about empathy as the default IM application

Andrew Sayers andrew-ubuntu-devel at pileofstuff.org
Tue Jun 16 21:25:12 UTC 2009

I'm not usually one to stand in the way of progress, but it seems like 
there are grave issues here for people migrating from other OSes.

Migration to Linux from another OS is best done in two stages: first you 
keep your old OS and switch to cross-platform apps, then you switch your 
OS and keep your apps.  Platform-specific defaults break the two-stage 
model, requiring users to learn a new app at the same time they're 
learning a new OS.

Migraters also can't be expected to just install Pidgin - and that goes 
double when their Linux guru is only contactable over IM.  We've all 
seen newbies go to a program's website and read halfway through the 
source code (or worse) before asking for help, and getting rid of Pidgin 
is likely to lead to more cases of that.

Finally, two-stage migration takes a long time (a year or two in my 
brother's case).  Dropping Pidgin from the default install in the space 
of a single release effectively throws away all the preparation work 
that current migraters have done.

As I say, I don't like standing in the way of progress, but I really 
think Empathy would need to be as far ahead of Pidgin as Firefox is 
ahead of IE before we could justify the disruption to the migration path.

	- Andrew

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