I like the messages UI of empathy but still prefer the flexibility of pidgin. So, I used this tutorial to install pidgin webkit plugin with tiny modifications that make it even easier.
This plugin make pidgin able to use adium styles (not all will work though).
Here is how I proceeded :
Firstly, we need to install some dev packages required to compile the plugin (they are all in ubuntu lucid repositories). Open a terminal and paste the fellowing command :
sudo apt-get install libnotify-bin libpurple-dev pidgin-dev libwebkit-dev bzr
Now let’s use bazaar to retrieve the source code of the plugin, in your terminal, paste the command bellow :
cd ~/ && bzr branch lp:~spoidar/pidgin-webkit/karmic-fixes
Now, we can compile the plugin, again, paste in your terminal :
cd karmic-fixes/ && make
The next commands will create the plugin folder for pidgin if it doesn’t already exist and copy the plugin into it :
cd ~/ && mkdir -p .purple/plugins cp webkit.so ../.purple/plugins/
The following instructions will make adium themes installable in one click.
Download this script in your home dir : pidgin-adium-install. It handles adiumxtra:// protocol to install themes in one click.
Now rename it make it executable and move it to a bin path with these commands (paste in your term) :
mv ~/pidgin-adium-install.txt /usr/local/bin/pidgin-adium-install sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/pidgin-adium-install
Next we create some required gconf keys to tell gnome to use pidgin-adium-install script for adiumxtra:// urls :
gconftool-2 -t string -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/adiumxtra/command "/usr/local/bin/pidgin-adium-install %s" gconftool-2 -t bool -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/adiumxtra/enabled true gconftool-2 -t bool -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/adiumxtra/needs_terminal false
Now, the fun part Restart pidgin and go to the menu Tools > Plugins. Activate the webkit message style plugin and click configure to select a theme.
To install a theme go to this adium themes site, select a theme and click install (not all will install, at least Renkoo and Fiat worked for me).
The themes are installed under
$HOME/.purple/message_styles/ and are highly customizable if you have some html and css skills.