Re: GNOME 3.2 ideas and plans

On 22/03/11 14:38, Guillaume Desmottes wrote:
Le mardi 22 mars 2011 à 10:02 -0400, Matthias Clasen a écrit :
- Sadly, empathy is not a great chat application; with chat being such
a prominent feature in 3.0, we really should be doing much better

I'm sorry to hear that.

Could you please be a bit more specific and explain what are currently
the biggest issues?

For me (and these are regressions since Gossip, possibly related to cross protocol compatibility in places?):

- Can't name favourite chatrooms so they have a hideous title in tabs
- Chat windows expand horizontally when typing a lot of text.
- My nick constantly resets to my Jabber ID (previously the part before '@' was at least used as a fallback). - Showing messages to me in the actual group chat window would be nice, currently we just highlight the tab if we get a message directly, but for historical purposes, I miss not seeing it when I scroll back up. - Showing the date on every message in group chat is irritating especially when copy/pasting. Once per "block" or per 5 minutes would make more sense. It would also reduce the UI noise.

Other than that, UI wise, my eye notices things like:

- Protocols dialog needs some love and is not aligned or spaced our nicely in some cases. - Contacts menu item in a group chat window has no menu items?! It should be removed/hidden in that case. - Tabs menu in group chats should be removed entirely. You can do all these things with keyboard shortcuts and even with those I don't ever do it. IMO it's just UI clutter (IIRC we removed this in Gossip). - The rooms menu list (favourites) would be much nicer if they were grouped according to protocol. Listing IRC/Jabber groups together would look much nicer. - Why can I expand the "Rooms List" in the join group chat for FaceBook accounts if there are no rooms? This should be insensitive really.
- File Transfers dialog has no "Close" button, like every other dialog.
- The information dialog looks really unaligned regarding the widgets packed in there. I know this dialog is quite hard to get right, we constantly refactored this in Gossip due to the dynamic nature of the data that can be shown there. There is also a frame round the details at the top for some reason which I don't think the HIG suggests. - Why do we show the contact's presence information in the "Edit Contact Information", it doesn't seem useful to put that there. The protocol icon is though, nice touch ;) - The "Edit Contact Information" used to have a "Fetch" so you could get the default from the v-card (in cases where you have a local alternative). I actually missed that recently when I wanted it. Perhaps I am being a bit eccentric though :) - In group chats, I see other people's avatars, but not my own for my messages?

Features I would like to see (and wanted in Gossip actually):

- Highlighting when words are mentioned (like xchat does), not just my nick in a room. - I quite like the horizontal line which xchat uses so you know how far in the back log you need to read to be up to date. - Remembering the last protocol I joined a room with in the "Rooms List" dialog would be good too, I only do it from 1 or 2 of them (Jabber/IRC) anyway. - Previous conversations view should really select the protocol which you last sent a message to/received one from. I always have to select a protocol which isn't ever used because it is the last in the list it seems? This widget seems the same all over the app and I have the same issue everywhere it is used (i.e. wrong protocol).
- Time the person has been away would be really nice.

For example, are your referring Empathy itself or the Telepathy/Empathy
integration in gnome-shell?
The latter could definitely gain from lots of improvements. I started
working it but unfortunately didn't have as much time as I would have
hoped for. Anyway continuing this work and ensuring a nice and smooth
Telepathy integration into the Shell is one of my priority for the next

Empathy, as an app, of course have its own flaws as well. Some feedback
would help us to identify the most critical ones.

Don't take this as a personal thing (given the history with Gossip), I know how hard it is to integrate n protocols into 1 workable UI. Just thought I would share the things which, to me, could be improved upon from my daily experience.

Thanks Guillaume,


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