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A prioritized list of deliverables is as follows:

  1. Shortcut Keys Overhaul
  2. Sound
  3. Logging Improvements
  4. Buddy List Options
  5. Documentation of my changes
  6. Crashing bug fixes (if time permits)

Shortcut Keys Overhaul

The shortcut keys need some serious work. I will build an independent interface made available with a command line option to catch basic keystrokes. To provide running customizations I add an interface within Finch to bind keystrokes to predefined actions. Finch will be able to detect both 8-bit meta and ESC sequences. If time allows I will also add the ability for Finch to detect that the user is unable to send commands due to key binding issues and then provide a way for it to grab a group of basic keystrokes to allow the user to navigate.


I frequently run Finch inside a screen session in the background, and it is very frustrating when I miss someone who tried to talk to me. Since it's not a GUI and doesn't have the ability to pop up a notification, the best way to resolve this problem is with the use of sound. I will add the ability to customize sounds for different events, similar to many existing IM programs. I will also make sounds customizable on a per-buddy basis similar to how you can program custom ring tones for different people in your cellphone.


The logging features are another feature I will improve. I will build on the same basic ideas found in Pidgin's logging tools. Though there are a few ideas I want to add.

I will add the option to search through all conversations instead of just searching them one by one, or even searching them over a range of dates. There will also be the option to search from a list of logs from different users. From there we can add an array of search capabilities to better search the logs.

Basic Buddy List Options

There are a few options to the buddy list that I think are missing. I will add the ability to hide/show empty groups and to hide/show buddy details.


I will document my work for users and developers in LaTeX and thus provide a way to output the docs in a variety of formats.

Crashing Bug Fixes

If time allows I will work on some bugs that cause Finch to crash. Some of these are related to chatting over GoogleTalk and causing a segmentation fault when the program attempts to exit.

Last modified 17 years ago Last modified on Apr 28, 2007, 3:00:00 PM
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