The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), with answers, and
notes related to development using LibPurple.
### I created an account, but it's not being saved!
You need to use `purple_accounts_add()` to add the account to the list of
available accounts. This list of accounts is saved. Note that many of the
functions require an account to be on that list. So you should always call
`purple_accounts_add()` after creating an account.
### How do I get online with an account?
There are two ways you can do this:
* If you have other accounts online, and you want the new account to have the
same status as those, then call `purple_savedstatus_get_current()` to get the
current status, and use `purple_savedstatus_activate_for_account()` for the
* Otherwise, you can simply do `purple_account_set_status()` to set
the status of the account.
An account needs to be enabled before it can be connected. So after doing either
of the above, you need to enable the account by calling
### How can I create a conversation with someone?
Use `purple_conversation_new()`. Use `PURPLE_CONV_TYPE_IM` if the conversation
is an IM (one-to-one person conversation), and use `PURPLE_CONV_TYPE_CHAT` if
it's a multi-user conversation. One important thing to note here is that the
name property of the `PurpleConversation` struct is the name of the buddy you
are creating a conversation with (the documentation states that this is the name
of the conversation itself, but it is in fact also the name of the receiving
buddy). So a call to `purple_conversation_new()` takes the name of the buddy as
### How can I send a message in a conversation?
Use either `purple_conv_im_send()` or `purple_conv_chat_send()`. Note that the
first parameter to either of these functions are ***not*** the conversation
itself. Rather, it's the IM data or chat data of the conversation which you can
get from `PURPLE_CONV_IM`/`PURPLE_CONV_CHAT`.
### Is there a way that I can print something in the conversation window, but not send the message?
Yes. Use `purple_conv_im_write()` or `purple_conv_chat_write()`.
### What do I do with `DATADIR`, `LOCALEDIR`, and `LIBDIR`?
`DATADIR`, `LOCALEDIR`, and `LIBDIR` are defined as functions in the Windows
build. Therefore, doing something like this will break the Windows build:
printf("File in DATADIR is: %s\n", DATADIR G_DIR_SEPARATOR_S "pic.png")
printf("File in DATADIR is: %s%s%s\n", DATADIR, G_DIR_SEPARATOR_S, "pic.png");
### Why are files opened with mode `b`?
Without this, on Windows systems the opened files will use Windows default
translation (<CR><LF> for newline, for example). This will cause errors due to
newline format and the "bytes read" counts, which will be wrong when comparing
the return value of `read()` to `stat()`.
### Why are `G_DIR_SEPARATOR_S` and `G_DIR_SEPARATOR` used everywhere?
This is a matter of maintaining cross-platform compatibility. Windows uses a
backslash ("\") for directory separators in paths, while UNIX-like systems use
the forward slash ("/"). Other OSes may choose to use other separators--for
example, prior to Mac OS X, it was common for the directory separator on Macs to
It is impractical to use preprocessor directives throughout the code to
determine the path style to use, especially if a new OS were to appear and use a
different directory separator. GLib, which we already use, provides the
convenient separator macro, so we use this to reduce our code complexity and
maintain cross-platform portability.
### What should I do to get the contents of an environment variable?
### Should I use `snprintf()` or `vsnprintf()`?
No. Use the GLib wrapper functions instead. They are `g_snprintf()` and
### How do I get the settings directory?
Use `purple_home_dir()`. You should *not* use `g_get_home_dir()` or
### What is the versioning scheme?
**This is already defined elsewhere, we should probably just have a page for
There are three fields in the version: `major.minor.micro`.
- If the `major` is changing, you can break plugins. That means both forward-
and backward- compatibility. API can be added or removed or whatever you
- If only the `minor` is changing, you can break forward compatibility
only. You may add API, but you can't remove it. You can mark API as
- If only the `micro` is changing, you can't break the API
### Why is win32dep.h causing problems for me?
You need to make sure it is the last header you include if you need to include
it. Not doing so is asking for problems.
### How should I handle global variables?
Use `G_MODULE_IMPORT` for any global variable located outside your dynamic
library. Not doing this will cause "Memory Access Violation" errors on Windows
### What should I do for "exported" functions?
If your plugin has functions that are to be accessed from outside the scope of
its file (.dll or .so), `G_MODULE_EXPORT` those functions.