[JDEV] Jabber Client Design Tutorial
jens at mac.com
Tue Sep 25 12:34:17 CDT 2001
On Tuesday, September 25, 2001, at 02:51 AM, Michael Brown wrote:
> The main problem was that I needed a three-phase icon (for when you get
> an event from someone in a collapsed group), and couldn't think of
> anything beyond the + and -. Also, to replicate the +/- style usually
> means showing the tree branches, which takes up horizontal room,
> resulting in wasted pixels.
You can indicate activity within a collapsed group by blinking the group
title or something like that. And I think that using the platform's GUI
is generally more important than wasting a few pixels. (Trees without
sufficient indentation are actually really hard to follow, I think.)
> But is it useful to display the current resource on the client? Or is
> it ok to just have it in the settings?
It is very useful to display in the client! For example, it lets you
tell at a glance whether one of your co-workers is in her office or is
telecommuting from home.
> I think each user should be displayed only once...and events should go
> to the resource with the highest priority by default, but it should be
> possible to send to resources with lower priority. But does this
> include offline resources?
This depends on two things that I'm frankly not sure of:
* What happens if you send an IM to a specific resource which is
offline? Does it bounce, does it go to the highest-priority online
resource, or is it queued until that resource logs on? If the latter,
then there might be a use in IM'ing an offline resource.
* What is the presence of a gatewayed resource like a pager or
cellphone? Obviously Jabber doesn't know when you turn your phone on or
off, so the presence can't update accordingly. Does the presence always
get shown as available or unavailable? If the latter, there is
definitely a need to be able to message such an offline resource.
> Sucks why? "They all suck" is a little vague.
Suffice it to say that my primary gripes are that they don't show rich
enough status info, and that the chat view is really impoverished (it's
basically just a plain-text telnet window, maybe with some boldface or
colored text if you're lucky.) And none of them really seem to make good
use of avatars (apart from the really experimental ones like The
Palace.) I think avatars / buddy pictures are very important -- out in
the real world a huge fraction of people think best visually rather than
Yeah, there are slight differences between AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, etc.,
but really they're all pretty close to being carbon copies of each
other. For the most part developers are just cribbing from existing
clients rather than Thinking Differently.
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