A User’s Guide to Instant Messengers – II

To continue with my earlier post , Now I will discuss what I want to have in the Instant Messenger of my choice .. Though some proceedings made me to modify my original post. Earlier I had decided that I will point out features separately for both messengers, but now as both Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger will start supporting each other’s networks, I guess the ultimate messenger program they will release around June 2006 will support both program’s features . . .So I will make an ambiguous list that is relevant to most clients. 
A disclaimer: People like me usually chat on text mode. This partly due to chatting with many people at once, being a fast typist and, not wanting to appear as I am talking to my computer for that matter :D..
So, most of the features that I want are related to text conversations …

  • First feature that I will like in any program is it to become less bloated. For messenger clients, having the programs as modular will be a good thing. Although I dont use Gaim but I still like its modular features. If you dont use Voice and Video chat that frequently, why load those modules into memory and increase the resources usage ..? The best thing about Gaim is that you add the modules that you use and the ones that you dont, just dump them ..
     So, (Apropos YIM)  photo sharing is a good feature but how many people actually use it ..? Or how many people use it on regular basis ..? Wont it be good if  you can turn off certain “features”  that you dont frequently use ..? (I turn off Nudge and Wink the moment I install MSN Messenger and IMvironment and Audibles in Yahoo Messenger.)  I would love if I could decomplile that radio from Yahoo messenger somehow .. 
  • Centralised customization: I am not sure what to call this 😛 ..  Its just that whatever customization I make to the messenger program, that is, my font settings – my avatar settings – configuration – all that should be saved to the central server so that whenever I reinstall or log in from a different computer, I get my customized settings and I dont havt to configure it everytime .. Yahoo saves some of this already  like ignored list, mobile settings but I have to manually configure the options about disabling the YIM from Windows Startup or fonts or webcam and all that .. When the installer run or when I log in from a different computer, the program should check for my customized settings on the IM Server and configure itself like that automatically .. that will be kewl .. 
  • Advanced contacts features: Such as I dont know how many people have me on their contact list.. There should be some option to find this out and an option to deny friendship (whatever) would be as welcome. Many people have added 4 of my profiles in their list .. If they group message, I get 4 copies of the same message .. There should be an option where I could delete myself from their contact lists .. Some of my friends will also want to find out who has put them on ignore but I can live without this feature .. 
  • More functionality in chatrooms: The conference starter should have some advanced rights such as kick user or disable posting links in the conf window .. These features can be directly ripped off from IRC 😛 (Don’t look at me like that .. File sharing was also ripped from there ) .. The features of ICQ can be a source of inspiration to messenger developers .. 
  • It will be good if that photo sharing feature can be extended to conferences too ..So that I can show an image to many people at once .. As Yahoo has purchased Flickr, I am sure they will add it to YIM some day … So it could work if I can upload a picture to Flickr and share it with my friends directly from the Conference window .. Just like the simple photo sharing thing in YIM works ..
  • I hate it that I cant set nicknames for my contacts on MSN Messenger .. This is the only feature I liked in Msnplus so that I can name my contacts in a way I can remember them .. ~ ~ I have found another way ~ ~ is one of my friend’s display name .. It takes half of the messenger window’s width and I always forget who is it .. And then when someone changes his display name .. You are lost .. So please .. MSN people .. give us the option to edit contact details ..
  • I like that s: keyword search in Yahoo messenger .. I’ll be glad if they add it to conference windows too . .And some extensions to the features like Image search or blog search ..  Although I am skeptical that they will let the users to configure which search engine to use .. 😀 .. But still I like Yahoo Search too .. 🙂 ..
  • I have always wondered why MSN people havent yet added the support of Media Player to MSN Messenger… That is changing the status to whatever song is being played .. Although you can use plugins for that why isnt its being natively supported when both WMP and MSN are Microsoft’s products .. I use Foobar and a plugin for changing Yahoo status but how kewl it will be if the messenger will let you configure your media player and lets you choose if you want to show what song are you listening to and all that ..

Hmm.. Thats all I can think of now .. I have deliberately left out encrypted connections because I feel its more bane than boon … I’ll add more when I think of them .. You people too contribute to the list ..  ..

7 Replies to “A User’s Guide to Instant Messengers – II”

  1. I’m on a Mac, so my dreams are simpler; that basic functions, such as voice chat, would EXIST for me… I get either an IM that barely lets me do more than send a basic message, or nothing, as is the case with the new Google chat.

  2. Somebody knows if there’s a way to catch or add MSN emoticons into GAIM… I can see the new ones sended by my friends, but I can’t add to my GAIM… :s tnx’n’advnc

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