Chad Perrin: SOB

7 March 2008

No, stupid, that’s not the problem.

Filed under: Geek,inanity — apotheon @ 06:39

#4986 (automatic chat input field resizing should be optional, regression from 2.3) – Pidgin – Trac

If you take the time to read some of that, I’m sure you’ll see some surprising things. Here’s one that threw me off:

IM is about sending relatively short messages quickly, Pidgin isn’t a text editor, if you want to edit code use gedit or something. I see no reason why to have more than 3 lines, there’s e-mail for that. I think the devs share the same opinion, and I don’t think this is going to change.

So . . . apparently, there’s a “correct” way to use IMs now, and there are “approved” content types. Is that it?

That was from “hbon”, probably not a developer — just a random prick.

So, would fixing the bug that results in zero-sized input areas for some people plus increasing the maximum from 4 to something greater, perhaps a function of the window height, satisfy this ticket?

No, I don’t think it would. If it satisfies the original ticket submitter, it will certainly not satisfy everyone. The problem here is that people don’t want the developers deciding what size their input fields should be, and when they should change — automatically and unexpectedly for that matter. Some people may like the auto-resize, but many obviously don’t.

If you want to satisfy the needs of both sets of users, just offer a way to toggle that functionality as desired! Is it really that difficult to wrap your brain around such a simple concept?

That’s from “seanegan”.

Again, this sounds like the complaint is about the 4-line maximum. With that removed, there shouldn’t be any difference between you resizing the input area to fit, or Pidign doing so? Rather, if you happen to go one line more than you expected, Pidgin will take care of it, and once your message is sent, you’ll have the maximum amount of room to read your incoming messages. Why should you micro-manage the input area to account for the length of every message you send, when Pidgin can do it much better, for you?

Thanks, “seanegan”, but no. Some of us don’t like to micromanage — we just like to have a particular size for the input field, period.

If you disagree that Pidgin knows exactly how much space you need (which you seemingly do), you must think that for some reason it requires empty, blank lines of whitespace. Why?

Nice attitude, “seanegan”. Apparently this guy is so convinced of the rightness of his approach that he thinks the users are necessarily stupider than the software if they don’t like the way the feature works.

I have an idea for how to explain it:

Some people find it easier to parse what they’re typing if it’s not cramped in an input field that changes shape/size all the damned time.

Why do you arbitrarily resize the input area? Are there times you need to do that specifically? Or do you just like to do it because you can?

Well, thank goodness — another jackass has shown up to explain the users are stupid. No, “deryni”, you don’t have to know why. You removed a popular feature everyone assumed would continue to be a part of the app, and now they’re rioting because rather than provide an option to switch back to the old behavior you’re all digging in your heels and acting like any user that can’t understand your One True Way are heathens or morons. Go to hell.

We are trying to figure out if there is a way for the current mechanism to be usable by everyone, because that would be a better answer than simply adding a preference.

Obviously, “deryni” doesn’t get it. It’s “better” because it’s what he prefers. That’s nice.

It all continues in that vein some more. Check it out yourself if you’re really curious. I just figured I’d make sure everybody knew what they were in for if they ever submitted a bug request for Pidgin. Maybe it’s time to fork the project so we can get some developers on it that aren’t so obviously arrogant nitwits.

I’ve heard rumors the Pidgin developers were condescending assholes. Now I know — they’re not just rumors.

edit:

I’ve been known to say that contributions to open source software projects should serve as a stronger qualification and resume bullet point than a bachelor’s degree. There are exceptions, though. When a developer indicates he’s such an overstuffed, arrogant, condescending asshole as these guys seem intent on doing, you might consider hiring someone else just to avoid having that piss-poor attitude mucking up your development team. Seriously.

Employers — seek elsewhere. They treat their “customers” like red-headed step children.

11 Comments

  1. What I don’t like about this version is that, the same as with the previous ones, it lacks themes, and the user interface is quite simplistic, not to say too standardized to a much too common model. I would also like to mention here the lack of support for webcam or voice messaging.

    Comment by Motivator — 7 March 2008 @ 09:59

  2. Welcome to SOB, and thanks for commenting. While I thus far don’t have much use for the webcam or voice messaging, I have to agree with you on the substandard state of the other features (or lack thereof) you mention.

    Frankly, if it wasn’t for the combination of OTR support and IM protocol support, I would probably be using something else (like CenterIM). I generally prefer applications that stay small and get out of my way.

    Comment by apotheon — 7 March 2008 @ 11:23

  3. hbons says:

    I’m not saying I don’t care about this “problem”. Only, Pidgin wasn’t designed to be a text editor. If you’re complaining about you can’t code in Pidgin, I would tell you to to use something else, and so would anyone else.

    In my admittedly short stint in doing testing for startups, I’ve noticed that all the programmers were pretty much using IM as their main means of communication, including sending each other large blocks of code. Seems a very short sighted assumption to assume there’s no good reason to have over four lines of input space.

    I intensely dislike this attitude where people expect you to justify your preferences. There’s always some argumentative idiot willing to go to lengths to argue why you shouldn’t be doing things the way you like to do them.

    Seanegan says:

    Some people are white-space fetishists :)

    World class git.

    Incidentally some time ago you asked me to let you know if I ever created some sort of web space. I started on it today, it’s linked in my… thing. Any similarity to another one of your sites is purely coincidental and has nothing to do with the fact I like dark backgrounds.

    Comment by Mina — 8 March 2008 @ 12:06

  4. My biggest peeve with the first selection you quoted is something I didn’t even mention when I first posted the above ranty complaint about the Pidgin developers. In short, the guy basically says “I’m not saying I don’t care about this ‘problem’. I just don’t give a shit.”

    Seems a very short sighted assumption to assume there’s no good reason to have over four lines of input space.

    That kind of attitude makes me think these people probably don’t use complete sentences — or maybe they send one sentence at a time, inundating people with many short messages in a very short period of time (which I tend to find mildly annoying), rather than completing a thought in a single message.

    Incidentally some time ago you asked me to let you know if I ever created some sort of web space.

    Thanks!

    Any similarity to another one of your sites is purely coincidental and has nothing to do with the fact I like dark backgrounds.

    Yes, I can see that. Ahem. It’s readable and clear so far, by the way, which I take as a good thing.

    Tune in next week for bright, seizure-inducing flash animations.

    Please, fertheluvvagawd, no.

    Bear with me as I learn html and hopefully some PhP in the near future.

    Let me know if you want any help with that. Also, y’know, CSS. You might want to check out this PHP tutorial thingie, as well.

    Is FoA your site, or are you just borrowing subdomain space there?

    congratulations on achieving an internet connection in the wild untamed jungles of Berlin, or Zaire, or whatever you call your patch of trees

    That’s just hilarious.

    Welcome to the ranks of those with their own valves in the series of tubes.

    Comment by apotheon — 8 March 2008 @ 03:57

  5. It’s a site I maintain and host for a World of Warcraft guild that plays on a private server (I used to be in it, but I don’t play anymore). For the most part I don’t decide what goes up there, and the design of the site has been cobbled together from various people throwing images at me and saying “implement it here”. I just write the code, being inept at any sort of aesthetic judgment myself. Someone with a more artistic bent is redesiging how the site should look, so it’s going to get a major face lift soon. I took the project since I’ve tried and failed several times to teach myself html, mostly because I’m the sort that loses interest if I’m not working on something that’s actually going to be used. It’s done well enough in focusing my energy, and as the guild grows it’s needs expand, so there’s always something else that I need to learn to implement. Right now it’s PhP since the guild master is asking for some automated system to keep track of the point system the guild uses, and I’m hoping to put up an area where you can sign up for raids on the site.

    Eventually I’m hoping to use the space as a gaming network or some such. My brother and myself and are both rather active gamers, so we’re probably going to establish guilds on various games, and it’ll be good to have a space to coordinate.

    Let me know if you want any help with that. Also, y’know, CSS. You might want to check out this PHP tutorial thingie, as well.

    Thanks for the tutorial, but I’m a little confused since it seems the top four links don’t do anything. I’ve downloaded the text file and I’ll look through it an a day or two. I could probably use the help but I doubt I’ll ever work up the nerve to actually pester anyone with questions.

    or maybe they send one sentence at a time, inundating people with many short messages in a very short period of time (which I tend to find mildly annoying), rather than completing a thought in a single message.

    That does seem to be the default method of instant messaging in my experience. It used to annoy me in times past, but I don’t notice it anymore.

    And I’m so used to hitting ctrl-s to save my work whenever I’m typing anything that I just accidentally saved this webpage.

    Yes, I can see that. Ahem. It’s readable and clear so far, by the way, which I take as a good thing.

    Eheh. I didn’t really mean to copy it so blatantly; I’d actually spent a week or two looking at various sites with black backgrounds (I find them much easier on the eyes) to see how it could be done, and yours sort of won out since it had the simple look I was after (my biggest complaint about most sites is that they’re overly cluttered).

    Thanks!

    I’m not sure what you’re thanking me for, but I appreciate the interest. I think you’re the only person I’ve known who’s thanked me for taking up some of their time.

    Comment by Mina — 8 March 2008 @ 07:29

  6. Thanks for the tutorial, but I’m a little confused since it seems the top four links don’t do anything.

    Whoops. I didn’t notice that problem until now. I’ll see about fixing that. It must have happened when I moved the apotheon.org domain from one webhost to another.

    I didn’t really mean to copy it so blatantly

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say. Feel free to draw inspiration from it.

    I’m not sure what you’re thanking me for, but I appreciate the interest. I think you’re the only person I’ve known who’s thanked me for taking up some of their time.

    Well . . . I did ask for the information. I appreciate the fact you actually gave me that information.

    Comment by apotheon — 8 March 2008 @ 09:40

  7. Apparently, the newer version of PHP on the newer webhost requires different syntax to grab variables out of the URL than the older version of PHP on the older webhost did, and I had no idea that had been changed. Ouch. I’ll be adding a note to the tutorial in the section about what I dislike about PHP now.

    It’s fixed now. Sorry about the difficulty. Hopefully everything in the PHP tutorial works now.

    Comment by apotheon — 8 March 2008 @ 11:09

  8. Ahh, good deal. I’ll look through it sometime soon :)

    Comment by Mina — 9 March 2008 @ 01:45

  9. […] Chad Perrin: SOB ยป No, stupid, that’s not the problem. The customer is always wrong (tags: pidgin opensource im service) […]

    Pingback by links for 2008-03-11 -- Chip’s Quips — 11 March 2008 @ 01:26

  10. It has taken me a few days to read everything from this mini-meltdown.

    I don’t resize windows (of any program) merely because I can, I resize them so that I can give them a specific amount of screen real estate, usually between (or behind, with specific portions exposed) other windows and then I expect them to stay that way.

    I hate web pages that resize my browser and/or are formatted to a fixed width spawning a bottom scroll bar. I certainly don’t want an IM client that thinks it knows what size my window or input area should be.

    The protocol icon mini-meltdown should never have happened either. I have one associate connected via two different protocols running from different machines. If both go down it means my ISP has probably coughed up a lung (again). If one goes down but not the other it means the file server has died.

    Comment by Omnedon — 25 April 2008 @ 03:23

  11. It should be pretty obvious by now that I agree with all you’ve said here, Omnedon. I was recently thinking about the fact that I use specific knowledge of which protocols are currently showing up in my contact list as a general indicator of network health — and here you’ve made that point for me.

    Comment by apotheon — 25 April 2008 @ 09:10

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