pidgin on debian has more smilies than on ubuntu

We have Debian Squeeze, AKA "testing", on a desktop here and Ubuntu Lucid Lynx, AKA "10.04", on two portables.

We use Pidgin for almost all our instant messaging as it's mature well-maintained software and handles almost any protocol, like XMPP (Jabber, also Google Talk), ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, and many others.

Debian Squeeze is currently running Pidgin 2.7.0, while Ubuntu Lucid has Pidgin 2.6.6.

We're into smilies, also known as "emoticons", or "emotes." They're pretty and give a lot of satisfaction while IM'ing. 😆 To my horror, last night were were IM'ing from the Debian box to an Ubuntu box and discovered that Ubuntu was missing many smilies. This just would not do. In fact, I don't think I slept all that well last night knowing that I had been shorted some smilies on Ubuntu. Never mind the BP oil disaster and the endless wars, this smiley problem had to be fixed, and fixed today!

There are probably more elegant solutions to the issue, and more permanent ones, but I didn't want to do searches or read forums, I just wanted it fixed in five minutes. There may even be a package on Ubuntu you can install, I don't know, but this was faster.

The smilies on both systems live here if you're using the default, and very pretty, "Hylke Bons" theme:

/usr/share/pixmaps/pidgin/emotes/default

That directory contains nearly 200 image files of the format ".png", plus one text file, "theme", without an extension, that tells Pidgin which image to call up when the emoticons are inserted in a chat. Looking at the "theme" file, you can see how it all works, and how you could make changes for even more flexibility. Pidgin also has a "custom smiley manager" built in that will do about the same as editing the theme file.

Here is a small example of what you find in the theme file:

happy.png           :)      :-)
excited.png         :-D     :-d     :D      :d
sad.png             :-(     :(
wink.png            ;-)     ;)
tongue.png          :P      :p      :-P     :-p
shocked.png         =-O     =-o

Pretty spiffy and simple!

Anyway, I just copied the above "default" directory from Debian to Ubuntu, and we are once again in smiley Xanadu. :happy: By the way, you have to be root, or use sudo, to write to this part of your system. There is the possibility that my changes will be overwritten the next time Pidgin updates on Ubuntu, but we'll see. This is where a more elegant solution might some in handy.

If you don't happen to have a Debian box around for copying, you could download the "pidgin-data" package manually and extract the needed directory from it. I wouldn't install the Debian package on Ubuntu because it involves more than just the smilies. Then again, you could just find out what others are doing in the forums and take it from there. :up:

At least there is smiley peace in the home once again. :p

5 responses to “pidgin on debian has more smilies than on ubuntu

  1. holdencaulfield3

    wow…

  2. :up:Thanks! I only use about 4 smiley's anyways. 🙂

  3. Originally posted by XxTatteredXSoulXx:

    I only use about 4 smiley's anyways.

    Here they are mission critical! 😆

  4. decodedthought

    Debian all the way 🙂

  5. That's the value of having a large, actual community behind the project, I guess. 🙂

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