about IM status icons

William Jon McCann william.jon.mccann at gmail.com
Tue Jun 9 08:56:26 PDT 2009


On Mon, Jun 8, 2009 at 3:37 PM, Nicolò Chieffo <nicolo.chieffo at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

In GNOME I think we're going to use the following:
user-offline      - Used to indicate I'm not connected to the network/chat
user-available  - I can and wish to chat
user-idle          - automatically set by the system
user-away       - manually set by the user
user-invisible   - I don't want to be seen
user-busy        - I'm doing stuff so you better have a good reason
and I may not see it right away

But seems that at the moment we're likely going to consider online and
available as the same.

In gnome-icon-theme development branch they look like:
Thanks to Lapo Calamandrei for these.

We want to use these in a UI that may look something like:

So, I think I'm agreeing with you. :)


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