after reading this thread i decided to give empathy a try. i installed it in karmic alpha 2 easy from the Synaptic Package Manager. The first time I launched it, empathy auto detected and imported all of my contacts from pidgin, and i was up and running quickly and easily.
Am I the one missing contacts in Empathy? I mean, all my contacts set to "do not disturb" appear as disconnected here, and I'm at an IRC channel where no one appears in the list, even though there ARE people there.
Empathy is GREAT for most users, especially new ones, and it can replace poth pidgin AND ekiga. It lacks features only more hardcore users (yes, i just referred to some IM users as hardcore) like meta contacts, which is on the way as well. It is simple and integrates well, and we want to make Ubuntu friendly for NEW users. Old users who prefer the clutter and feature madness of pidgin will simply install it from Add/Remove. If Ubuntu switched to Empathy, it's development is going to get a huuuggggeee boost so the feature gap will close and eventaully reverse.
i've been playing with it for a while, and it has an extremely annoying behavior -- when a message is received from a person without an open conversation open, the alert comes up in the notification area, and does not spawn a new window -- this is unlike any other IM application I have ever used.
I filed a bug report, and didn't get a friendly response, sadly.
so for me, empathy is NOT ready to replace pidgin, as it presents a usability regression for me.
When I get a new message I get a message-indicator thing, does that not happen for you?
also, most of the time, I don't even notice, since I don't look at the notification area often -- this means that friends can leave messages, and leave before I have the chance to respond, simply because I never noticed that i received an IM, even though I was actively using the application.
Once it has Meta-Contacts, I'm dumping Pidgin. Until then, I have to stick with Pidgin because having 6 "John Doe"'s is kinda annoying >.>
Bios Elemental - My Blog | Useful Ubuntu and WINE related help as well as general Geek Things.