empathy contacts list compact mode is missing in 3.6

Bug #1071345 reported by Robert Lange on 2012-10-25
434
This bug affects 135 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Empathy
Expired
Medium
empathy (Ubuntu)
Medium
Unassigned

Bug Description

Prior to upgrading to quantal, Empathy had a compact mode for the contacts list. This would show each contact on a single line that was just tall enough to display the contact's username. This way, I would be able to use my high resolution monitor to view all of my online contacts simultaneously.

Under Empathy 3.6 on quantal, the option for a compact mode disappeared and each contact in the list takes about 3 times the vertical space needed to display the contact's username. Now even with my high resolution montor, I can only view about 1/3 of my online contacts at a time.

Please bring back the compact mode.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.10
Package: empathy 3.6.0.3-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.5.0-17.28-generic 3.5.5
Uname: Linux 3.5.0-17-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.6.1-0ubuntu6
Architecture: amd64
Date: Thu Oct 25 10:43:27 2012
InstallationDate: Installed on 2011-08-29 (422 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" - Release amd64 (20110427.1)
MarkForUpload: True
SourcePackage: empathy
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to quantal on 2012-10-22 (2 days ago)

Robert Lange (rcl24) wrote :
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
qwazi (chris-mckitterick) wrote :

This issue is compounded by the inability to sort the contacts by status.

Bilal Shahid (s9iper1) wrote :

thanks for the bug report
you can use the offline contacts show / hide option that may helps you ?

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Robert Lange (rcl24) wrote :

I am the original reporter of this bug. Please do not hijack this bug report. This bug report deals with the disappearance of the "compact" mode for the contacts list. The ability to sort by status is also missing, but it is *not* the subject of this bug report. Please file a separate report for that.

The ability to show/hide offline contacts does nothing to ameliorate the lack of the compact mode contacts list.

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Marcus Pereira (marcds) wrote :

I miss a lot the compact mode at empathy too. I can't see all my online contacts without scrolling down now. Too bad!

Bilal Shahid (s9iper1) wrote :

Thanks for taking time in filing the bug to make ubuntu better.
for the rules you can not confirm your own bug so marking it new right new and dont try to confirm again somebody who is affected by this bug he can confirm this bug
easy nobody is hijaking your bug report.

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → New
Robert Lange (rcl24) wrote :

I did not confirm my own bug report. If you look at the history, Launchpad Janitor confirmed the report (comment 2) because multiple people said that it affected them.

Then, in comment 3, qwazi referenced another bug, and in comment 4, Bilal Shahid responded with a workaround for the unrelated bug, and marked this bug as incomplete, questioning if the workaround mitigated this bug. Of course it did not, because it is not related to this bug. I corrected this and reset the status to "Confirmed", which is what it was before comment 4 was (IMHO erroneously) posted.

Please reset the bug report to "Confirmed".

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Bilal Shahid (s9iper1) wrote :

thanks for taking time in filing the bug
calm down dear @ robert
i am sending your bug to upstream you should subscribe to that bug :)

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in empathy:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → New

Affects me also, and there is another bug on this; 1049598

Angelo Pantano (ghilteras) wrote :

no it's not a duplicate of #1049598

#1049598 is because icons are bigger, this one is because you cannot merge contacts anymore

Bilal Shahid (s9iper1) wrote :

@angelo
duplicate removed thanks

Mikael Strom (mikael-sesamiq) wrote :

The contact list size makes very poor use of screen space. Please add at least one smaller mode, or perhaps two; "small" and "very small w/o icons".

Bilal Shahid (s9iper1) on 2012-12-04
Changed in empathy:
importance: Medium → Unknown
status: New → Unknown
Changed in empathy:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Confirmed
Maro Ziza (maro-ziza) wrote :

Have a solution:
echo 'deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise main restricted universe multiverse' >> /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update
apt-get remove empathy empathy-common
apt-get install empathy=3.4.1-0ubuntu1 empathy-common=3.4.1-0ubuntu1 libebook-1.2-12

This will install old empathy from precise, but it is usable now with all necessory functions.

Dakota Schneider (dakota-5) wrote :

For those wondering, it seems this was a deliberate change: http://git.gnome.org/browse/empathy/commit/?id=f58d68ddddf15dfe4e0d49af86e2add3c606316e

I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I'm extremely annoyed at this.

tags: added: i386
JB (logicartefact) wrote :

Agreed! Why did they change it without the option to change it back?!

ElQanah Gutiérrez (elqanah) wrote :

so very annoying in deed. I'm being affected as well.

James Lewis (james-fsck) wrote :

Still an issue with 13.04, I think this is another issue with Gnome dumbing everything down, rather than Canonical deliberately changing it, the same as with the file manager... but Canonical really need to get a handle on this it's a huge pain.

Valentin Lab (vaab) wrote :

This is not a fix but a work-around to get compact contact list in empathy from 12.10 and fix some other random bugs...

http://vaab.blog.kal.fr/2013/04/04/fixing-empathy-in-ubuntu-12-10

It could also give ideas to others on how to make yourself the modifications you need.

Please note that it doesn't address the issue of this bug report as it do not bring back the option to get compact list but installs a version of empathy that has built-in compact list.

Bachi (m-bachmann) wrote :

This bug (and it really cannot be called a feature) is still present in 13.4 and makes Empathy rather useless (I see 9 contacts where Pidgin would show 17 in the same space).

Side note: This becomes even more urgent since the alternative Pidgin suffers from another Ubuntu change (dropping of the notification whitelist), which makes it impossible to show notifications on new messages properly.

Wolter Hellmund (wolterh) wrote :

Its this new regressed design philosophy the entire Gnome team has adopted, they are taking customization away from the end-user like it was funny. Another example is the new wallpaper picker Background.

It makes me anxious to upgrade my machine (to an Apple laptop) so I can run the one true god of chat clients: Adium.

And so I can have my dock at the bottom of the screen. And have a desktop that doesn't suck.

On May 12, 2013, at 2:53 PM, Wolter Hellmund <email address hidden> wrote:

> Its this new regressed design philosophy the entire Gnome team has
> adopted, they are taking customization away from the end-user like it
> was funny. Another example is the new wallpaper picker Background.
>
> --
> You received this bug notification because you are subscribed to the bug
> report.
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1071345
>
> Title:
> empathy contacts list compact mode is missing in 3.6
>
> Status in Chat app, and Telepathy user interface:
> Confirmed
> Status in “empathy” package in Ubuntu:
> Triaged
>
> Bug description:
> Prior to upgrading to quantal, Empathy had a compact mode for the
> contacts list. This would show each contact on a single line that was
> just tall enough to display the contact's username. This way, I would
> be able to use my high resolution monitor to view all of my online
> contacts simultaneously.
>
> Under Empathy 3.6 on quantal, the option for a compact mode
> disappeared and each contact in the list takes about 3 times the
> vertical space needed to display the contact's username. Now even
> with my high resolution montor, I can only view about 1/3 of my online
> contacts at a time.
>
> Please bring back the compact mode.
>
> ProblemType: Bug
> DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.10
> Package: empathy 3.6.0.3-0ubuntu1
> ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.5.0-17.28-generic 3.5.5
> Uname: Linux 3.5.0-17-generic x86_64
> ApportVersion: 2.6.1-0ubuntu6
> Architecture: amd64
> Date: Thu Oct 25 10:43:27 2012
> InstallationDate: Installed on 2011-08-29 (422 days ago)
> InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" - Release amd64 (20110427.1)
> MarkForUpload: True
> SourcePackage: empathy
> UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to quantal on 2012-10-22 (2 days ago)
>
> To manage notifications about this bug go to:
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/empathy/+bug/1071345/+subscriptions
>

Dieter Orens (dieterorens) wrote :

This bug is ridiculous. Please give us the option to reduce the size. I switched to Pidgin now but this also seems to have issues on 13.04.

Why the hell did this need to change? It was OK in 12.04.... sigh.

Renato (renatoat) wrote :

I really tried to use Empathy, but this one bizarre regression drives me once again to Pidgin, unfortunately.

perfran (perfran) on 2013-06-18
Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Confirmed
Valentin Lab (vaab) wrote :

Just to note that I updated my blog post and that my fix will work for 12.10, 13.04 and 13.10...

http://vaab.blog.kal.fr/2013/04/04/fixing-empathy-in-ubuntu-12-10

I'd rather see this fixed main stream.

Gus (gusm) wrote :

Testing ubuntu 14.04 with empathy version 3.8.6. and have the same problem. Default settings with the avatar takes too much space and I am unable to set the compact view as previous versions.

Babar (babarhaq) wrote :

14.04 shocked to see this bug. Without the compact mode empathy is almost unuseable for me. :(

udit mahajan (mahajanudit) wrote :

Use pidgin instead. empathy has been unuseable for years now. I have no idea why its still default with Ubuntu anyways. Pidgin integrates with unity panel and runs in the background. It even has more features.

Valentin Lab (vaab) wrote :

My fix was tested and used throughout all version from 12.10 up to 14.04 (I've updated it each time). It's not perfect as there are some little sorting issues. Nevertheless, it fixes a few complaints on empathy. The most easy one is the icon size for avatars.

http://vaab.blog.kal.fr/2013/04/04/fixing-empathy-in-ubuntu-12-10

And if you've never compiled source code, this should be easy to follow and you might learn something on the way !

Please note that this fix is a quick and dirty way to set directly the pixel size of the avatar in the source code.

It's now 2 years since the introduction of this ridiculous bug.

Peter Bittner (peter-bittner) wrote :

@vaab Is it possible to place a pull request here on Lauchpad? Or could you prepare a .patch to fix this issue on the development branch, and attach it to this bug report?

That's scary! We're having late 2015, and this bug is still present in 14.10.3 LTS, even though a solution is know in detail. (Can anyone anyone confirm this problem is visible in 15.04 and 15.10 too?)

Peter Bittner (peter-bittner) wrote :

... sorry, that should read 14.04.3 LTS. (Is it impossible to edit comments in a bug report? OMG)

Valentin Lab (vaab) wrote :

@PeterBittner Do you really think I should provide a one line fix as a patch here ? And this is problematic because what should be kept is the option to choose the size via settings. My fix customize the source code and create a binary package with 24px, and 24px is not an ideal size for everyone exactly as 48px is not.

Peter Bittner (peter-bittner) wrote :

@vaab Personally, I think the smaller icons make Empathy more acceptable than the bigger ones. It's a small step towards an optimal change, but it's better than nothing. I say this while looking at the panel, and hovering over a user entry, which gives me a tooltip with a sufficiently big profile image.

We can of course start to work on a setting that can be changed in the Preferences dialog. Get in touch with me if you want to do some pair programming on this to get the issue off the table.

Changed in empathy:
status: Confirmed → Expired
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