- Finding Us
- Community Topics
- Miscellaneous Questions
- Did you guys reverse-engineer the protocols?
- Do Pidgin and Finch support secure instant messaging (encrypted IM)?
- When will the next version be released?
- What will the next version be numbered?
- So, can I look forward to mega-sexy super functionality with Pidgin?
- How do you capitalize Pidgin?
- What's with the name Pidgin, anyway?
- What's with the name libpurple, anyway?
- What's with the name Finch, anyway?
- Why don't you listen to your users?
- Why Won’t You Remove My Mailing List Posts?
Where can I find Pidgin-related chat online?
There are two primary Pidgin-related chat resources:
- #pidgin on irc.freenode.net (IRC)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (XMPP MUC or Multi-User Chat)
Developers, contributors, and users alike are welcome to join us in either of these fora.
Is there a user mailing list?
Yes! For general questions about using Pidgin, problems connecting, etc. please use the support mailing list. If you're a developer and want to ask about the internals of Pidgin, libpurple or Finch, please use the devel mailing list. We offer a few other mailing lists, too. See the full list.
All mailing lists are run by volunteers. Please be kind.
Can I help?
Yes! We especially need small patches for small bugs, and lots of bug triaging. There are a slew of a bug reports in Pidgin's ticket system - you could pick one and try to tackle it and submit a patch. We love patches!
Bug triaging is when you look at a bug report and determine whether it is a duplicate of an earlier report, or whether it is user error, or maybe you need to request additional information to be able to reproduce the bug. We don't allow people to modify ticket attributes, but if you leave a helpful comment on the ticket with your findings, we will take appropriate action. This is a significant help to us, because it allows fewer people to have to focus primarily on maintenance of the ticket system, while other development resources are spent as well as they can be.
Can I ask you about third-party plugins, patches, etc.?
You are more than welcome to ask, but be prepared for the answer to be something like "ask the authors". We simply don't have the time or energy to keep up with all of the third-party projects out there, so we probably can't help you. Common topics that fall into this category are various encryption plugins, !GFire, and various Purple Plugin Pack plugins.
Where should I report bugs, feature requests, or patches?
We don't know the answer to this question. Please, stop asking it.
Did you guys reverse-engineer the protocols?
The core Pidgin, Finch, and libpurple developers did not. Here's some related information:
- XMPP (a.k.a. Jabber), SIMPLE, and IRC are published protocols, so we didn't need to reverse-engineer them. (Google Talk is an instance of XMPP.)
- MSN was at one time a published protocol; over time changes have creeped into the protocol and other people have reverse engineered those newer revisions.
- OSCAR and Yahoo! are not published, and were reverse engineered by other people.
- Sametime is maintained by a developer of the meanwhile library we make use of.
- Our SILC plugin was written by one of the protocol's developers.
- Novell kindly provided us with the Novell GroupWise plugin.
- QQ was reverse-engineered by other people and later absorbed into libpurple.
Do Pidgin and Finch support secure instant messaging (encrypted IM)?
Yes; use the OTR plugin or the SILC protocol.
These days, almost all chat protocols are encrypted between the client and the server. We'll assume that you're asking about end-to-end encryption: when only the two people having the conversation have access to its unencrypted contents.
The SILC protocol is natively encrypted. For other protocols, which do not natively support encryption, neither do we. Simply encrypting the data stream with no verification of the parties involved in the conversation is not secure in any sense of the word. Some other clients offer options like this, but we feel that such measures instill a false sense of security that is more harmful than helpful.
Note that there are a number of third-party plugin developers working on secure IM frameworks. Take a look at the ThirdPartyPlugins page for links to those we know of.
There is currently no support for encrypted file transports.
When will the next version be released?
The schedule for releases is every third Thursday. However, a new version will only be released if it meets a certain standard of quality (i.e., it will not be released if it still has a large number of serious bugs). Therefore, some releases will take longer than others. Major rewrites means lots of new bugs to work out. The new version will be released as soon as it is possible to do so. The Roadmap gives best-guess estimates, but take them with a grain of salt--if we aren't ready to release on a Milestone's due date, we won't release, and that milestone will fall into "past due."
What will the next version be numbered?
We follow the Semantic Versioning scheme.
Starting with version 1.0.0, Pidgin version numbers have 3 parts to them. The format is major.minor.micro. If we change something internally in Pidgin such that some plugins won't work with the newer version, we will increment the major version number. If we don't increment the major version number, and we've added things to the Pidgin API that won't break any older stuff, we will increment the minor version number. In any other cases, we will increment the micro version number. Even and odd numbers have nothing to do with stability, and you should always be running the latest release of Pidgin to get new features and bug fixes.
So, can I look forward to mega-sexy super functionality with Pidgin?
Yes, that is the intended idea. In fact, there have been quite a number of unpopular geeks who have made the switch to Pidgin. In a matter of days, the number of dates and awesomeness points received by the geek increased ten fold! You, too, can have an exciting life with Pidgin. Get Pidgin. Get the babes. Get uhh... hmm.
(Yes, that's a joke.)
How do you capitalize Pidgin?
Pidgin, with a capital P, or pidgin, with a little p. In all cases, the remainder of the letters are lowercase. It's not PIDGIN, nor PidGin, nor PiDgIn, nor anything similar. Stop doing that.
What's with the name Pidgin, anyway?
Pidgin is not, in fact, named after so-called "rats with wings," but rather it refers to a special type of "broken" language used by speakers of different languages to communicate. We thought this name fit well with the purpose of Pidgin.
Of course, Pidgin is a homonym for pigeon, so we couldn't resist taking advantage of the pun to create a cartoon mascot.
Many have subsequently pointed out that the use of carrier pigeons for transmission of messages fits nicely with Pidgin's functionality as well.
What's with the name libpurple, anyway?
The use of the term purple is another homonym of sorts. Long ago, we started referring to protocol plugins by an abbreviated name "PrPl" which we would pronounce in the same manner as the color. Since libpurple provides primarily an interface for using protocol plugins to access a variety of IM networks, it seemed reasonable that we name the library after the pronounciation.
What's with the name Finch, anyway?
In keeping with bird theming for IM clients based upon libpurple, including Adium (the Duck client), and Pidgin (the Pigeon client), Finch was chosen as the name for our text-based client.
Why don't you listen to your users?
Sorry, what was that?
Why Won’t You Remove My Mailing List Posts?
Occasionally we, the Pidgin team, receive requests to remove information from our mailing list archives. We don’t honor those requests. Quite frankly, by the time we get the request it’s already too late for removal to be useful. Every post to our mailing lists is archived. Our archives are public. A number of other mailing list archival services have been subscribed to our lists, making duplicated archives that we have no control over. Google and other search engines index our archives, which we also have no control over. (Yes, robots.txt exists, but search engines are not obligated to obey it, and we actually want our archives indexed so our users can find information more easily.) By the time we receive a request to remove any data from our archives, it already exists in so many places that one more copy of the data can’t possibly cause any additional harm. We also do include a disclaimer at the bottom of every page on Trac, on the list info page for each of our mailing lists, and in the Help->About box in Pidgin itself that our mailing lists are publicly archived, thus adequate warning exists to inform people that their data will be publicly disclosed. We cannot be held accountable for someone else’s failure to read the disclaimer. So, as a policy, we do not remove anything from our mailing list archives.