Empathy/Pidgin? [Was: Re: rawhide report: 20080313 changes]

Peter Gordon peter at thecodergeek.com
Fri Mar 14 01:03:47 UTC 2008

On Fri, 2008-03-14 at 11:09 +1100, Rodd Clarkson wrote:
> So, will empathy import my pidgin settings so I don't have to set up
> everything again?

Well, Empathy uses the Telepathy [1] framework for its backend presence-
and message-handling, so it would depend on the connection manager being

The Haze connection manager is based on libpurple (what Pidgin uses
internally) and thus supports most of what Pidgin does. Plans for future
versions of Haze include auto-importing of current Pidgin
preferences/login; but that is not yet implemented (AFAIK).

> And is empathy better than pidgin?
Define "better." =)

Personally, I feel that Pidgin's UI is just far too cumbersome for my
needs, and Empathy nicely follows the GNOME "keep things simple" GUI
philosophy (which I love). Also, Empathy properly sets my away status
automagically when I start a full-screen game or lock my desktop
session, then auto-resets it to Available when I return; whereas Pidgin
requires manual intervention for these things.

However, Empathy has no file-transfer yet (though that work is in heavy
development and, as I understand, is quickly nearing completion); and it
does not support formatted text in messages. 

I've also had bugs where Pidgin's auto-sound notifications would cause
PulseAudio to go haywire and just pump noise to my soundcard
indefinitely. Though I cannot be certain of the root cause, these issues
have not appeared since I switched to Empathy, so there is definitely
some correlation there...

Anyhoo, which is "better" really depends on your needs and preferences
in terms of features and UI and desktop integration and whatnot. I'd
recommend trying each one and making a decision then. Hope that
helps. :)

[1] http://telepathy.freedesktop.org/
Peter Gordon (codergeek42)
GnuPG Public Key ID: 0xFFC19479 / Fingerprint:
  DD68 A414 56BD 6368 D957 9666 4268 CB7A FFC1 9479

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