What I Would Do If I Worked On Naim

naim is a wonderful terminal-based AIM client written by Dan Reed. It sports a variety of features, is robust and stable, and fairly configurable. There are, however, things I dislike about it, and here is a rough list of those things.

  • The bottom of the program only displays one line of the message you are sending, making it hard to proofread or correct. Ideally the window would expand as you typed, filling as much space as necessary.
  • Maybe I’m just having this problem in GNU Screen, but I can only delete entire lines of input (with CTRL+U), I can’t simply delete the previous word, which is the most common thing I need to do when typing text.
  • The logs are written in HTML. While I understand how nice this makes them look, it makes them near impossible to sort through in read – in fact, for some reason I can’t grep the logs for any term I’m trying to find, even when I know it exists. An option to only log in plain text would be very nice.
  • There’s no option to remove group names from the contact list. As much as I appreciate the idea of adhering to the normal AIM paradigm, the group names are completely unnecessary, I feel, and simply make the contact list longer than it needs to be. Even if other people rely on group names, an option to not render them would be wonderful.
  • As far as I know – and I have looked through the docs pretty thoroughly – there’s no option to alter the display of contact’s names if you would prefer to have their nicknames show up in front of their screen names – or if you don’t want their screen names to show up at all.
  • I would like to be able to rename my screen name so it doesn’t show up in its entirety in my logs.

I’ve looked through the source code of naim, and while it is very nicely formatted, files with names such as hamster.c, filled with code but no comments, scare me greatly.

Naim is a great program, but it could be a lot better. I think my suggestions would move it in that direction. The ability to customize is what makes any open source program great, and more useful for its users, who will almost always have varying needs.


One Comment

  1. Posted February 24, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    The subsequent time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I imply, I do know it was my choice to learn, but I really thought youd have something fascinating to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix when you werent too busy on the lookout for attention.

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