Debian package of character counting plugin for Pidgin

I finally got around to learning how to create a Debian package using the excellent Debian New Maintainers’ Guide so that I could finally create Debian binaries for the character counting plugin for Pidgin that I whipped up last year.

Screenshot of character counting plugin for Pidgin on Debian 4.0 (etch)

There’s a screenshot of Pidgin 2.3.1 running on Debian 4.0 (etch) with the plugin loaded. You can download it here:

If you need to build the plugin for a different architecture (I only have i386 readily available to me), here’s what I used to package this:

If anyone wants to take this and make an RPM out of it, that’d be nice. If you do, leave a link to it in the comments so others can find it. Thanks!

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  1. Oh, so it was you who wrote the plugin? Lovin’ it

  2. Xeelee: Yes, it was me. It makes me happy that you find it useful. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. This totally rocks. Your plugin has defeated my long-winded Twitter posts. Thanks!

  4. I’m afraid it doesn’t seem to work for me on Ubuntu 7.10.
    I’ve downloaded the .deb file, opened it with GDebi Package Installer, and now it appears in Pidgin’s plugin list.
    However, it’s grayed out, saying “Error: ABI version mismatch 2.3.x (need 2.2.x) Check the plug-in website for an update.” – what am I doing wrong?

  5. FND: A quick Google search for “ABI version mismatch 2.3.x” turned up this link. At the end, it says:

    UPDATE: purged libpurple0 and the abi stuff went away.

    I’d recommend doing that, first.

  6. I’m afraid that didn’t help.
    I did “sudo apt-get remove –purge libpurple0”, which removed pidgin, libpurple0 and pidgin-convcharcoun-plugin. So I’ve reinstalled them, and still get the same error…

  7. Thanks! Works for me with 2.3.1 in the Ubuntu Hardy beta. Any plans to get this into Sid or even push straight to Ubuntu?

  8. Cristobal: Thanks for letting me know it works in Ubuntu Hardy. I don’t have any plans on getting it into Debian Sid or Ubuntu, mostly because I don’t really know what’s involved in doing that.

    Anyone who is familiar with the process and is willing to do it is more than welcome to. I will help however I can.

  9. Duh! Turns out that the Ubuntu repositories only have Pidgin 2.2.1 (current version is 2.4.0) – that explains it, I guess…

  10. FND: Indeed, Ubuntu Gutsy only has Pidgin 2.2.1, but Ubuntu Hardy has 2.4.0:

  11. Great plugin, works like a charm, thanks very much. :)

    I got it to work under Pidgin 2.4.1 on Fedora 8 by grabbing the .deb file and then taking the and files and putting them in /usr/lib/pidgin/ – then I opened the plugin dialog in Pidgin and it worked. Bingo. No other install required. :)

  12. Callum: Ah, thanks for verifying that it works with the latest Pidgin on Fedora 8! At some point, I’ll sit down and figure out how to create an RPM package, but for now, folks can do what you did.

  13. Nice, this works great, just what I was looking for – only thing is you need to have the ‘Formatting Toolbar’ on to use it. Not a big deal, I’d just rather have it turned off. Thanks for the plugin, I can now update Twitter from Pidgin with confidence!

  14. fak3r: Yes, I didn’t know where to put the counter … the Formatting Toolbar seemed like the most natural place to add it.

  15. Very useful for posting to via IM, thanks!

  16. Thanx a lot!
    That’s exactly what I was searching for! And installed fine on my Debian Sid. :-)

  17. Thank you sooo much!

    This plus AIM update is AWESOME!!!

  18. I’ve been looking for a client with a character counter in linux for a while (i’ve used the windows plugin for a while). Just searched again and dicovered this. Works fine in Ubuntu Ibex (8.10).

  19. How to build from source?

    I’m using Ubuntu Ibex (8.10) 64-bit, so I can’t install the .deb package. Downloaded the tar.gz, unpacked it, looked for \configure\, and it’s not there. Ran ‘make’ and got the following error:

    patch -p0 < pidgin-convcharcount-plugin-patch.txt
    patching file pidgin-2.3.1/pidgin/plugins/
    patching file pidgin-2.3.1/pidgin/plugins/Makefile.mingw
    patching file pidgin-2.3.1/pidgin/plugins/convcharcount.c
    touch patched-stamp
    cd pidgin-2.3.1 && automake pidgin/plugins/Makefile version mismatch. This is Automake 1.10.1, but the definition used by this AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE comes from Automake 1.10. You should recreate aclocal.m4 with aclocal and run automake again.
    make: *** [pidgin-2.3.1/pidgin/plugins/] Error 63

    Anyone know what to do?

  20. Doug: Did you actually read the error message? Specifically, this:

    “You should recreate aclocal.m4 with aclocal and run automake again.”

  21. jay murphy says

    Looks like a great plugin…..but i can’t figure out how to install it….. ./configure and make won’t seem to do anything to the “source” you’ve provied. I don’t seem to see a link to a faq or install guide either…. a little bit of help for those of us who aren’t quite so well versed with linux would be nice.

  22. Jay: If you’re not comfortable with applying a patch and compiling Pidgin from source, then I suggest you look for a binary package. I’ve prepared Windows, Debian (and thus, Ubuntu) and Redhat (Fedora, CentOS, etc.) binary packages. See the updates at the bottom of my original blog entry for links:

  23. Thanks for this great plugin! The .deb package works fine on Pidgin 2.5.5 on kubuntu Jaunty (9.04) Beta!

  24. Thanks! This is really useful :)

    Works fine on Pidgin 2.5.5 on Ubuntu 9.04 (gnome), too.

  25. Has anyone successfully created a x86_64 build of and I’d love to use this plugin, but not comfortable with performing what it takes to satisfy the dependencies when building from source on my system =\

  26. Hello,

    I’m using Ubuntu 9.10 x86_64, and I badly want to use this plugin. I realize this might be sort of necro-posting, but I was wondering if there is any way I could get a deb for that? I am getting errors autoconf that I don’t understand and can’t trouble-shoot when I try to build it for myself. Thank you for building the plugin in the first place.

  27. Hi,

    I found this plugin not counting non-latin character correctly, like Chinese and Japanese. For example, I type four Chinese characters like “亞太地區” (without quote), the result is 12.

    • Ryan: You’re right, the plugin is most likely counting bytes and not characters. Those 4 characters take 12 bytes to represent – so that makes sense.

      I’ll see what I can do about fixing this. I’ll post an update if I do. Thanks for letting me know about this!

  28. I was looking into packaging this officially for Debian, but it seems that the plugin uses internal Pidgin APIs, which are not available by simply using -dev packages.

    Have you looked into getting this plugin merged into upstream Pidgin?

    • Luke, after having spent enough time in #pidgin on IRC, I have no interest in trying to get this plugin merged into upstream Pidgin. It’s not worth the trouble. Distributing the plugin this way is “good enough” for me, and apparently many other people.

  29. Zach Johnson says

    I’m very new and not yet comfortable applying a patch and compiling from source, but the x86_64 binary link above doesn’t work. I would truly appreciate some help. Thanks in advance.

  30. Zach Johnson says

    Wow, now I feel really dumb. I swear it didn’t work for me earlier. I tried multiple times on multiple different days, even. It works for me now, though, so even if you didn’t do anything, thank you very much. Especially considering your prompt response on something so old. You’re awesome.

    • Glad to hear the link is working for you now. It’s possible that there were problems but they must have resolved themselves, because I definitely didn’t change anything.

      Thanks for letting me know, though.

  31. Clayton Davis says

    Just commenting to confirm this .deb works in debian testing 32-bit. Thanks!

  32. kazutaka says

    Hi. It’s very useful plugin, but now downloadable links are dead. I can’t find .zip or .deb(I’m going using on Ubuntu) file of this plugin. Can u upload this plugin somewhere and update links please.
    Thx :)

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