I really dislike the rest of the UI though. One very important thing about Adium is how compact it is. Even on relatively small laptop screens you can just leave it in a corner, which makes it easy to hold conversations without having to break context.
The conversation list, and the conversation views themselves, feel very much like the much-maligned "gigantor" Skype update from a while back. Everything feels much too big, much too spaced out, for a pure utility app. IM isn't an "experience" app, it's about as utilitarian as computer use gets.
The "smart command line" thing is very cool though.
mixed with facebook message since you can view a preview of the messages as well. I think this is how Skype should have done it.
I hope Dawid and Oskar find somebody to help them with this experiment and I hope encouragement and constructive feedback start float to the top of this thread. Lets help these guys get help and see what happens!
I'm not saying that it's impossible to receive some good design advice on HN as there are certainly some experienced design-based folks dotted around, but on the whole it's a bit like asking for database optimization advice on Dribbble.
This wasn't an invitation to join their project or even any mention that they would spend any time on it themselves. Hell, they didn't even include the source graphics to start anyone off.
So...what's the problem?
They want to fork the project and build a new UI? Cool. Go do it. If people like their changes they'll start using their version of Adium, and other people will contribute to their project.
It's not just an idea. It's a considered UI for the community to critique and possibly implement. An open source project thrives on multiple people to help out. If this mockup was so simple and obvious, it would have existed already.
To follow the analogy, one could use the Cowboys stadium as a precedent and then adapt it to the climate of Minneapolis.
This isn't a discussion about the codebase because the code can't solve the questions being discussed. There isn't anything in the concept that is out of the realm of feasibility. Critiques happen at all phase of design and development, and you seem like someone who's uncomfortable with ideas that aren't finalized.
Anybody can make something pretty in Photoshop. If he was serious about getting people to implement his mockup he should have spent a few days writing a quick and dirty implementation, with real code that could be improved upon later.
What's interesting is the interface, which is why we're discussing it. The fact that you can't run an application doesn't make the concept any more or less interesting to discuss and critique. The issues being discussed aren't solved with code.
You know that there's a profession called UI Designer?
If I had the time and knowledge of the Adium code base I'd be thrilled to collaborate with these two talented individuals. Hopefully there are developers out there with open enough minds, time, and passion to work with these two.
The fact that something looks "early 2000s" is so far down the list of my priorities for an IM app that it's effectively a non-issue. I think a lot of the sentiment here is simply that the important issues aren't really being addressed, and implementing a radical change like this is likely to raise a whole slew of new ones.
If Dawid and Oskar want to progress from mockup to making this a project, I wholeheartedly encourage them visit http://www.adiumxtras.com/ and learn how to reskin Adium. Their talents clearly show that if they put even a minimal amount of time into it, they would be able to accomplish most of the UI on their own.
Adium is fine as is, you can customise the hell out of it, it's tab implementation is solid. The only places it's lacking are more server issues, file transfer hasn't worked in years for me.
The concept of "staleness" encourages change for the sake of change, and I don't get it. Please ask non-designers if they want the look of their favourite software to be re-imagined.
The feedback to this is predictably similar to the transition from Skype 2.8 to Skype 5 (OS X), and I know people who still cling to their Skype 2.8 binary.
Average consumers will choose a nicely designed app over one that looks dated, especially if they offer the same functionality.
Edit: I just realised that I have hidden the ugly message window toolbar. I'm not sure if it aged though - I already hated it on OS X 10.4 (when I disabled and then forgot about it).
Maybe the designers should learn how to skin Adium and do this? I fail to see why they can't?
We can all make some mockups in an afternoon. It's not really worth telling everybody about unless you've done something, IMHO.
The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of people out there with lots of engineering ability and not much design ability who might jump at the chance of implementing something that's been thoroughly mocked and product-ed out.
It's like a programmer saying "Job's done" because they made a DB schema.
You are saying that a mockup is basically nothing, that anyone can do it. If that's true, why do we need designers at all?
Most of the time the only people I hear complaining about UI design are UI designers. Except for exceptionally bad cases, most people don't care too much what their applications look like.
And most people would rather have a working implementation with an ugly UI than a pretty picture/mockup that doesn't do anything.
If all the designer can do is mockups, then IMHO they are not doing their full job. Like I said in the other reply, it's like a programmer saying "I made the DB schema, what more do you want?"
Not even any explanation or justification of design choices. Just a sentence claiming it is 'self explanatory'.
And then there is the last sentence, which basically just means 'who wants to take my single concept image and do all of the remaining work?'
- Bubbles. Seriously? The 2005's want their failed metaphors back. Thanks, the list-and-icons Adium presents are way more useful
- stamp-sized images to disturb the text flow. Great idea, please forget about it right now.
Adium is completely unsexy, and this is a good thing. I don't need a chat application to take over my whole screen, this is not Facebook Home.
Next up: Terminal.app reborn: output of Unix commands grouped by "conversation" - because is looks so much nicer. Icons for every shell command - much sexier looking.
Later I found that Messages' proprietary protocol that synchronizes chats on Mac and iPhone is very convenient, and most of my contacts have iPhones or Macs. So today I almost don't use jabber. Sad but true.
Yeah, my one peeve with Adium. I ended up going into the application package and replacing all the PNGs that make up the animation with the first one. Problem solved.
It's Jabber support is horrendous though. I've been getting messages to it on time, not at all, or delayed. Depending on its mood.
I always find myself with both iMessage and Skype having to always check I'm in the correct chat window, this layout to me doesn't automatically say "Hey you're talking to Mike", I have to stop and visually verify each time.
Looking at his design, with almost zero contrast, it would be orders of magnitude worse trying to work out which person you chatting to at a glance.
I would honesty stop using adium if this become the default UI.
i was raised on IRC though, so ymmv.
I'd love to see a single window UI in Adium but just making the mockup and saying how good of an idea it is doesn't seem to be convincing enough for someone to actually tackle the project.
Can we, as a community, stop saying "LOOK I MADE SOMETHING" when it is actually just a landing page or mock up?
I've written (simple) MSN clients before, and the protocol (or what passes as one) is shocking. It's very clearly a protocol originally intended to exchange strings that has been overloaded with over 15+ years of new features and corporate strategies.
MSN support in Adium comes from libpurple, whose MSN support has always lagged behind the official client due to backwards-compatibility-breaking protocol changes, lack of documentation, and difficulty in reverse engineering. Frankly, I'm surprised MSN in libpurple works as well as it does.
File transfers (particularly MSN transfers) is also a crapshoot due to both bad, undocumented protocol design as well as the base technology. You're running into classic NAT issues that the protocol was never designed to take care of. Who you're sending to and what kind of router they're behind matters a lot.
tl;dr: MSN support in Adium sucks because the MSN protocol is awful.
> I very much disagree with Messages being bugridden
• Having the client open for more than a few hours will use many gigabytes of memory (I'm at 2.5GB right now)
• Messages aren't in chronological order
• Messages randomly shuffle depending on network conditions (this is the biggest issue)
• Messages randomly don't appear, appear late, or spam notifications on arrival
• "Deleted" messages aren't, so the /Library/Messages/ folder fills with junk over time
• The dock badge will sometimes be wrong, displaying a number when it shouldn't, or even showing negative unread messages
• You can render anybodies Messages.app useless with a bunch of unicode messages. They have to delete their databases and start over.
It's literally the worst application I've used, and you're the first person I've encountered that doesn't feel the same way.
$ ps auxw |grep -i Message
jordan 73227 0.0 1.4 4037928 113476 ?? S 13Apr13 13:21.86 Messages*
I don't know much about your other problems. My biggest problem with it is that it doesn't reconnect always when I start/end my VPN sessions, but other than that seems to work ok.
* Edited so it would display nicely.
panic(cpu 1 caller 0xffffff800d2a2a6a):
BSD process name corresponding to current thread: Messages
I use Messages for everything and no longer use any other IM client - however - if Adium supported iMessage I'd totally go running back to the duck.
I use Adium for everything else because I know it works.
* It copies the conversation mode in Messages...a terrible feature that ruins the convenience of keeping open only the contacts you want to keep open.
Its still multi-window...unless you plan on making me search for contacts. Because typing when your hand is on the mouse is convenient.
Nice that I have to click on a contact and bring up their chat window to see their status.
I'm irritated because there is nothing innovative or informative about this post.
I do NOT want to accidentally tell my boss I can't wait to grope him tonight because I clicked on a window and started typing without checking I had the right person selected.
Never do you have to open the monolithic Adium app, then click to the conversation that exists in a different 'folder'(since they use the same concept of Finder's sidebar).
I immensely dislike the concept of single window apps in OSX just because you can't dismiss the parts of the app you really don't care about. You can't see more than one portion of it at once, and you can't organise it on your very spacious desktop.
I expect to see the result in about 9 months.
I started prototyping something along these lines a couple months before Messages was announced. The idea was to make a (commercial) next-generation IM client for the Mac with a more modern UI. I stopped working on it when the first Messages beta was released, figuring that it added most of the UI things I wanted, and that if it shipped with OS X for free, few would want an alternative.
Now I wonder if dissatisfaction with Messages is high enough that there's an opportunity again?
If you're interested in this stuff and want to talk about it, drop me an email.
I never got the appeal of the "left and right" movement. I much prefer messages being shown top to bottom without me having to look left and right. I am not updating my SMS app because they switched to that layout and I found it annoying to use.
I also find a timestamp on each message useful, much more than whitespace or bubbles.
Main reasons I stick with OS X, despite disliking the direction Apple is taking it.
Example: the search "box" running directly into the pill buttons.
It's a decent mashup of Messages UI with Adium functionality, but that doesn't necessarily make it better.
Yes. Go forth. Fork.
Everything else is Messages.
(nice demo site too)
To me this is the killer feature. I would, however, switch in a heartbeat if there was a more featured and attractive app that could do this.
One thing that's incredibly hard to get right with modern IM is intelligent multi-device routing. It's incredibly frustrating to have your phone buzzing next to you as you're having a conversation on your PC. Using Trillian on all my devices prevents that and that's reason enough since Adium doesn't have a iPhone app.