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Bug 548712 - Improvements in Create Account dialog
Improvements in Create Account dialog
Product: empathy
Classification: Core
Component: Accounts
Other Linux
: Normal enhancement
: 3.4
Assigned To: empathy-maint
Depends on:
Reported: 2008-08-20 18:11 UTC by Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt)
Modified: 2012-07-07 17:47 UTC
See Also:
GNOME target: ---
GNOME version: ---

screenshot of accounts list with buttons on the right (15.89 KB, image/png)
2008-08-21 18:47 UTC, Frederic Peters
screenshot of accounts list with buttons on the bottom (14.70 KB, image/png)
2008-08-21 18:48 UTC, Frederic Peters
work in progress (92.97 KB, image/png)
2008-11-12 19:37 UTC, Xavier Claessens

Description Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) 2008-08-20 18:11:26 UTC
Empathy 2.23.6, Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex alpha 3

1. In the Accounts window, click "Add".
2. Click "Create".

What happens: Empathy displays the next stage of the interface for setting up an account.

What should happen: Unless Empathy actually creates a usable account when you click the button (which it doesn't), the button should not be labelled "Create".

A trivial way of fixing this bug would be to relabel the button "Continue".

For various other reasons, though, I suggest instead fixing this problem by moving the add-account interface into its own dialog, separate from the rest of the Accounts window.

Those reasons are:
* It is confusing for the right half the "Accounts" window to behave like an assistant, while the left half does not.
* It is confusing for the "Create" button to add an item to the list of accounts that is not, at that point, a usable account.
* Adding this premature item to the list of accounts either causes it to have a useless name, or (once bug 546445 is fixed) a name that starts out useless and then changes distractingly as further details are entered in the other half of the window.
* If you mistakenly choose the wrong account type (e.g. Jabber instead of Google Talk), the "Create" button prematurely locks you into that decision. In a standalone dialog that showed all the account details at once, you could correct any detail (including an incorrect account type) at any time before committing.
Comment 1 Frederic Peters 2008-08-21 08:51:12 UTC
Hello Matthew, I agree small fixes to the current accounts dialog won't suffice, did you review other IM applications and are there some with pretty good accounts dialog that could serve as inspiration?
Comment 2 Frederic Peters 2008-08-21 18:35:16 UTC
Xavier, FWIW I just had a look at other applications (Gajim, Psi, Kopete, Pidgin) and they all have a window with the list of accounts and new dialogs for creating/editing.  Would you consider such a change?
Comment 3 Frederic Peters 2008-08-21 18:47:05 UTC
Created attachment 117153 [details]
screenshot of accounts list with buttons on the right

Just to get your opinion, this is just glade hacking, I didn't spend anytime on this.
Comment 4 Frederic Peters 2008-08-21 18:48:12 UTC
Created attachment 117154 [details]
screenshot of accounts list with buttons on the bottom

The same with add/modify/delete at the bottom, but then it creates two rows of buttons and doesn't look nice.  And a row with five buttons may well be too much.
Comment 5 Frederic Peters 2008-08-22 11:31:27 UTC
Matthew, I discussed this yesterday evening with Xavier and we agreed on the following idea: keeping the window as is for modify/delete operations, but adding a "new account" dialog, that could look like this:

 | New Account                          |
 | Account Type: [ Jabber (XMPP)    |v] |
 |                                      |
 | Parameters                           |
 |  Login ID: [.....................]   |
 |  Password: [.....................]   |
 |  v Advanced                          |
 |  [ ] Encrytion required (TLS/SSL)    |
 |  ...                                 |
 |                                      |
 |                   [Cancel]  [Create] |

The parameters would change according to the account type.

What do you think about this?
Comment 6 Xavier Claessens 2008-08-22 16:16:42 UTC
with a radio button if the profile supports registering account on server.
Comment 7 Frederic Peters 2008-08-22 16:23:11 UTC
Well, I think the "register new account on server" is not terribly well handled by a radio button; you don't want to discover the requested username was already taken in the contact list well after you closed that dialog.
Comment 8 Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) 2008-08-27 11:14:09 UTC
I think it's more learnable for the Add and Modify interfaces to be very similar, i.e. either both of them should use a separate window or neither of them should.

I'll sketch some possible layouts to see if it's practical for adding an account to go in the same window while avoiding the problems I listed. Otherwise, I'll provide a mockup of Add Account and Modify Account dialogs.
Comment 9 Xavier Claessens 2008-11-12 19:37:10 UTC
Created attachment 122523 [details]
work in progress

I started to work on this bug in my "new-account" branch:;a=shortlog;h=refs/heads/new-account
Comment 10 Oscar RdG 2008-11-13 10:56:14 UTC
Now that there is some work in progress to modify the accounts management window of Empathy, i wonder if some ideas of integration with the "About me" capplet could be good.

I think the "About me" capplet would be a natural place too for showing the accounts information and launching the window to add/modify them.
Right now it is very static information showing on it and there are some request to being more "flexible".
(bugs #311576 and #377159).

Sorry if this comment is somehow misplaced in this bug ("empathy" <> "about me"), but i think some integration between the two of them could be good. And now that people is thinking on designing the account window i wanted to point out that.

Comment 11 Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) 2008-11-13 20:07:06 UTC
I think About Me's days are numbered, to be replaced by changing your own login info in a PolicyKit-powered user accounts window. I think it would make sense to show your IM accounts automatically in your own address book card, but I don't think that belongs in this bug report either.
Comment 12 Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) 2008-11-27 15:47:17 UTC
I'm working on the design now.
Comment 13 Matthias Clasen 2009-02-04 16:10:18 UTC
Any news on getting this fixed for 2.26 ?
Comment 14 Pierre-Luc Beaudoin 2009-02-04 16:12:27 UTC
UI freeze was yesterday.
Comment 15 Bastien Nocera 2009-07-17 18:14:08 UTC
No freezes in 2.27 yet. Has it been worked on for 2.28?
Comment 16 Sumana Harihareswara 2009-10-28 20:29:00 UTC
MPT, thanks for your work on this.  Any progress updates?
Comment 17 Jean-François Fortin Tam 2012-07-07 17:47:30 UTC
With the changes in 3.x, I think this >4 years old bug can be put to rest... Separate bug reports should be filed on recent versions for individual issues that remain.