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Kopete: KDE Instant Messenger Client

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 6 Oct 2005

Applies to:

  • Platforms using KDE

Last time, I introduced Kopete, the instant messenger client for KDE. We looked at how to install it and add your screen names and buddies. Let's go through more of the features offered by Kopete. First, let's look more at buddy management.

Fire it up, then look at the EDIT menu:

As you can see, there is a lot of functionality packed into this menu. Most of it is fairly intuitive. If you select RENAME CONTACT, you can change the name of the contact as it shows in the buddy list. This does not change the actual username of the buddy, just the display name. Another really cool option is VIEW STATISTICS. It will show you a whole slew of statistics about a buddy:

"Ooh" and "aah" over the shiny graphs and charts.

Also from the EDIT menu, let's select the PROPERTIES option. Another dialog box appears:

In the GENERAL tab, there are some neat options. In the ADDRESSBOOK INTEGRATION box, you have the ability to match a Kopete contact with a KDE Addressbook contact. In the CONTACT PROPERTIES box, you can specify what name to display in the buddy list for this contact. Alternatively, you can choose to use the name given by the buddy's server. Next, let's take a look at the ADVANCED TAB:

From this tab, you can specify status icons to use for this contact. On to the CUSTOM NOTIFICATIONS tab:

This allows you to customize the notifications for this contact. In the ON EVENT drop-down box, you can see all of the types of events for which you can create custom notifications:

Using the checkboxes below this drop-down, you can tell Kopete what kind of notification to use. You can do such things as play a sound, display a message, or start a chat.

Click OK to apply changes and close the box or CANCEL to just close the box, discarding changes.

So far in this article, we've mostly been looking at user-specific settings. Let's look at ways that we can customize Kopete itself. In the contact list window, click on the SETTINGS menu. You'll see a menu appear with several options in it:

In the TOOLBARS submenu, you can choose whether or not you wish to display the main toolbar and the quick search toolbar. As you can see by the lower half of this SETTINGS menu, there are quite a few things to configure. If you select the CONFIGURE PLUGINS option, you'll see another dialog box appear that will allow you to enable, disable, and configure Kopete plugins:

To see what each of them does, hover your mouse cursor briefly over each of the plugin names at the left. A small tooltip description of the plugin will appear:

Click OK to apply your changes and close the window, or CANCEL to discard changes and close the window.

If you go back to the SETTINGS menu, you'll again see all of the CONFIGURE options at the bottom. This time, select CONFIGURE NOTIFICATIONS. This is where you configure application-wide notifications for events, which are listed in the window:

If you need further customization options, click on the MORE OPTIONS button at the bottom left of this window. When you are finished, click OK to apply your changes and close the window, or CANCEL to discard changes and close the window.

Back in the SETTINGS menu, we'll click on CONFIGURE KOPETE this time. Strangely enough, it takes us to a window called "Configure - Kopete". With the ACCOUNTS option selected at the left, you see a window with all of your accounts listed:

From here, you can add, modify, and remove accounts. Next, let's have a look at the BEHAVIOR option:

You can set system tray preferences, notification preferences, and a couple of miscellaneous options. You'll notice that there is an AWAY SETTINGS tab, where you can set some preferences for what Kopete should do when your status is set to AWAY. In the CHAT tab, you can tell Kopete how to handle your chat conversations.

Lastly in this dialog, let's check out the APPEARANCE option:

You see that you have different options as to which emoticon theme to use, or to disable them completely. In the CHAT WINDOW tab, you have the ability to customize how your chat window contents are displayed. In the CONTACT LIST tab, there are some options that allow you to specify how you'd like your Contact List to look and behave. Finally, in the COLORS & FONTS tab, you can set preferences for how you want Kopete to treat formatting, fonts, and colors. You can also tell Kopete to override the formatting that other users send to you.

Click OK to apply changes and close this window. Alternatively, click CANCEL to discard changes and close the window.

Kopete is full of options and settings, as is typical of a well-developed KDE application. If you're in the market for a very well-developed instant messaging client, Kopete is there with much to offer. Give it a whirl!

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