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Sometimes I start typing a message to someone then stop, rethink it and change it or not send it at all. I don't want them to see "User is typing" messages. I see no option to disable this in Empathy.

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In Pidgin, the option is under Tools -> Preferences -> Conversations -> "Notify buddies that you are typing to them" – postfuturist Oct 26 '10 at 22:01
I don't think there is a way to do this. – TheXed Oct 26 '10 at 23:52
Empathy settings are now in dconf, so I've installed dconf-tools and then launched dconf-editor. No trace of such an option. Ironic that some times ago people complained lack of this function. – skalka Oct 27 '10 at 9:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

There does not seem to be a way to achieve this. Empathy itself does not really have any privacy preferences that I've seen.

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I suppose this is part of their keep it simple model. Maybe you can submit a feature request to them. I wonder if it even shows the other participant that you are typing. – Noel Oct 27 '10 at 13:51
It definitely shows the other person that you are typing. – postfuturist Oct 27 '10 at 16:45

Here is a patch to disable sending typing notifications for Empathy 2.34.0. For now, use the first attachment.

Patching 3.2.x.x is almost identical, but there are a few hunks of the patch that won't apply smoothly and need to be done by hand.

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