about IM status icons
nicolo.chieffo at gmail.com
Mon Jun 8 12:37:19 PDT 2009
Hello everyone, I would like to start a discussion about the status
icons for chat programs
Currently the icon naming spec includes those:
- user-away The icon used when a user on a chat network is away from
their keyboard and the chat program.
- user-idle The icon used when a user on a chat network has not been
an active participant in any chats on the network, for an extended
period of time.
- user-offline The icon used when a user on a chat network is not available.
- user-online The icon used when a user on a chat network is available
to initiate a conversation with.
Now I'm not discussing about the meaning of names, because the real
useful thing is to discuss about what is the impact of these icons to
the end user.
so I'm taking the point of view of a person who wants to start a chat
with a friend, and has to decide what to do:
- user-away: I can leave him a message, he will read it when he's back
- user-idle: I can leave him a message, he will read it when
he's back (the same of away, are you really sure we can't merge them?)
- user-offline: I won't leave him a message (unless offline
messages are supported by protocol)
- user-online: I can freely chat with him
In my opinion a status is currently missing: d-n-d. If the don't
disturb status will be added, I will be able to decide if I need to
talk to him immediately because the message I want to send him is very
important, or if I can wait to contact him when he is no more busy.
Currently there's no way to know if I'm disturbing a firend when I
start a conversation.
Another useful icon for new protocols is user-invisible. this icon is
not useful for buddies but only for myself: I need to distinguish if
I'm offline or invisible with an icon (think of the user switch applet
with IM presence support)
In the end I'd like to rename user-online to user-available, because
also other status are online, not only that one.
More information about the xdg