Opened 10 years ago

Last modified 10 years ago

#9639 new enhancement

"Add Account" window closes even when details are verifiably wrong

Reported by: mpt Owned by: deryni
Milestone: Component: pidgin (gtk)
Version: 2.5.5 Keywords:
Cc:

Description (last modified by mpt)

Pidgin 2.5.5, Ubuntu 9.04

  1. Launch Pidgin for the first time (e.g. in a guest session).
  2. Connect to the Internet, if you are not connected already.
  3. In the "Add Account" window, enter details that are correct except that the password is wrong.
  4. Click "Add".

What happens:

  • The "Add Account" window closes.
  • The "Buddy List" window opens.
  • A short time later, a placard appears inside the Buddy List saying "<account name> disabled" and "Unable to authenticate: Authentication failure".

What should happen:

  • To reduce overall interaction and interface churn, if the computer is connected to the Internet, Pidgin should attempt to sign in to the account before closing the "Add Account" window.
  • If Pidgin can detect that the login name or password is incorrect, it should automatically select the password for retyping (since that's the field most likely to be wrong).

A straw-man design for this:

  1. I click "Add".
  2. At the bottom left of the window (opposite "Cancel" and "Add") appears a spinner and the phrase "Checking details…".
  3. The spinner and phrase disappear.
  4. An error alert appears over the "Add Account" window.
  5. On dismissing the alert, the contents of the password field is selected in the still-open window.

An alternative approach would be to show the sign-in error inside the "Add Account" window itself. I'm not sure how that could work without either enlarging the window or looking weird, though.

(This suggestion is inspired by a participant from Canonical user testing, who started off entering her details with no trouble, except that the "Add Account" window closed even though she had entered the wrong password, producing the "Unable to authenticate: Authentication Failure" error in the Buddy List window. She then closed the Buddy List window and tried to add the account again with the correct details, only to be told "Unable to save new account - An account already exists with the specified criteria". This stumped her for a while. Eventually she tried "Cancel", and noticed the unchecked "Enabled" checkbox in the Accounts window. Checking it selected the account, which enabled the "Modify" button: "Modify, ah, that'll do." She entered the correct password and clicked "Save", only to discover that the "Enabled" checkbox had become unchecked. Checking it again, she was asked for her password yet again, and was confused as to why. Now her details were entered correctly, but the Buddy List window was nowhere to be seen, and there was no obvious way of getting it back. "I don't know what to do now ... I can't really think what else to do.")

Change History (2)

comment:1 Changed 10 years ago by mpt

  • Component changed from unclassified to pidgin (gtk)
  • Description modified (diff)
  • Owner rekkanoryo deleted

comment:2 Changed 10 years ago by deryni

  • Owner set to deryni

So actually the most interesting thing to me about the user testing story is that it would appear that allowing buddy list to be hidden to the system tray by default is rather user unfriendly. Something that doesn't surprise me as it is a decidedly odd feature to begin with.

pidgin could only reasonably attempt to sign in to the account if after saving the account the account would be signed in (that is if the current status says it should be), which I will grant will cover some large percentage of cases. However, I'm worried about the lack of consistency inherent there as well as the fact that signing people in involves exposing their presence to the people authorized to see their presence and that may or may not be something people expect (especially if they know enough to know that the account will not be signed on given the current status).

If we want to specifically target absolute first time users then a plugin could be created which does something like this. It would need to watch for the account to be added and wait for the account to either connect or fail and on failure dismiss the buddy list error mini-dialog and pop up the account dialog again (with possibly an extra error dialog or something).

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