Adium

Some Fun Features in 1.2

Hey folks. A recent discussion on the development list about blogging has sparked me to write about some of the new things in 1.2 that I’ve been working on. You can partly blame Colin for this. Enjoy!

Status Item

One of the fun features of Adium is the status menu item, often referred to as the “Evil Menu Duck” (or EMD). It’s the little duck that sits in your menu bar and tells you all kind of information about your status. Coming in 1.2 is a bunch of additions and changes to the little guy.

 

The most obvious change is the inclusion of a Contacts list, which lets you quickly message contacts without having to go to the contact list itself. It shows the contact’s status and user icon next to their name.

You can also hold option while clicking on the status item (as shown in the second image) to just get the contacts menu on its own. Very quick, very easy access to your contact list.

As you can see, there have also been several other changes to it. The menu bar now tells you how many unread messages you have (in this case, I have 1, from myself). Open chats also have the user’s icon instead of their status icon, and tab-order is respected in their list.

Account-specific status has been moved to a sub-menu if you have more than 1 account. From the accounts submenu, you can quickly open the accounts list (you’ll see why you’ll want to in a bit).

In cleaning it up, I’ve also removed a few of the items that used to be there. “Bring Adium to Front”, “Show/Hide Contact List” and “Quit Adium” are all gone. I don’t think they were used often enough and were making the menu a lot more cluttered. You can open the contact list quickly by clicking “Contact List…” in the Contacts menu.

Menu Bar Icon Xtras can now specify whether or not the “unread content” icon flashes on and off. This makes catching your attention a lot easier when you get a new message. We’ll be including a more flashy (and colorful) version of the Adiumy menu bar xtra to complement the current one with the release of 1.2.

Accounts List and Reconnecting

The other major project I’ve been working on is making account connection status a lot easier and more obvious. Accounts will no longer give up trying to connect to the server, but will instead attempt to (at an exponential decay) connect indefinitely. Of course, things like invalid passwords, signing on at another location and rate limiting will stop the reconnect attempts.

 

Most accounts have steps for logging in, such as “Connecting”, “Authenticating”, “Sending Password”, etc. Previously we’d drop the information; now it’s displayed inline in the accounts list. Error messages are also shown in the same location. When the network isn’t available, the account will be labeled as “Network Offline”.

You can right-click on any of the accounts to quickly change their options or set their individual status from inside the account list. I’ve also added a new command to the File menu that is “Connect All Accounts”. Early in the 1.0 beta, setting an online status would connect all offline accounts. This behavior was reverted, but an easy way to connect offline accounts was never reintroduced.

In my testing, I’ve had no situations where an account doesn’t somehow manage to get back online when disconnected.

 

Of course these aren’t the only changes that can be found in 1.2. Lots of work has been put into it so far, and the finished product is going to be quite nice. Oh and MSN users, get ready for some fun new features (yes, working personal messages is one of them). :-)

43 Responses to “Some Fun Features in 1.2”

  1. Håvard Pedersen Says:

    If you can finally support personal status messages in MSN, I’ll switch back from iChat / Jabber / MSN-gateway. :)

  2. Zac West Says:

    Personal messages are in and working in 1.2.

  3. Alan Says:

    W00t! MSN love!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    awesome work…

    just wanted to chime in the removal of the “Quit Adium” on the status menu item. i use that item quite a lot, i think its quite standard to have the ability to quit from the menu item.

    just my 2 cents. :)

  5. Phil Says:

    Just wondered if the EMD will have the option to stay in the menu bar if Adium is Quit?

    Looking forward to the MSN features, especially the personal messages!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    hi there.
    is it possible to name the other msn features? :) :)

  7. Mario Says:

    Are there features, especially MSN personal messages, available in the SVN? Thanks.

  8. Jose Luis Says:

    Great!
    AdiumX rocks….
    I don’t have nothig to ask him…. it’s the best…

    PS: well, well.. custom emoticons and personal messages in msn would be great

  9. Zac West Says:

    @anonymous#1: Hmm. How often are you using the quit item? I’m trying to understand the often-usage enough to put it into the status item.

    @phil: I haven’t really looked into making the EMD persist post-Adium quit; I don’t really see the need to be honest (at least in terms of effort:reward).

    @anonymous#2: You can check out all of the MSN features that we’ll (eventually) have on http://developer.pidgin.im

    @mario: Yes, it’s in trunk. There’s still issues with the MSN implementation (such as the time it takes to connect an account), but most of these will clear up as 1.2 nears release.

  10. Mike Says:

    Yay! Look forward to a beta :-)

  11. Anonymous Says:

    just checked out the latest svn trunk and compiled it…looks pretty nice so far…maybe I finally can kick the microsoft messenger for mac from my hdd ;)

    huge thanx for the massive improvements :D

  12. Peter Hosey Says:

    I have used the Quit Adium menu item myself, when switching back and forth between two Adiums and wanting to quit the one that’s in the background.

  13. Rui Lopes Says:

    When will v1.2 be avaiable? And what version of libpurple will it be using?

    Will I finally have the MSN/proxy solution fixed and be able to use Adium here at my Faculty? ;)

    Thanks for the great product!

  14. Zac West Says:

    @rui lopes: 1.2 will be out “when it’s ready” :)

    It’s likely going to have libpurple 2.3.0.

  15. Alan Says:

    I compiled SVN last night, and I’m updating to the latest as we speak. It’s nice to finally have MSN status messages! :D

  16. Arreck Says:

    Oh my god! MSN personal messages? I can finally use Adium now! Thank you so much!

  17. Martijn Says:

    wauw nice. is it hard to compile the beta code yourself ? id love to test it out :)

  18. Simon Says:

    Get some webcam support in there :P

  19. Justin Says:

    Zac, will 1.2 “be ready” in time for Leopard’s release next week, or does the current version of Adium support Leopard already?

  20. Zac West Says:

    @justin:

    Adium 1.1.3 will run on Leopard, but without an image chooser for user icons. Subsequent releases will probably re-fix this.

    This isn’t to say there aren’t any Leopard bugs — there might be, but they should be fixed fast.

  21. Pedro Sousa Says:

    It would be great if, in that quick contact list always appear just the online contacts. If i have ticked “show offline contacts” “show offline group” in adium contact list, all my contacts will appear on a supposed quick contact list…

  22. Zac West Says:

    @pedro:

    The quick list is going to follow the same visibility as the main contact list: if you have offline contacts set to be shown, they will also be shown in the menu one.

    If you have Show Offline Group set, it’ll show an offline group in the contact menu. It behaves exactly like the contact list.

  23. Bitcrumb Says:

    Hi, I would also advice against the removal of ‘quit adium’ from the menu. I use the quit all the time and with me a lot of others too I guess.

    I am also not so sure about the grouping of the accounts. By asking the user to perform an additional step to get to those items you are effectively discouraging the user to make use of it.

  24. Zac West Says:

    @bitcrumb:

    Well, why do you quit often? I’m trying to figure out why it’s necessary to be in the menu item. I’m not against readding it, but I don’t see why.

    I am, in fact, discouraging the accounts usage as a first-level item: they are definitely not a common enough thing to merit cluttering up the normal menu with their presence.

    Perhaps for you, changing a particular account’s status is an often event… but a secondary menu to access it isn’t terrible.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    I dont see why people wont use right click on Adium dock icon and Quit it.

    So i am ok with the removal.

  26. Bitcrumb Says:

    Also I am in favor of having an option that allows to hide the user icon next to the username and status. I think it clutters the menu.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t uderstand why people can’t use Command + Q to quit, Click quit in the dock or click file > quit to quit, How many ‘quit’s do we need. But this also makes me think, why do we need so many “you have have a new message” alerts. We have the dock bouncing, adiums wings flapping, with the flashing users name above adium, growl alert, sound alert, we also have stuff in the buddy list flashing, plus 1.2 is adding how many new Ims are new in the menu bar. This makes me think, as we can turn all these notification annoyances off, the best way to solve this “I like, I do not like, having the quit button in the menubar” problem is to allow this feature to be turned on or off either by a preference in preferences or a hidden preference. What do you think?

  28. Zac West Says:

    @bitcrumb: Not likely to happen. It’s a pretty small icon, and another preference is unnecessary. I see how it can be “much”, but I don’t think it detracts from the menu enough to really merit another preference.

    @anonymous: I generally have dock animations/bounces disabled, and just the flash enabled in the menu bar. This is especially useful since my dock is hidden all the time.

    However, I don’t quit adium often. At least, not often enough to merit having super-fast access to quitting it from the status item. I don’t like the idea of another preference for something so inconsequential — if it comes down to it, the “Quit Adium” item will probably return if there’s enough people that really miss it, but I think it’s tacky.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    amazin! I love Adium, and I love seeing it grow like this! thanks to the people who make it possible :)

  30. Anonymous Says:

    what about the offline messages? will they work with msn?

  31. Zac West Says:

    @anonymous: Yes you can send messages while invisible in 1.2 on MSN.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    no i meant: if someone is offline and im online and i try to write him/her a message it doesnt work with msn. or like :if im offline and someone tries to write me a message via msn it doesnt work too.

    it only work on icq

  33. Zac West Says:

    @anonymous: The implementation in 1.2 does support sending offline messages, but as of writing this, it’s not working yet (it throws an error for me). It should work for release.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Sweet, great job. :D

    Is 1.2 going to support sending offline messages for AIM?

  35. Anonymous Says:

    Great work guys, I am already a very happy user(fan? ;) ), but 1.2 seems to fulfill my last complaints about Adium, I hope to see it soon!
    Keep up the good work

  36. Anonymous Says:

    Brilliant man you are a saint amongst us mortals all we need now is webcam suppor for msn!

  37. Kevin Says:

    Nice man! This is the thing that’ll put the nail in all other clients’ coffins. Btw does anyone else want support for custom smileys?

  38. Yil2201 Says:

    Great ! Looking forward to see Adium 1.2 in the Beta page !

    Thanks guys !

  39. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks a million for the hard work !!

  40. Jeremy Says:

    @other anonies (I know it’s not a word),
    Webcam support is coming in 2.0. Unfortunately, that will only be for Leopard. Guess I’ll have to get a new Mac!

  41. Anonymous Says:

    is it true or just a rumor that there will be no support for MSN personal messages support in Adium 1.2

  42. Anonymous Says:

    why is there no support for personal messages in the 1.2 b1 of Adium, as said in this blog there will be support for personal messages.

    Can we get some answers?

  43. Zac West Says:

    MSNP14 support had several bugs in it that prevented us from using it. Adium-wise, we’re ready to use the code, we just need to wait for a libpurple release that has it.