Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Pidgin vs Empathy

July 30, 2009 by Clair Ching  
Filed under applications

Maybe it’s been more than a month since I started using Empathy on a regular basis. It’s a fairly reliable messenger client for Yahoo, MSN and Google. I still have problems with using it though. Maybe it’s because I’ve been used to Pidgin that much. So yeah, here it goes:

Empathy

As of writing, the version I have here is Empathy 2.26.1 and it’s been pretty stable. It never gave me log in problems with YM. Also, it’s been easy to use because adding new contacts is easy as well as seeing those symbols for the contacts who are online, offline or away are very easy to remember and understand. Another lovely thing about Empathy is its ability to handle calls.

However, there are things that I still don’t like about it. (Maybe I just haven’t figured it out? I am not sure.) It’s bothersome how my buddies on Yahoo! Messenger invite me for a chat conference and yet I can’t seem to receive them. Even if they’ve sent the invites several times, I didn’t receive anything. Another issue I have is the support for Google Talk’s group chat feature. This time, I was able to receive the invite but I had to click the invite link and it opened the browser where the group chat was in another window. That was just too weird for me because I expected to chat with them on the message window. Why did I have to click a link when this is supposed to be the message window? Why chat from the browser? I don’t really know but my friend says it should be fine. I’d check with him later what his Empathy’s version is. And lastly, I don’t like the way that I have to have the buddy list window in focus before the CTRL-N shortcut for a new message will work.

Pidgin

I’ve been using GAIM/Pidgin for the longest time so I am probably biased when I say that I still prefer Pidgin. For one thing, the keyboard shortcuts are really nifty, especially when it comes to making new conversations with contacts. You don’t have to bother showing the buddy list. Another thing I love about that new conversation feature is that it could automatically retrieve the list of buddies you have with particular first how many letters that you type and you don’t even have to select which protocol to use. I don’t have to write the complete name and select whether the contact is in Yahoo or something else before I could choose. The important task is that I am able to select my contact.

What I don’t like about Pidgin though is that it is bothersome to use Yahoo Messenger on it from time to time. There are times I got login issues even before the latest change from Yahoo. Too bad that where I live, most of the locals are on Yahoo Messenger, not Google Talk or something else. Aside from that, it’s a heavy application and it can’t handle voice calls.

At the end of the day, I wish there’s a super application which could combine all the good things from these two applications. When that happens, I think I’d be using that more often already.

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Comments

5 Responses to “Pidgin vs Empathy”
  1. LeRenard says:

    Another very useful feature in Pidgin I didn’t find in Empaty (correct me if it exists) is the ability to merge contacts from different protocols.
    This is a very important feature for me with a lot of my friends using different protocols (google talk, msn, facebook…)

  2. JC John Sese Cuneta (subscribed) says:

    Feel free to file those as suggestions on Empathy’s Launchpad ^_^

    I agree with your comparison, since I also switched from Pidgin to Empathy. What made me switch however was the news that Empathy will become the default and standard IM application of Ubuntu starting on Karmic Koala (and was supposed to be on Jaunty Jackalope).

    I gave it a try and I’m loving it. Although I miss features and other plugins that’s on Pidgin, but these are not that important for me. What matters is stability, and Empathy is giving me that.

    On Windows, I use Pidgin – on a USB stick ^_^

    • Clair Ching says:

      Thanks for the reminder that we could file it as a suggestion on Launchpad. Well, that is if someone hasn’t suggested it before.

      It’s a matter of trade-offs at this point, I guess. I really think that Empathy seems to be quite stable. It’s just that when you’ve got friends who use certain protocols a lot and they want to use so and so features but you can’t, it kinda sucks. XD

      Time to search for the suggested features of Empathy on Launchpad!

  3. Matej (subscribed) says:

    Does anyone know of reasons why the protocol icons are not shown in buddylist? I kind of miss that. In pidgin if you group more contacts of same person together it would make sense to have one general icon. But normally I would like to see what protocol I am using to chat with buddy.

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