Today, getting increasingly tired of the incoherent User Interface in Gaim 2.0 release candidates, I fetched the recently uploaded release 2.0.1 of Pidgin (same software, different name; the result of a trademark dispute) from Debian/unstable and built it against Stable dependencies.
First impressions: excellent harmonization of the behavior between supported protocols, thanks to a new user status handling that is common to all protocols, coupled with unified a icon theme. Overall, this feels much more consistent in everyday use and it serves to blur the distinction between protocols to maintain the focus on the conversation taking place.
However, two major annoyances:
- The old behavior of stealing focus, every time a tab pops open, is still there. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGH!
- Extremely tiny fonts in the conversation window and trying to make them inherit the default system font size via Pidgin's built-in GTK plug-in simply fails.
Conclusion: libpurple may be technically amazing, but Pidgin really is in desperate need of a complete UI overhaul.