[Psi-Devel] The way forward
jesse.thompson at doit.wisc.edu
Tue Mar 10 11:10:52 PDT 2009
Justin Karneges wrote:
> On Monday 09 March 2009 05:46:24 Remko Tronçon wrote:
>>> In fact, the projects will likely compete, because they have very similar
>> Well, it's certainly not the intention that Swift becomes a competing
>> client for Psi, because of the completely *different* goals. With
>> Swift, we're going after the users that Psi cannot reach (unless it
>> changes philosophies drastically, and as such loses the userbase it
>> currently has).
> The geeky Psi client we all know and love does have a limited audience.
> However, as a "platform", Psi has a wide scope, and it has long been a goal
> of the project to address average users. In many ways this has already been
> realized, through various official client branches.
> It's true that for Psi-the-client itself to reach more users may require
> changing the interface in ways that alienate existing users. But, this is
> what branches are for. :) While Swift may not compete directly with
> Psi-the-client, I can easily see it competing with some Psi branches.
Speaking as a service operator at a large university, we have around
1000 users (mostly staff) that use our service on a daily basis. We did
an evaluation of the popular clients, and chose Psi to be our
Currently, we have around 2/3 of our users happily using Psi.
Why did we ultimately choose Psi?
1. cross platform
2. supports the most XMPP features correctly
3. stable, performs well, etc
Sure, some of the menus can be made more user friendly, and you could
add more avatar support to the roster. But overall, I think that Psi
targets the average user very well once they get used to it.
Pidgin/Adium came in second, mostly because those users like the support
for external IM networks, and some of them like the simplified
interface. Support for external IM networks isn't a priority for us,
and Pidgin/Adium fail the criteria above.
So, IMHO, Psi should continue to focus on its strengths, since that
won't do itself any disservice. The interface/menus could be gussied
up. Perhaps a plugin system can solve the desire for support for
external IM networks.
I also think that screen reader accessibility would be beneficial
(assuming it's relatively easy to accomplish) since there are many
organizations (like ours) that are bound to comply with Section 508. It
might even be a boon to the project if could claim to be the first XMPP
client that is accessible to the blind.
Oh, and if the goal is to target the main stream, I think that the name
might need to be changed. No one can pronounce Psi. I know; that's
probably too controversial.
Just my $0.02 as a non-developer. Take it with a grain of salt. I'll
try to help as much as possible. Maybe I'll even re-learn C++ (eek) and
submit a patch or two :-)
Division of Information Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Email/IM: jesse.thompson at doit.wisc.edu
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