Misconceptions about Kopete

Reader STEV left this comment on my GAIM post:

I don’t think I belong to the dumb users out there. But I found Kopetes user interface is somehow in a mess. Some options aren’t there where I would expect them (Why aren’t sound options in the configuration dialog?). I get the feelin that Kopete devolopers look after new crazy features (which the normal user doesn’t need) rather than to make Kopete stable and work properly. ICQ file transfer works in GAIM 2 Beta decently (but of course, not perfectly, it sometimes crashes) – in Kopete I don’t get it working. ICQ buddy icons aren’t displayed correctly in Kopete (or am I wrong?) – a feature what GAIM has since years. Kopete concentrates on eye-candy-features which the normal user probably doesn’t make use of. I also don’t think that GAIM isn’t that innovative as you mentioned – they participate in Google’s Summer of Code and produce some very innovative plugins for musicians among others. I think GAIM’s strategy to put less important features outside and to make them plugins instead is a quite successful strategy. It makes the download size smaller, which is, of course, effective and makes GAIM available to people who can’t call themselves owner of a super high speed connection. Think about that.

I was going to leave my response as a comment to his, but I think it’s vitally important that certain ideas regarding Kopete be cleared up, so here’s my response:

The default plugins that come with Kopete are as far as removed from aesthetics and eye-candy as you could possibly get. The full list is available on Kopete’s website, but let me run through that list right here:

Auto Replace – allows you to correct frequently misspelled words or save typing certain words using abbreviations. Doesn’t sound like aesthetics, sounds like a very useful functionality.

Connection Status – useful for modem users or others who don’t have a permanent Internet connection. It watches for an active Internet connection and sets your accounts online when it detects you have dialed up. Certainly something you’d need if you didn’t have a superfast internet connection, eh? 🙂

Contact Notes – allows you to note useful bits of information on a metacontact.

On that note, I’m not even sure gaim has metacontact functionality. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Cryptography – allows you to use GnuPG to encrypt conversations.

History – records conversations using any IM system, and allows you to view them later.

KopeteTex – allows scientists and mathematicians to hold conversations using LaTeX markup.

Motion Auto-away – detects if you are sitting in front of your computer using a webcamera, and have Kopete automatically become Away. I’m pretty sure Gaim doesn’t have support for webcameras at all.

Statistics – uses a database to gather information about your contacts’ activity patterns.

Translator – translates messages between metacontacts using web based translations services.

I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe you just didn’t know Kopete did these things, or provided them as default plugins in the initial download. Additionally, your crashing problems with Kopete are an individual case, and we can’t presume to allow your crashes to be applicable to all users of Kopete.

And finally, the latest stable version of gaim, 1.5.0, is available as a source bz2. Its size is 5,830 kB. The latest stable version of kopete, 0.12.1, is available as a source bz2. Its size is 5,066 kB. So your last point regarding download size, I’m afraid, is incorrect.


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