Defending the Duck

In the previous entry about the Adium icon, we had a person anonymously add this comment, which I would like to address:

2. It is not obvious ( What does a duck have to do with messaging?

Actually, Adiumy (the nickname given to the icon) is a messenger bird, specifically here is the definition you should look at:

1. One who bears a message; the bearer of a verbal or written communication, notice, or invitation, from one person to another, or to a public body; specifically, an office servant who bears messages.

I’d say this has a lot to do with with messaging. As to the other point this poster made:

1. It reflects poorly on the application as something polished. I know plenty of people who have downloaded adium, seen the icon and trashed the program immediately figuring that no polished app would have such a silly icon.

Honestly, if they can’t get over the icon then I don’t know what to tell you. For instance, with 1.0 we’ll have (and these are from the changelog, which will be posted on sites all around):

Consulted the Vorlon
Added a contextual menu to make sandwiches tastier.
Added more popcorn to the general preferences.
Given away a rather awesome french toast recipe (passed down through hundreds of generations, guard it with your life!)

Given all of these things (and there’s a lot more), you have to wonder what kind of wackiness the Adium Group is doing. Well, to be honest, we’re having fun. We all love Adiumy, we know that he’s a messenger bird, and he’s a mascot as well. He’s very well recognized, and you can pick him out on your dock, which adds to usability for people with vision problems.

We’ve also had a lot of very talented people make some very different types of dock icons, all based on Adiumy. There were so many that I was able to make a very large desktop background (modified from someone elses) that encompassed some of the birds.

You have to realize something. We’re having fun, we’re doing this for free, and that fun rubs off. Developers continue on the Adium Project long after their initial goals have been reached because they’re having fun doing it.

Two more points and I’m done. If you are complaining that a duck does not mean anything to Adium, you need to look at the names for Adium prior to Adium X:

  1. Adium
  2. Adium CK
  3. Cocaim

Look at that second one. It’s actually “AIM DUCK” mashed together.

Last point, I promise. Nobody has ever attempted to show us any alternative. So even if we did want to move away from Adiumy, nobody has formally presented us with an alternative. Given that Adam Betts has updated the duck, and it looks way better, I’d say it’d be rather tough to convince us. But nobody has ever tried to that I can remember (been with the project what, 2, 3 years?). Without someone stepping up to present us with an alternative, we have no choice but to continue to use Adiumy.

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