Tag: User Interface

GSoC '10: New Join Dialog Finished

I finally got the new join dialog for Psi finished.

New Join Dialog for Psi

When the dialog opens it shows you the rooms available at your server, if there are any, your recently joined rooms and your bookmarked ones. At the top you simply enter the nickname which you want to use to join the rooms.

There's little special about this dialog and it works how you'd expect it to work, hopefully. If you want to give it a try yourself the code is available here.

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GSoC '10: Psi User Interface Improvements - The Current Situation

Psi is a powerful and popular XMPP client which runs on nearly any platform. It recently got features like Jingle Audio which enables peer-to-peer audio calls.

These new features aside, Psi's user interface is lacking in various places, including, but not limited to, the multi-user chat area. This is kind of sad since the project's mission statement includes ease of use.
The second part of my Google Summer of Code project is to improve this area.

Psi's known to be used more by power IM users than by people who are new to IM, and as power user you like auto-join a couple of MUCs and also connect from multiple places to your account. However if you're already logged in and joined all those rooms, a lot MUC software will complain that you are already in the room, when a your second resource tries to auto-join those.

In Psi this situation can be described by a single picture/screenshot. :)
Screenshot of Psi showing tons of dialogs.
A possible solution to this problem is to handle auto-join of chatrooms on login completely differently compared to manual joins. A long requested feature for Psi is to have chatrooms show up in your contact list. This has already been implemented by the Psi+ project and it's working quite nicely.
For auto-join one couldn't show any dialogs at all and just let the items in the contact list indicate whether a join was successful or an error occurred.

The next MUC section that could need some improvement is manually joining a room. You have to go to different places depending if you already know where to join or not.

  1. You already know the conference you want to join.
    Screenshot of Psi's MUC join dialog.
  2. You have the room already bookmarked.
    Screenshot of Psi's bookmark popup menu.
  3. You have no clue what conference to go in, still you want to chat with other people.
    Screenshot of Psi's service discovery.

A possibile solution to this problem is providing a single dialog for the general task of 'Joining a MUC'. More on that is soon to follow.

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