Sunday, November 07, 2004

Thoughts about Gaim

After my first rough years on Linux, meaning, when I discovered I could live under GUI, I migrated from console based ICQ client (centericq) to the GNOME oriented Gaim.

Gaim has always delivered what I wanted: functional and practical IM. I was quite happy with it.

However, with the time passing, my immersion on some fields like Human-Machine Interface and the discovery other options apart from the Windows/Linux desktop concepts I started to get an itch.

Why do I always have to go to the system tray, click on the little gaim icon, move the mouse to where the buddy-list window opened and click on a friend every time I quickly and briefly dismissed a conversation using ESC key to do something else (like working :).

After I started using Tomboy as my notetaking app, I became a pushy user in respect to UI design. It has one of the fastest interface around, meaning, with a couple of keyboard interaction, I can open a note, link it to another and dismiss it. It is like I haven't even noticed it existed.

Gaim should be like that. Maybe there should be a keyboard shortcut to list give me a list (searchable without any other mouse/keyboard control keys - like the ones in the open file window) of all my online contacts and when I hit Enter on one of them, a conversation window is opened.

I think the buddy-list window should be gone. Maybe there should be some kind of minimalistic windows for configuration and searching offline buddies, but that's it.

I saw the other day on Galago's page an applet that seamed to have some of what I am saying.

IM, note taking, email and PIM apps should be ubiquous on the desktop. You should use it without even seeing them :). Which brings me to a question: why isn't Gaim and Tomboy (besides the obvious programming language issue) part of GNOME Project?


Anonymous said...

I sort of feel like the buddy list is necessary. I don't know about you, but I need some way to see who is online. I don't really care about who's offline most of the time (unless I need their email address or something), but I definitely need to see who's on or away or whatever.

What could be cool is if the buddy list in gaim functioned the same way the clock applet shows the evolution calendar. You could click on the gaim icon in the system tray, and then a drop down menu with your online buddies would be shown. It could even have a little search box at the bottom so you could narrow down the list (like how rhythmbox functions, for example). (too lazy to register)

10:19 PM  
Anonymous said...


7:44 PM  

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