[Konversation-devel] New nick coloring scheme

Eike Hein kde at eikehein.com
Sat Jun 9 13:38:24 CEST 2007

Hi Yannick,

this is a pretty cool patch in principle, and I agree
that the nick coloring system is in dire need of some
improvements (although I don't use it myself).

To put the current state into historical perspective,
originally the code would strive to minimize color
clashes by picking the colors sequentially from the
palette as new speakers turned up in a channel, as
well as track nick changes and keep the color within
a session - but not beyond. As it didn't use a hash
at all, the same nicks would end up getting different
colors after a restart of the application.

It's sort of a dilemma between those who want to use
nick colors for differenciation, and those who want
to use it to (re-)recognize people by color. Even-
tually the latter group won out in an ad-hoc poll in
the channel, and the coloring system was changed to
the current simple hash, but retains the tracking.

The best way to achieve a better balance between the
two requirements for the system indeed seems to be to
expand the palette and improve the hash. However, in-
creasing the size of the palette definitely requires
some UI re-design, as the colors page is already our
problem child - its minimum size is too large and
ends up breaking the KDE UI design rule of dialogs
being supposed to fit into 800x600.

One way to make the page scale down to a smaller mi-
nimum size and yet fit more options would be to put
the color swatches into a listview, just as the col-
or scheme configuration page in the KDE Control Cen-
ter does. A page re-designed to use listviews would
also be able to fit UI (i.e. a button) to generate
different nick color palettes, I imagine.

That would also elimate the need for the kind of
special-case "if you check this, behave completely
different" checkbox option the patch currently de-
ploys, which is a bit too ugly.

Eike Hein, hein at kde.org

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