Oh yes, it finally happened. We killed all those blocking bugs and present you the shiny new IM solution for your desktop. It consits of several (independent) components, each simply replacable with different one (for example you can use our contact list and Empathy's chat window or vice-versa). Currently it is in "Technical Preview" stage, it's not feature complete and probably full of bugs.
In this post I want to introduce you one of our main components - Contact List. It is exactly what you would expect, a list of your contacts :) It has two possible views, one more compact and one bigger with available actions showing on mouse hover.
The actions overlay shows only those actions, for which you have available support and/or the other side has support. That means if the other side can't make audio calls, you won't see the action to start a call. They are similarilly disabled in the context menu.
In the context menu above, you can see entries like "Move to Group" and "Show Info...". Our super-shiny-cool contact list supports cross-accounts groups, which means that if you have a group with the same name in two accounts, they are showed as one. We have also infrastructure that supports contacts to be in multiple groups, but this hasn't been implemented yet.
Side by side with with contact tooltips, which show various info (currently only avatar, name, IM id and presence status with message), we also have a bigger info dialog, which we'll further expand in the upcoming releases.
We currently do not support saving presence messages, so when you reopen your contact list, you have to set a new one. However we do support setting a global presence message (you can set that on the top where it says "Set your status message here...") and then a special presence per account (this one you can set after expanding the account menu). Setting and saving your presence messages will be greatly improved in upcoming releases as well.
And now shortly for the rest of the features. You can add new contacts to your account, that's what the first button in the toolbar is for. The second one then switches between views, one displays all your groups, the other one then your accounts (and no groups). The third button simply shows or hides offline users (and empty groups). Fourth toolbar button is for sorting contacts by presence (ie. online first) and alphabetically, if disabled, contacts are sorted alphabetically only. The icon with binoculars is for searching your contact list. You press it, an input box pops up in the bottom and you can start typing the name you're looking for. And finally, the last button, hides some settings, like account configuration, list type (compact or full) and currently also the "Join chat room" button is there (as we simply didn't have any better place for it :P).
So that's our great contact list. If you have ideas, wishes or you have found some bugs, just storm our mailing list kde-telepathy (at) kde.org or our irc channel #kde-telepathy, leave a bug/wish on bugs.kde.org or leave a comment down below (sorry for the need to log-in, typepad limitation, but it takes OpenID too). We encourage you to test it out, because without testers out there we won't know what to improve, what to focus on. After all, we're doing it for you :)
I should also state, that this work is being done as part of my diploma thesis for the Czech branch of Red Hat, so if you think it's cool, don't forget to say something good about Red Hat here and there ;)
More components introduction will follow (on different blogs, all aggregated on planet.kde.org) and I'll put the links here as they are out.