30 Sep 2003 Stevey   » (Master)

Instant Messaging

 I have a love hate relationship with instant messaging programs such as kopete, kmerlin, gabber, psi, et al.

 Right now I'm solidly stuck in the *hate* phase of the cycle.

 The main problem I have is the user interface of these programs.

 Almost universally all instant messaging programs present your contacts as a tree structure - perhaps with the ability to create groups and move different contacts into different groups.

 My irriration is that this isn't the UI I want. Most strongly this comes from MSN Messenger, and the programs which implment that protocol.

 Using MSN Messenger people are allowed to choose their own Nick when they login - this nick is displayed upon all the peoples contact list who have that user listed.

 I don't want to see the nick they chose themself - I want to *assign* a nick for them.

 I also want to assign data to each contact such as "Location", "Interests", "Phone nubmer", "Cuteness ;)".

 With that in mind I'd prefer to see a "grid" control for displaying contacts - with different headers that could be chosen to include/exclude different pieces of information.

 (This doesn't preculde a tree structure additionally).

 The other thing that I'd like to see is the ability to add a contact into *multiple* groups - something that the standard tree structure of these systems doesn't seem to allow.

 It's entirely possible I'll want to file somebody under both "work" and "friends" groups for example - or "lover" and "friend", or "Friend" and "Local".

 None of the systems are flexible enough to allow this - I downloaded the source to KMerlin to see how easy it would be to hack, and decided "not very".

 I might look at one of the bazillion MSN programs on Freshmeat and see if I can find a project in it's infancy I can contribute towards...

Debian Security

 I got two new DSA's published as a result of debian security auditting.

 This time I even built the fixed packages instead of just contributing a context diff for the fix.

 It feels very rewarding to make such a contribution.

 Massive thanks to the security team who do such a good job.


 I've just done some work setting up a bandwidth limitted server for a friend - along with FTP, Apache, etc.

 A fun few hours work and for bonus points I got paid too! (OK I will get paid). <hr />

 Still looking for a new job......... in Edinburgh. Using Linux/Solaris/etc.

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