"Automatically connect on startup" setting confusing - users may expect this to run Empathy on login

Bug #322314 reported by Duncan Lithgow on 2009-01-28
This bug affects 86 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
One Hundred Papercuts
Mohamed Amine Ilidrissi
empathy (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: empathy

Ubuntu 9.04
Empathy 2.25.4-1ubuntu1

Empathy IM setting 'Edit > Preferences > Automatically connect on startup' does not automatically connect empathy on ubuntu startup, instead it connect empathy to the internet when empathy is started.

Maybe change wording to 'connect to internet when empathy starts'? and make a setting for starting empathy on login

Added 2011-05-17:

- Please note that the Gnome bug has gone a bit off track into a different issue. I hope that is sorted now.
- With the new Unity interface this problem is even greater. Before that the easiest way to add an application to session startup was to drag-n-drop it from the menu into the Startup Application window. Now there is no menu by default. How do other applications deal with this?

Tags: gui Edit Tag help
Changed in empathy:
status: Unknown → New
Id2ndR (id2ndr) wrote :

Confirmed. I had to add empathy in gnome-session-properties

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Robert Ancell (robert-ancell) wrote :

This setting means "go online when you start Empathy" not "start Empathy when I start my computer". Updating bug title to reflect this.

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: Confirmed → Triaged
summary: - Empathy IM setting 'Automatically connect on startup' does not
+ "Automatically connect on startup" setting confusing - users may expect
+ this to run Empathy on login
Changed in empathy:
status: New → Incomplete
description: updated
tags: added: gui
Christopher Hill (ch6574) wrote :

Shouldn't the empathy package create an /etc/xdg/autostart/empathy.desktop file for empathy, with "X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=false" set?

This way users wanting to auto-start Empathy can do so with a single click via gnome-session-properties and not need to create the entries by hand.

This would also not go against https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=525039

Duncan Lithgow (duncan-lithgow) wrote :

@chris: see bug #478178

Vish (vish) on 2009-11-25
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
importance: Undecided → Low
milestone: none → lucid-round-4
status: New → Triaged
Guillaume Desmottes (cassidy) wrote :

I commented on the upstream about the proper way to solve this issue.

Martin (martin615) wrote :

IMHO the state of Empathy (running/not running) should be remembered automatically (there shouldn't be a need to save the desktop session).

See https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=506311 for the upstream Empathy bug for this. See https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=79285#c14 for how Havoc Penningtion & co solved it in Mugshot (but I think there is a better way with the new session stuff, see AutostartCondition in http://live.gnome.org/SessionManagement/NewGnomeSession).

Doesn't seem like upstream likes this idea but I think it's the right way to go from an interaction design viewpoint. (It's a bit unclear to me if the upstream bug was fixed properly or not. See https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=506311#c15 .)

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

how about
"automatically connect when messenger started"

and If anybody think that its a bit long statement then attached image is an example for even long statements when it comes to ease of understand.

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

how about
"automatically connect when messenger started"

and If anybody think that its a bit long statement then attached image is an example for even long statements when it comes to ease of understand.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Why would you not want to go online when starting Empathy?

Alex French (grackle) wrote :

Pidgin handles this in a sane manner: Connections are either enabled or disabled.

Alex Launi (alexlauni) wrote :

I'm with MPT and co. on this. The option should be removed entirely. Why would you *not* want to go online when starting Empathy? If you're *starting* Empathy, you're signalling that you want to go online.

As for what state to start Empathy in, it should match whatever state the Indicator Applet Session is in when Empathy starts.

Tiago Ramos (tiagolramos) wrote :

I agree with Alex French, i prefer to control in the account settings.
That way i can choose which accounts to logon at startup.

Tiago Ramos (tiagolramos) wrote :

Skype as the following message:

Sign me in when skype starts.

cldx (cldx3000) wrote :

I just got really confused by this setting as well, heres what i expected this Setting to do while checking the Box.

-I start Ubuntu.
-Empathy starts in the Background.
-Notify-OSD will give me a Message like "Your current Messenger Status is: Away"
-My Messenger Status will be the same i left it with (e.g. "Away")
-My Message Notifications get updated according to pending messages i received while being offline (if the Service supports such).
-Buddys will be instantly notified (or be aware) im available again and can send me Messages which of course, will end up in the Notification Area as well.

Until this point i didnt even have to open my Buddy List once. Please feel free to adapt, correct or rearrange this expected bahaviour list.


I'm using 10.04 and this is still present. Why use the MeMenu and the Empathy icon to change status? It takes more space on the panel and makes MeMenu useless.

Agree with comment above - I expected this to start Empathy or at least sign me in when I logged in. Either the option needs its wording changing (and perhaps another option added to make it actually start on login) or it made obvious how you can make Empathy start on login.

Liam O'Reilly (aliam13-2) wrote :

In order for Ubuntu to be consistent (regarding Empathy and Gwibber), Empathy needs a "Start service at logon" option in preferences which actually starts Empathy at user logon. This would make Empathy behave and have the same options as Gwibber. These two applications are about communications and work in very similar ways. It makes sense for the GUIs to have the same (or similar) options.

Robomaster (thebenjaminz) wrote :

Excuse me for being ignorant here - Why not just allow Empathy to actually start on login like Liam, James, cldx and many others already suggested?

I don't know about you, but I think it's ridiculous Empathy doesn't already have an option to automatically start upon login. With all the buzz of making Lucid "social," I find it strange a basic taken-for-granted-on-(dareisay?)-windows feature like this still isn't in 10.4.

Anyway, hope you can add that option, and keep it up guys, you're doing amazing!

Thanks Robomaster, that's basically what I thought 16 months ago when I first reported this bug.

Changed in empathy:
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Piotr P. Karwasz (chopinhauer) wrote :

I agree with Liam: a .desktop file should be added to /etc/xdg/autostart with an AutostartCondition.

However I am not sure whether reusing the same configuration key (/apps/empathy/autoconnect) would be acceptable.

Vish (vish) on 2010-06-10
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
milestone: lucid-round-4 → maverick-round-3-chat

I submitted a patch to upstream to remove the startup option, as per comment 9 and 11.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
assignee: nobody → Mohamed Amine IL Idrissi (ilidrissi.amine)
status: Triaged → In Progress
Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Mohamed Amine IL Idrissi (ilidrissi.amine)
status: Triaged → In Progress
Kazade (kazade) wrote :

So, should we start another bug report to get Empathy to show under "Startup Applications"? As it just involves adding a file to the Empathy package in /etc/xdg/autostart it should be a pretty easy fix.

We should really have the same option for all applications that live permanently under the indicator menu (Gwibber, Evolution, Empathy).

I certainly agree that any applications monitored by the indicator
should have an entry in the 'startup applications list'.

Changed in empathy:
importance: Unknown → Wishlist
chaghaboo (marko.niketic) wrote :

I thought Emphaty doesn't start when "Automatically connect on startup" is checked because of bug, just as many others. I agree in full with cldx, Robomaster and alike comments considering pattern Emphaty should behave. It's the only way that makes sense.

Vish (vish) on 2010-11-23
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
milestone: maverick-round-3-social-networking → nt2-social-networking

Updating: I submitted a second patch to upstream. Hope it accepts it :)

Christian Dywan (kalikiana) wrote :

So is this bug about the preference or the non-working me menu at startup? After suffering for a while I added 'empathy -h' to my autostart and I think this is an obvious bug that should be fixed in Natty, it's not about cosmetics really, it means I'm not reachable by co-workers and friends when I think I am.

description: updated
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

Its been quite a while since suggests about the patch were made but it seems Amine have been away from Ubuntu scene for quite long so I am setting the status back to triaged.

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
assignee: Mohamed Amine Ilidrissi (ilidrissi.amine) → nobody
status: In Progress → Triaged
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
milestone: nt2-social-networking → precise-2-social-networking
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
milestone: precise-2-social-networking → quantal-4-social-networking

I was just wondering if there was any progress on this bug? Are there still plans to add a combo box for setting a default status at login? What about the issue regarding confusion over the purpose of the auto-connect option?

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: In Progress → Triaged
Damien (youpla-b) wrote :

So almost three years after the initial bug report, 75 people concerned, what is the current status? Does it really take that long to change a sentence in a software?

And to add the other option of "really" connect on startup (=session launch), other users have rightfully pointed that it would be trivial to implement. What gives? Yup there are concerns about privacy and whatnot, but just set it to "false" by default and problem solved.

pranith (bobby-prani) wrote :

Damien, I think the problem is the glacial pace upstream. You can blame the people here if you make a patch for the version in Ubuntu and see it not being merged. Prodding upstream, in this case, might be more helpful!

IKT (ikt) wrote :

This reminds me of what it was like trying to get bugs fixed in Ubuntu pre-unity.

razor7 (ghiamar) wrote :

The same here. 13.04, and no empathy autostart on logon, need to click empathy icon on tray menu. Will this ever be fixed?

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
milestone: quantal-4-social-networking → papercuts-s-empthy
Ruchir (ruchir-brahmbhatt) wrote :

I also encountered same issue. The setting is confusing. It has option to connect on startup but it doesn't connect until empathy is started manually.

Changed in empathy:
status: Confirmed → Expired
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