Pidgin which was previously called gaim is one of the leading chat clients for Linux users. It runs swell and without a hitch and its even cooler when used with AWN. The only thing I wished it had was more customization. To me it seems Linux is all about customization, you can make your Linux Desktop look like anything now a days. One of my only complaints about pidgin is it looks, it looks so old. The Screen shot to the right is an example of how pidgin will usually look. The only things you can change look wise are the window boarders if you got emerald working or some of the icons. But for the most part changing the look of pidgin is extremely limited.
Now if you were to look at my desktop with everything minimized you would be like "WOW" everything looks so slick, clean, and modern. It looks especially spiffy with Compiz Fusion. So when I have friends over who have never seen Linux before and they are playing around with it they are all like going nuts with how cool it is, but then they open or un-minimize pidgin and everything comes crashing down. Pidgin compared to the rest of my desktop looks out of date and doesn't fit in well at all, with this new age in compositing. We need themes and compositing to be integrated with pidgin. Pidgin needs a major face lift!
So what can we look at for suggestions and ideas? I think the mock ups of Trillion Astra look fabulous! Trillion realized there previous version of Trillion did not fit in with the new look of Vista. So what did they do they updated there look, to fit in with the New Desktop. The new Trillion is beautiful. All us Linux users all know that Windows Vistas new spiffy look doesn't even come close to anything that Linux can accomplish with snazzy looks, but we too need to update some of our desktop applications to fit in with the new look. Now yes in this post I am ranting on pidgin's design but lets face it there are other programs that also just don't fit in with the new composite desktop, I just am picking on pidgin because its one of those most used applications and should be the first to get a face lift.
Linux is slowly starting to get the complete Face lift to fit in with the new composite Desktop, and I think the leader of this is Neil the creator of, AWN and Affinity. Neil has two great applications and his work has started to inspire others, like the creator of Closure. I think the pidgin developers should take a look at affinity, because it the most of all these composite programs just stated shows how cool looks and composite can be integrated into a desktop application. I think either a new chat client needs to be designed to fit in with the new looks of a composite desktop or the pidgin developers have to realize they need to change with the times!
Update: July 4th
After seeing my article, (I thought only a few would actually read) it got noticed on Digg and the comments left in the comments section mostly bashed at me. So I decided to write back and try and set things straight. My article makes it seems like I want a totally new new design for Pidgin....well I do kind of. I want pidgin to be theamable along with the chat boxes, like in adium and kopete. Linux to me is all about choice and almost most things on Linux are theamable so why stop with the most popular chat client? Some also took my article offensively and thought I was saying Pidgin sucked. Well Pidgin rocks, it is chat client I use most on my computer and I have no complaints about its functionality. This article was juts a way of stating my own opinion on the way it looks, and maybe if it got a way to be theamable then the developers wouldn't have to care what it looked liked, they coudl leave the default look, and everyone coudl make there own themes that we could download from gnome-look. Again sorry for those that took offense to my article, but its just my opinion relax.
Updated again here
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
My few complaints about Pidgin