Re: 3.12 feature: polari

On Fri, 2013-10-11 at 11:18 +0100, Allan Day wrote:

The usage patterns for IRC are different from regular IM (passive
presence in many "always on" channels vs. active participation in a
smaller number of temporally specific conversations). You can't
support both with the same UI (I know, I've tried to design such a

I'm not so sure they're really different.

I have a passive presence on my corporate IM system, always indicating
my availability (available/busy/away/etc.). And it's very likely to be
'always on' these days, since I can also receive voice calls from the
PSTN when I'm connected to it.

And there are obviously the small number of temporally specific
conversations that you mention.

But all that *also* describes my IRC usage. Yeah, it's always on, and it
can indicate my availability, and I'll have a number of short-lived

To me, there isn't a clear distinction between one and the other.
There's a broad *spectrum* of communication, and even 'group chat' can
end up including "meetings", with audio conferencing, desktop sharing
and all the other stuff that can bring. But then, so can 1:1 messaging.

I worry about trying to draw clear lines between types of usage and
design *different* clients for each. Because there's a lot that might
then "fall through the cracks".

OK, so it isn't necessarily that easy to do one tool to solve all use
cases either — but at least if we take that approach there is no need
for the user to learn how we've drawn our arbitrary¹ distinctions
between use cases and which tool to use for which. And we'll *have* to
bear in mind the fact that there is a *spectrum* of usage which we have
to encompass, rather than each separate tool focusing on only a tiny
part of it.


¹ to the user. Probably.

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