I head off skiing in 10 days, 8 hours 57 minutes and 59 seconds. No, now 10 days, 8 hours 57 minutes and 54 seconds. No, wait, 10 days, 8 hours 57 minutes and 49 seconds. Well, you get the idea. I'm pretty excited - so I blew a couple of hours writing my first Pidgin plugin - Pidgin-Countdown.

Pidgin-Countdown sets your MSN/Google Chat/Whatever status counting down to a specific point in time, updated at a configurable interval.

Running on Windows

I have had requests for a windows DLL that implements this. In particular someone has asked how to install a plugin in a .tar.bz2 file. This was my reply:

The .tar.bz2 file is a compressed archive - like a .zip file. If you open it with a program like 7zip you will see it contains two files: countdown.c (the computer code for the plugin) and a Makefile, a set of instructions of how to turn the .c file into a file that you can load into Pidgin.

You can't load the .c file into pidgin directly, you have to compile it using a tool like Visual C++ from Microsoft or the open source MinGW. Doing this for Windows is different to doing it for Linux, and as I don't use Windows I'm afraid I can't help you with this.

If you're feeling adventurous you may be able to follow the instructions in to build the plugin for Windows. Otherwise I'd recommend you get in touch with the Pidgin mailing lists or the IRC channel and ask if anyone there is able to build Windows plugins.

Posted on 10 Feb 2009
With thanks to