Looking for the best settings window in Instant Messenger

    In the process of using instant messengers, and especially at the moment when I joined the development team of one of them, there were often disputes about how the settings window should look like, some argued that you can configure anything in Miranda, while others said that it is too complicated, cited as an example QIP, Pidgin, etc.
    Now in qutIM, there is a need to create a new settings dialog, so I would like to ask Khabrovchan's opinion on how the optimal settings dialog should look.

    In the initial version of qutIM, which still only supported ICQ, the settings window was made in the style of QIP, that is, just a list, for a single-protocol client it seemed that this would be enough, it looked very simple and clear, as opposed to the tree that was used in Miranda. But in the process of developing a new 0.2 branch, new protocols, plugins and a bunch of other things appeared. As a result, at the beginning there was a selection button to which protocol these settings will belong, and in the end it turned out to be almost the same tree as in Miranda, which is even worse, it turned out that the settings went to three different places and completely configure Kutim, not leaving the settings window, it was impossible.
    Now a couple of screenshots for comparison:

    You can notice that there are a lot of settings, there are no icons, and even worse, tree elements for the fields get out.

    The option is good when there are not too many settings, otherwise the list will turn out very long. Imagine what will happen to Kvip if it is wrapped around with the same number of plugins as in Miranda. Most likely it will turn out either a long long list, or in some places a huge number of tabs will appear ... in general, there are many options, but they are not all very good.

    The initial version in Kutima was convenient in version 0.1, when there were profiles in the list, when the protocols were transferred there, it became not very clear and logical to configure because some of the settings were duplicated. In the end, the settings in Koutima transformed to this kind

    Which basically repeats the main shortcomings of Miranda.
    The task of finding a new approach to the settings dialog turned out to be very difficult and led to a very heated discussion at the forum. Linux programs were also considered, but there either the settings resemble Miranda or as in Pidgin there is only a tabbar with a minimum number of settings.
    In the end, I remembered about Adium, the achievements of which Kutim had already rarely used in the past.

    I want to note that Adium does not immediately dump a mountain of information on the user that can be configured in it. All settings are divided into categories and moved to the upper toolbar, if there are many settings in the category, then their list appears on the left, if there are many, then in addition to the list, a tab bar may also appear. But the most important thing is that with such a construction, it is possible to dispense only the information that the user needs, without forcing him to immediately look for the desired item among hundreds.
    Therefore, for Kutima, I sketched a new settings dialog and added it to the 0.3 branch under development:

    and as a bonus, the screenshot of the sketch that I compiled in Makoshi.

    So far this is only a very preliminary version, we need community advice on issues.
    • In your opinion, what categories should be in the upper toolbar and which of the most frequently used settings should be moved there?
    • How to implement the “save changes”, “cancel changes” functionality?
    • Which settings option would look good on phones?
    • Other suggestions and comments

    In general, I hope for the help of the
    PS community.
    Also in the process of solving this problem, an alternative idea of ​​kickoff-style settings was put forward.

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