My favorite IM client for Windows and Linux, Pidgin, has been forked. Reading through Slashdot, I came across an article stating this. I found it quite odd that Pidgin would fork. Anyway, I actually took issue with the “feature” that caused the fork.
Upon upgrading to version 2.4.0, I found that the text input box was set at 1 line, and I could not resize it. Apparently, this is a new feature. The input box is supposed to grow automatically as you enter more text. Personally, I would find that extremely distracting. However, instead of giving in to the actual users of Pidgin, the developer, Sean Egan, simply argued why this feature is important and the good it will bring. He and only a couple others went on to explain that IM is meant for small messages, yet people who write code use it to send code back and forth quickly rather than use email (which is something I have used it for). In what could have been an easy fix with version 2.4.1 and a user-selectable option to allow resizing of the text input, the developers allowed it to be forked to FunPidgin (as of this writing, that site is also not working, so here’s a link to the project page), which is simply what my idea for 2.4.1 should be – Pidgin 2.4.0 with a re-sizable text input area.
It seems that this fork was completely unnecessary and the developers (aside from the one who forked off) are being stubborn and arrogant in telling people how they should and should not be using IM. I find it quite annoying, actually, that the developers chose to go down this path rather than simply giving in and making it an option. But the beauty of open source software is that you can easily fork off when the developers pull this kind of crap.