User icons

Another very visible change between Instantbird 0.2 and 0.3 is the possibility to set a user icon and a display name.

screenshot of the contact list with a place holder icon

You will see a place holder icon at the top of the buddy list, just click it (this will open a file picker) to set an icon. The icon will be automatically resized and converted to fit the various size and format requirements of the IM networks you use.

Similarly, click the “Display name” place holder to edit it. This name will be visible in your contacts’ buddy lists (unfortunately this currently works only for MSN).

Here you go, your friends will now easily recognize you:

screenshot of the contact list with an icon and a display name

Conversation windows have also been changed to display your contacts’ icons and some more information (display name, status message, …):

conversation with an info bar showing the user icon

I can already hear some comments about how much space this new information bar takes (or wastes) in all conversation windows. Yes, this takes a lot of space, we know. People tend to use big or very big windows for chatting (sometimes even full screen!) but if you like the ability to chat in small windows, don’t worry, we love you too! Just resize the window and this information bar will shrink to ensure you still see the actual content of the conversation:

conversation with a smaller info bar

And for very small conversation windows, the bar will completely disappear, leaving only the strictly necessary user interface:

small conversation without the info bar