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Looking at Konversation

Hunh, so I fired up Konversation on FreeBSD this weekend (after deciding that hanging around via irssi in screen was no longer something I wanted to do) and after three minutes had a list of usage questions a mile long. Jos Poortvliet wrote a little about the last mile and polish last week. That kind of polish applies to Konvi as well. Keep in mind that comments coming from a new user (like me) may not be applicable to old-time users. This applies in particular with regard to moving UI elements around: for new users it might make them easier to find, for old users it means horrifying surprise when something isn’t in the old, learned, location. Anyway, here’s a list:

  • Why is server list under File, while identities is under Settings? Why are neither of these configurable through the "Configure Konversation" menu item under Settings?
  • Why are channel settings under the Window menu?
  • In the server list dialog, double-clicking a network or server connects to it; in the identities dialog it edits the identity. My comparison here is KMail, where identities and servers are both edited by double click.
  • In the server list, when I edit a server within a network (as opposed to editing the network itself) why does the network editing dialog pop up and then the server edit dialog on top of that? Why does only the server edit dialog go away when I click OK in that case?
  • In the network editing dialog, if I double-click a server, nothing happens. Inconsistent again. In this dialog, too, the "Add" button is text and the "Delete" button is a big red minus sign; I would expect either add and delete, or + and -.
  • The "duplicate identity" button in the identities management dialog looks disabled, even when it isn’t, because the graphic is so grey-on-grey.
  • Although on first startup the server selection dialog comes up so you can pick or configure an IRC connection, it’s not all that clear that you can also configure the user identity — that goes through edting a network, then clicking "edit" next to the identity selection dropdown. On the whole I think I’d prefer a tiny wizard (two steps: pick an IRC network, and pick a username and nick — possibly integrated with the addressbook so ideally you just click "next" twice to connect to the default network with the default addressbook identity).

These are issues that you really only run into the first time you run Konvi — after that, you rarely see these windows anyway. From there on it’s a wonderful IRC client.

Of course, since it’s in git (on now!) I may as well see if I can write some patches for these issues, if only as practice in using git.