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Yahoo Mac Messenger Client Needs Work - Thoughts From The Green Dragon

About Yahoo Mac Messenger Client Needs Work

Previous Entry Yahoo Mac Messenger Client Needs Work Apr. 10th, 2006 @ 07:06 pm Next Entry
First let me say that I know that writing software is hard. Writing good software is even harder. Writing good software with a good user interface is harder yet.

Some people get it right and some people don't.

I recently had the desire to use Yahoo Messenger. I made a new friend and I decided that they were important enough to get a Yahoo IM account. I am an AIM user and I have used iChat for years and I saw no reason to use another IM client until last week.

So I downloaded the Yahoo IM client for the Mac and fired it up. It was easy enough to set up and get going with my huge list of one friend. But then I used it to chat...

What is the most important thing that a text based chat client ought to do well? More than anything else it ought to display the text in a nice, clear font. Now, what do you think the one thing that stood out when I used the Yahoo Mac IM client to chat for the first time?

Strike One for Yahoo IM. The default font is squished, pixelated and just plain wrong. So I tried to change it. It had nice controls in the window for changing the font and while the ones for changing the color worked, the one for selecting the font just kept resetting to the same squishy, unreadable one that I started with.

So after one chat session with that client I went off to find a replacement. I found, to my surprise, that Adium now supported Yahoo IM as well as AIM (and a bunch of others) so I installed that and configured it for both my AIM and my Yahoo IM.

Adium is sweet.

Not only does it come up with a nice readable default font, but the rest of the default settings make sense too. And when I when I went poking at the prefs I found that I could give my buddy list a look that was very similar to iChat.

So, to those programmers who work on the Yahoo IM client for the Mac: Go and download Adium and run it through its paces and you'll see what happens when you put the extra effort into sculpting software that the Adium authors have. And PLEASE: just change the default font in the next release! How hard is that?

Time for more chatting...
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Date:April 11th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)
Adium's supported Yahoo for years now. Is that why you've always been so averse to trying it all the time I've pestered you about it? Because you only tried it out when it was waaaay back in betaland?

The text controls are one of the reasons I love it -- I hate stupid colored and resized text and I don't ever want to see anyone else's font choices. I hate bouncing dock icons for an IM client. And I love having near-total control over everything in the client's UI. Adium is sweet. Glad you finally tried it again!
Date:April 11th, 2006 03:26 am (UTC)
You are aware that the Y!IM client for Mac hasn't been updated in a few years, yes? And it was a straight Carbon port. So it's no surprise that it sucks.

That said, what I can tell you is that my job right now is to work on the next version of Y!IM for Mac. What I can't tell you is basically anything else, so don't bother asking.
Date:April 11th, 2006 05:26 am (UTC)
It was pointed out to me that I sound a little snippy in that last reply, with the "don't bother asking". If you felt that way, then I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound snippy. I was just trying to head off questions, since there's not really anything I can say about it. So please, don't take offense or anything.
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Date:April 11th, 2006 10:10 am (UTC)

Good To Know

I take no offense. It is good to know that a new version is being working on. I understand that you can't talk about it any further. I'll take the fact that you read my post and took the time to comment as a good sign of things to come.
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