] just for kicks.
Still need more?

Re:The debate is now over... (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254286)

Ah, wrong pidgin link. My bad.

Google cache link to pidgin bugzilla page (2, Informative)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254120)

here [64.233.169.104]

And here is a link to the fork: (2, Informative)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254326)

here [sourceforge.net]

Jeez.. (1)

katterjohn (726348) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254122)

After upgrading to Ubuntu 8.04 the other day I realized this change.... but I got over it!

I personally think that an option to turn it off would be nice, but come on, it's not a big deal.

20th Caller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254124)

Post number 20

What am I winning?????

Well, it isn't surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254126)

Actually, I'm not surprised at all. Pidgin's developers are some of the most hard headed folks I've ever run into. Its their way or the highway. Why would anyone be surprised that someone chose the highway?

Deleting functionality to force ridiculous changes on users is one of those cases that certainly merits a fork (or patchset). I would be one of the folks using the fork if it weren't for the fact I have Adium.

Wow (1)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254128)

I had heard a little bit ago that there had been some heated debate over this, but...a fork? Over resizing a freaking text input area manually or automatically? Holy crap people can be petty some times.

This feature sounds Gnomish (3, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254134)

Seems like something that would be done to a Gnome app. Hope that's just a coincidence. Back to Kopete I guess.

Great minds think alike (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254258)

First thing I thought was "Gnome."

Re:This feature sounds Gnomish (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254282)

Don't invite GNOME trolls. They may not seem formidable, since they tend to wear only the bear minimum armor and carry only a single sword, all in the name of not have a confusing interface, but they are dangerous nonetheless.

Umm...patch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254138)

Patch it to disable the feature if you dont want it. Open source?!??!

What's ridiculous? (1)

wagr (1070120) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254146)

In my development, not having an option governing this behavior is ridiculous after more than one person requests it operate differently.

Similarly ridiculous (to me) is the Professor's ad hominem rant.

Based on what little I can actually read at this time, forking seems reasonable -- experience tells me it won't be reasonable a few months or releases from now.

I for one... (0)

dfn5 (524972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254150)

... welcome our new pidgeon overlords.

Resizing (1)

G1369311007 (719689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254152)

I got annoyed for a bit that it was taken out, but now I don't even notice it. I have seen it instantly resize itself when I start typing into a blank message, now that get annoying. I vote for being able to manually resize it.

Another bad decision by the pidgin folk (5, Informative)

Improv (2467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254162)

This wouldn't be the first time the pidgeon folk have decided to change the interface and refused to let people keep things the way they liked. Forks have been threatened before over their decision to hide protocol icons as well. I'm glad they separated the gui from the rest of the program - both this and the protocol icon decision really bug me.

Not everyone has perfect eyesight (1)

moly (947040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254166)

Some visually impaired users enlarge the font so that they can read the text, and thereby use the application. Preventing them from doing this means they can't use the application. Visually impaired people have a hard enough time with the internet. There's no excuse for making it harder.

Why do idiots do this? (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254176)

Someone has been taking user interface lessons from the Gnome team. Why do people need to be reminded that sometimes the user really is right? Or that some users prefer doing things the "wrong" way. And why shouldn't they be allowed to?

This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254186)

We're seriously lacking an open voice+video messaging system such as msn/skype and those folks waste their time fighting whether a text input box should be resizeable or not?!

Please! I'm sick of telling people who get viruses from Messenger or don't trust Skype that there's no alternative under Linux. And this fight over a such stupid argument doesn't help to promote OSS at all.

Present the positions (1)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254188)

I'm not a Pidgin developer, so can someone illuminate me to the positions of the two sides? Why is one group wanting resizable windows while the other does not? What are the pros and cons of each side? Is there some technical reason to require one vs. the other or are the reasons related to opinions, ergonomics, eye-candy?

What say ye?

Re:Present the positions (1)

Wilden2003 (1220744) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254382)

positions of the two sides?
One side did something, the other side doesn't like it, and wants to be able to turn it off, and were told no.

Why is one group wanting resizable windows while the other does not?
Someone thought it was neat. Lots of people think it's an annoying behavior. In most programs, I want to set it the way I like it, and have it stay that way.

What are the pros and cons of each side?
It's a silly disagreement, with a simple solution. The developers should have said, 'We thought it was great, but if you don't like it here is how to turn it off.' There is no 'con' to doing that. And the 'pro' is not pissing on/off you users.

Is there some technical reason
Nope. You can code anything to do anything in any situation, within reason.

Sounds About Right (1)

mastershake82 (948396) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254190)

I remember when Pidgin came out with green balls to represent online status rather than the AIM/MSN/Yahoo/etc icons like in Gaim. Hundred of users complained, however reports kept getting closed saying it wasn't gonna be revered and just to deal with it.

Seems like a similar case here. Pidgin devs are very anti-options and generally make it the way they decide it and refuse to allow it to work any other way.

It's a shame because the core is so robust.

Fork you! (1)

LS1 Brains (1054672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254192)

Fork you, NDS !

Happens every once in a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254194)

Same thing happened with XFree86/X.org, Sodipodi/Inkscape, pf, etc. Sometimes the current developers are just dumb asses beyond comprehension.

I have no idea what causes this, it's the whole Theo da Raadt, Hans Reiser, arrogance or something.

Way to overreact. (1)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254196)

Was it really necessary to create a whole new fork?

Just make a patch called Deannoyify_pidgin that makes adds the option to use the feature or not.

On the other hand, if this is just one of many cases where developers are ignoring the users I do understand the need for a fork.

Re:Way to overreact. (1)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254242)

Way to drum up publicity for something that has has 1600 downloads so far btw.

about time (1)

xorbe (249648) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254218)

The devs have taken out useful feature after useful feature. I even voiced my concern on the mailing list some time ago, and was met with "such options are too confusing to the average person," and then silence. I still use Pidgin, but it's certainly not the cool Gaim of old.

The fork page... (4, Informative)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254224)

For anyone interested, the fork is called "Funpidgin" and can be found here [sourceforge.net] .

The summary makes light of it, but the Funpidgin page explains that their intention is to respond more directly to the requests of the user community. In addition to the feature mentioned in the summary, Funpidgin has implemented some others [sourceforge.net] , and will presumably continue adding user-requested features (while still integrating upgrades from the pidgin codebase, presumably).

Forks are both good and bad; this one is no exception. On the one hand it "wastes effort" and can duplicate work. On the other hand, it can give the user community (which isn't homogeneous) the product(s) they want. It can encourage useful competition. Often the end result will be better than if no fork had occurred. Another example is the Compiz/Beryl fork, which created some duplication for awhile, but ultimately turned out for the best since the merged Compiz Fusion includes the best features from both (a stable core and all the whiz-bang features users wanted, in the form of plugins).

If both the Pidgin and Funpidgin developers work to provide something that their respective users find worthwhile, then what's the problem?

Considering my general hatred of the Pidgin UI (4, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254226)

Considering my general hatred of the Pidgin UI, no, I don't find this ridiculous.

Let's start with Pidgin's UI Sucks [xenoveritas.org] , which details some of the weird UI decisions made back around version 2.1. Fortunately they've fixed almost all the issues listed in that post.

More Pidgin Bashing [xenoveritas.org] is just a bug, so let's skip ahead to Pidgin's Crappy Formatting Icons [xenoveritas.org] which they have not fixed.

If I ever had the time to, I'd like to write a new UI for libpurple, Pidgin's backend. I have some ideas - but not enough time to actually learn how to use libpurple.

Maybe I can help with this fork, called... uh. Hm. The summary doesn't appear to mention it.

Ah, here we go: funpidgin [sourceforge.net] .

Where is the Fork? (1)

ink (4325) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254236)

Pidgin's trac system is /.'d; does anyone know where the fork is? Can you actually download, compile and run it? Are they going to split codebases, or simply re-package pidgin with each release?

Always been like this. (1)

n0dna (939092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254240)

The pidgin devs have always been like this.

They change something that no one wanted changed, the users ask for an option to switch it back or choose between them, and the users are told to go write a plugin if it means that much to them.

Same thing with video support. Adium is built on pidgin/gaim (not sure which, don't have a mac) and it supports video. The video APIs are all well documented and the pidgin devs respond with "Well, we don't want video and besides it's too hard. That means you don't really want video either so stop asking."

It would seem to me that they are exercising their right to drive off their users. If this does turn out to really fork, I'll be happy to stop bothering the pidgin guys by using their app.

Pidgin (0)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254262)

Fork goin do plenny good kine stuff fo Pidgin.

can't blame them (4, Informative)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254268)

Ya know, I can't blame the community for this fork. The gaim/pidgin developers have had a bad history of 'God complex'. Hell, just recently they refused to make any changes to the way Pidgin handles SASL authentication to XMPP servers due to a change in the 2.4 codebase that completely breaks SSL encryption to the OpenFire XMPP server, whereas the 2.3 codebase AND every other XMPP client seems to not have any issues. Their response was something along the lines of "yeah, well we're doing it right..every other client is doing it wrong". I find that hard to believe. This ultimately leaves me with 2 options: either don't upgrade past version 2.3 of Pidgin, or use another client. And yes, not being able to resize the input text box drives me absolutely crazy. I look forward to a forked version addressing this and the XMPP SASL authentication issues.

Re:can't blame them (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254302)

Oops, before anyone can correct me:

Hell, just recently they refused to make any changes to the way Pidgin handles SASL authentication to XMPP servers due to a change in the 2.4 codebase that completely breaks SSL encryption to the OpenFire XMPP server...
That should be "due to a change in the 2.4 codebase that completely breaks SSL authentication"

Yes, its ridiculous (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254294)

Yes its ridiculous, but not all together atypical.

If there was money involved, it would never have happened. (Paying customers have a way of getting what they want, but people who develop for the karma occasionally take a "my way or no way" approach.) [/me, expecting flames].

But the beauty of Open Source is the self correcting nature of the development community. People can take it and do what they want with it. This would never happen in a closed source product.

I saw the title... (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254306)

...and mistook it for a new card combo from Magic: The Gathering.

I think I need to get outside more.

Funny.... (1)

anlprb (130123) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254312)

I thought the new version of Pigin I installed had a bug in it because the text input box was so small and I couldn't resize it. I never noticed I don't write more than a line of text in any IM message. Wow, I thought the software was broken, guess it's my IM conversations. It took a fork of the program for me to realize it was a feature.

yeah, so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254328)

So people will pick one UI over the other.
Then the code bases will drift.
Then there will be a new protocol to implement.
Then one will die out.

Sticking with Pidgin (1)

Nick Barnes (11927) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254340)

uncompromising unwillingness of the developers to provide an option
Good. Providing too many options, especially UI options, is a stupid mistake made by many open-source projects. You end up with software which is impossible to test and which often looks terrible.
fork
Crazy. But, hey, it's their time. Let the users decide; I'm sticking with Pidgin.

Typing preview (1)

Misch (158807) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254360)

They also messed around with the "typing" notification, moving it from the tab/window pane to inside the IM text.

It gets really annoying when you're trying to read a message that was just sent to you, and suddenly the text is shifted up a line because the person on the other end just started typing.

I joined in on a bug report regarding the notification, asking for a configuration option to be created so that the previous style could be used.

No response from the authors yet.

Bikeshed Color (1)

MrDelSarto (95771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254380)

Just the usual "colour of the bikeshed [wikipedia.org] " problem which hits every collaborative project ever built.

Call a waambulance (1)

UberHoser (868520) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254394)

1) It is open source.
2) If you don't like it, hack the code and release the version you like.

This why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23254400)

...I use Adium.

Why just last night... (1)

quonsar (61695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23254402)

...I was saying to myself "Pidgin is forked!" when, after attempting to log off of Ubuntu, it went into a perpetual loop consuming 100% of my CPU, inciting my cooling fans to a screaming level of agony and blithely ignoring repeated requests to 'kill -TERM pidgin'.
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