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Message Alignment #202810 30/07/08 08:35 PM
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SuperEgg Offline OP
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As far as I can tell, the ability to align messages to the right of nicknames does not exist in mIRC. Having this ability, at least for me, would improve message readability.

Here's an example screenshot from the XChat irc client which implements this behavior:



What are your thoughts?

Re: Message Alignment [Re: SuperEgg] #202821 31/07/08 05:58 AM
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argv0 Offline
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Thoughts? If you like the UI of a particular chat client, keep using it and be happy.

This behaviour is scriptable in some primitive manner, but mostly doesnt jive well with builtin support because the buffer space is not separated into nickname | text and it probably wont be. Also, where would you put timestamps? Would you right align those as well? How would you deal with echoing text without a nickname prefix? How would you deal with scripting and customizing text from nicknames? Many technical issues would need to be considered. The primitive way to script, this, btw, is to just override ON TEXT and add N-$len($nick) hard-spaces before the nickname where N is some max value (chosen from the longest name in the nicklist or via the 005 NICKLEN reply). of course all it does is right align the nickname, it doesnt align the next-line to some margin.

This is really a philosphical UI thing.. mIRC and XChat have their own philosophies... pick the one you like best. I personally hate clients that assume I'm too dumb to separate a nickname from the text they write. In fact, when all lines of text start from the same point it makes it *harder* rather than easier for me to decipher when the previous line ended and who said what. Of course, that's just me.. but that's also why I use mIRC, not XChat.


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Re: Message Alignment [Re: argv0] #202828 31/07/08 08:16 AM
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MeStinkBAD Offline
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argv0... this is a suggestion forum... not a "philosophical" one.

What I'm saying is... you have become a troll.

Personally, I think mIRC's UI could use an overhall. X-chat is not the only client that includes this feature, either.


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Re: Message Alignment [Re: MeStinkBAD] #202830 31/07/08 08:31 AM
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Thrull Offline
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Wow. I don't think he's trolling. Merely disagreeing. And pleasently at that.

On option for this kind of behavior would be nice. Options are always nice.

There's all a dll out there called nicklist.dll and nicklust.dll Both can do similar things with a nick list.


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Re: Message Alignment [Re: Thrull] #202893 01/08/08 11:19 PM
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The_JD Offline
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I personally do prefer this... although I believe that this is something that would be better off scripted.


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Re: Message Alignment [Re: SuperEgg] #202896 02/08/08 12:43 AM
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genius_at_work Offline
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I was just pondering a relatively simple way to do this. If tabstops were allowed in channel windows, then scripts could easily align (and realign) the nick vs msg by changing the first tabstop. This would be handy because the length of the longest nickname changes throughout the chat session, so your display would move back and forth relative to each other rather than as a whole. Example:

Without tabstops:
Code:

<MyNick>   My text is aligned here.
<YourNick> My text is also aligned here.
Joins: VeryLongNickname
<VeryLongNickname> Now my text is aligned here.
<MyNick>           My text is aligned here now too.



With tabstops:

Code:

<MyNick>           My text is aligned here.
<YourNick>         My text is also aligned here.
Joins: VeryLongNickname
<VeryLongNickname> Now my text is aligned here.
<MyNick>           My text is aligned here now too.



The text that was previously aligned for the old longest nick (YourNick) was moved to compensate for the new longest nick (VeryLongNickname). It would be up to users whether they wanted the alignment to move back when VeryLongNickname parted the channel (covering part of that nickname) or leave the alignment wide for the length of the chat session, or possibly have the alignment change based on the widest nickname visible on the chat window.

Technically, all of those option could be added as options in mIRC, in addition to being scriptable.

-genius_at_work

Re: Message Alignment [Re: genius_at_work] #202897 02/08/08 01:07 AM
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Jigsy Offline
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Quote:
... or possibly have the alignment change based on the widest nickname visible on the chat window.

Wouldn't it be a better idea to base it on the NICKLEN?


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Re: Message Alignment [Re: Jigsy] #202901 02/08/08 05:02 AM
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argv0 Offline
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NICKLEN would guarantee spacing but what would you do on the many IRC networks with NICKLEN=25 or NICKLEN=50 (etc)? They would all either render mIRC pretty ugly, or the feature completely useless (whichever one you want).

The problem is still with line wrapping though:

Code:
NICK1:     blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah
Nick23456: blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah   


That makes the alignment rather pointless, no? The only reason the specific xchat ui works is because nicknames are in the "margin" and don't take up part of the actual page body.

I do want to followup on MeSinkBAD's post though:

@MeStinkBAD:

You state that it's not philosophical and then claim that you personally think mIRC is in need of a "UI overhaul". Well, the problem is this: I can't list numbers but there are probably a huge number of mIRC users who use the client specifically because the UI is the way it is. I can at least say I'm one of those people, and that not everybody agrees the UI needs changing. You can at least admit that your statement is subjective. Now, if you admit the question "Why change the UI?" has a subjective answer, then the issue is no longer based strictly in fact, but rather a philosophy of each opinionated group, that mIRC is "outdated", for example, or that mIRC "should be more like xchat"-- none of these statements can be qualified, and the answer can only be found by agreeing to one of the philosophies of a group. Alternatively, you can try to make every group happy by implementing all features in question, but only if each feature-set can be completely isolated (compact mode vs normal, for instance).

But while options are good, the point of my original post was that I don't think there's any real way of making both sides of this kind of philosophical issue happy. I don't think in this specific case that Khaled could maintain two separate UI's where the script engine would still function in an expected manner. For instance, there are still all of my unanswered & serious script related issues to solve relating to how mIRC would handle both window formats in one unified manner. For that reason, I made the claim that this is more of a "you'll never be fully satisfied, so just choose the client you're most comfortable using" issue. I mean, it really does beg the question why the OP can't, say, go to XChat and request they implement features he likes from mIRC instead of the other way around.

Last edited by argv0; 02/08/08 05:17 AM.

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Re: Message Alignment [Re: argv0] #202912 02/08/08 01:58 PM
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RoCk Offline
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Originally Posted By: argv0

there are probably a huge number of mIRC users who use the client specifically because the UI is the way it is. I can at least say I'm one of those people, and that not everybody agrees the UI needs changing.


I too am one of those who wish for the UI to remain exactly as it is.

Re: Message Alignment [Re: SuperEgg] #202919 02/08/08 05:05 PM
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landonsandor Offline
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Here's my take on it the whole new vs old interface. Why not jsut have it "skinable" and when you choose a skin, it changes the layout? This way, we can choose the syle/skin we want to and the mirc one could be default. I agree that the current one is nice, but having other options would be nice too smile


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Re: Message Alignment [Re: argv0] #202923 02/08/08 06:44 PM
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RusselB Offline
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Quote:
I mean, it really does beg the question why the OP can't, say, go to XChat and request they implement features he likes from mIRC instead of the other way around.
The one "reason" that I can think of, is that XChat has this one feature that mIRC doesn't, rather than posting about a dozen or more features that mIRC already has that XChat doesn;t. I realize this isn't much of a reason, which is why I put the term in quotation marks.

Re: Message Alignment [Re: SuperEgg] #204645 26/09/08 04:03 PM
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mhe Offline
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I think SuperEgg has a very solid point, it's simply easier to read when the nick's are right aligned, and the text is wrapped to the right of the nick instead of below the nick.

Im not a programmer so i don't see all the huge issues this would spark. But i can definately say that for me it's not about anything but readability, i hate pointless skinning.
And i've tried xchat ages ago, it was buggy, crashed on me and i didnt like it one bit. So even if this feature is never implemented in mirc im not going to switch smile

Re: Message Alignment [Re: mhe] #228665 06/01/11 03:39 AM
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Rinku Offline
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Resurrected with Phoenix down because I wish to see this feature offered by mIrc.

Last edited by Rinku; 06/01/11 03:41 AM.
Re: Message Alignment [Re: argv0] #228667 06/01/11 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted By: argv0

The problem is still with line wrapping though:

Code:
NICK1:     blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah
Nick23456: blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah   


Or you can just use the -i switch with /echo. That's how I do it.

If I remember, I'll post a screenshot when I get home (:


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