[JDEV] Managing the Desktop with Jabber

Tijl Houtbeckers thoutbeckers at druppel.nl
Thu Feb 21 17:27:22 CST 2002

---------- Original Message ----------

>So, here's a left-field question (with apolgies to our non-US friends that 
>don't get the baseball analogy):
>How do you manage your desktop with a Jabber client?  I mean you're 
>cruising along, editing files, checking email, surfing sites - and then 
>you start to engage in a half-dozen Jabber conversations.  The problem is 
>you've got two classes of activities going on at the same time.  The 
>first class is primarily pro-active.  You make the decision what to edit, 
>what to read, what to surf when.  The whole tiled windows desktop 
>environment works pretty well here.  I now have my editor on top.  Soon, 
>I'll put my email on top to send this.  Everything is well and good.  I am 
>at peace.

>The second class of activities is re-active.  I am in the middle of 
>editing something hoping that Diz will get back to me soon so i can finish 
>my conversation with him.  In this context, I can't be pro-active with 
>this activity.  I'm waiting on an event - an IM from diz.  I could set the 
>Jabber client to come to the top when message received - but that pretty 
>rapidly drives me insane.  I don't want this to happen when I get a 
>message from just any old person, like Jer.  :)  And there's no way I'm 
>going to dynamically specify when I want to be so interrupted from a 
>particular person (I may not want to talk to diz immediately all the 
>time).  So, I've taken to just carving out a few lines on the top quarter 
>of my screen with my Jabber client (Jarl on Linux).  This way I can glance 
>up expectantly waiting for a conversation to go "red" indicating that I 
>have a message from anyone).  I lose some of real estate this way but it's 
>mostly OK - except I have to resize the window to chat and size it back.

>I'm interested in how others do this.  Of course, it's going to be client 
>dependent.  I'd love to know how others have envisioned solutions to this 
>problem too.  Transparent pop-up windows would be pretty sweet.  Iconified 
>individual conversations maybe too.  Just curious.  

One feature I really miss in all other messengers is the ICQ style "floats", you drag a 
contact from your contactlist onto the desktop and it's released into it's own little 
"box" (and it's always on top). It behaves like a normal contact in your ICQ contact list 
would do. Overal ICQ still has the best interface IMHO for selecting how and about 
what you want to be notified.

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