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I use Pidgin to answer chats. Are there any plugins you'd recommend?

10643 views   |   Last updated on Jun 30, 2023    staffing


There are a few plugins that can optionally be used to improve LibraryH3lp services:

  • LibraryH3lp pluginVersion, released June 6, 2013. This plugin repeats new chat alert noise until chat is answered, shows in-line transcript on receipt of transfer, automatically approves individual buddy subscription requests, provides option for 140 character countdown, and provides option for XMPP gone notifications. Feature details...

    Download (right-click, save as...) the appropriate plugin file for your LibraryH3lp server:

    Once downloaded, enable and configure the plugin in Tools->Plugins. To make sure the repeating sound alert will work, visit Tools->Preferences->Sounds and make sure to select Message received begins new conversation.

  • Window close/gone plugin.  This will cause Pidgin to "end" a chat when the operator closes the Pidgin conversation window.  Then if the guest sends another message, their message starts up a brand new chat that is offered to ALL available operators, not just the operator that answered their prior chat.    Download the original Gone plugin (source),  Unzip the file and copy the gone.dll file to Pidgin's plugins directory (usually c:\program files (x86)\pidgin\plugins.  Then enable the plugin in Tools > Plugins.
  • History. This plugin is included with Pidgin but may not be enabled by default. It saves prior conversation with the same guest and displays it when the same guest returns after you have closed the original window.
  • Text Replacement. This plugin is included with Pidgin but not enabled by default. Besides fixing common typos, it can be used to push canned messages to guests. For example, you can configure it to send a standard canned wrap-up message including a link to a user satisfaction survey by typing something like xxbye.
  • Message Notifications. This plugin is included with Pidgin but is not enabled by default. It improves visual alerting and allows you to Raise and Present new conversation windows. If this proves insufficient, try the Guificiations plugin.
  • Lock-n-Roll Extended.  Sets you to Away status when your workstation is locked, so you do not stay on Available when the workstation is in that condition.
  • Guifications pluginAlternative download site. It provides configurable, toaster-style visual alerts even with Pidgin hiding in the system tray and conversations minimized. This works around Win 7's ideas about windows popping to the front entirely. If you click on one of the pop-up alerts, it brings that conversation window to the front. You can configure it to keep the alerts up for xx number of seconds. Make sure to select a theme after you have it enabled in Pidgin.

Installing & Configuring LibraryH3lp plugin

  1. Fully exit Pidgin (Buddies menu, Quit).
  2. Unzip the downloaded file and save the .dll file to Pidgin's plugins directory. On Windows7 and higher it is usually c:\program files(x86)\pidgin\plugins.
  3. Start Pidgin.
  4. Enable the plugin in Pidgin at Tools-->Plugins.
  5. Click configure plugin and set the desired interval for the new message alert sound. Also opt into or out of Gone notifications and the character countdown.
  6. Go to Tools-->Preferences-->Sounds and select message received begins new conversation. This is not turned on by default and it is required by the looping new message alert feature.

Detailed Summary of LibraryH3lp Plugin Features

  1. Repeats an incoming chat alert sound at a configurable interval in seconds until the first operator sends a message to the guest.
    • This is especially handy for staffing models where it is not guaranteed that the operator will be physically looking for incoming chats visually all the time. You can set the repeat sound to suit your preferences: 60 seconds, 30 seconds, 10 seconds, etc...
    • The noise will stop repeating even if a different operator answers. If more than one computer with the plugin receives a chat because multiple operators are signed into the queue in question, the sound will stop looping on all the computers when the first operator sends a response to the guest.
    • The sound will not repeat for simple new responses from the guest once a chat is underway; it is limited to their initial message.
  2. Displays the prior transcript of a chat to the recipient of a transfer. This means that the operator answering a transferred chat does not need to follow the "chat management" link in order to read the prior discussion between the guest and the transferring operator.
  3. Option for 140 character countdown. This is useful for composing short replies, such as to incoming SMS (text message) requests. If you already use dossy.org's conversation count plugin, the LibraryH3lp character countdown plugin will be disabled.
  4. Option for XMPP gone notifications. This helps chats end more cleanly by sending an invisible command back to our server when the operator closes a chat window. The guest will not see any messages from this plugin. Notes:
    • This option is recommended since it provides a safeguard for routing of returning guests when the original librarian stepped away and forgot to change their status.
    • If enabled, this option only sends gone notifications for LibraryH3lp chats; it will not act on Google Talk or other XMPP accounts.
    • If you are already running the original Gone plugin (source), which acts for all XMPP accounts including LibraryH3lp accounts, this option will not be available.
  5. Automatically approves incoming buddy requests for widget chats for individual users. Widget chats for queues are auto-approved even without the plugin.


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