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https://sourceforge.net/forum/message.php?msg_id=4208319
By: deryni9

Yes, knowing whether someone has you in their buddy list can be a useful piece
of information, but it is in no way important enough to be shown on the main
buddy list screen. Which is why it was removed but left in the tooltip.

No, we didn't receive complaints about it, but then again we didn't receive
complaints about the fact that there wasn't a global status either, or really
any about not having a global buddy icon. Running gaim development based only
on the things we hear complaints about is not a model that makes any sense.
And attempting to figure out what the users want is exactly what we should be
doing, since that's the only way we can make a better IM client.

If your friend would never have noticed you weren't on his list then clearly
your being on his list isn't very important. Because as soon as he needed to
find you he would have seen that you were offline and checked with you about
it later/some other way. So I don't buy this as a real reason.

What "simpler way" to control multiple accounts status are you thinking of?
The way that didn't let you save complicated statuses? The way that required
you to go into the Tools->Accounts menu once for each account? People really
like saying the 1.5.0 status method was easier but are never really able to
explain exactly what about it was so much easier.

Keyboard shortcuts are much quicker than an icon when you are already using
the keyboard, which in an IM application is most of the time. Or so is the 
theory.
If you want icons write a plugin to add them back, you can do it, we didn't
stop you.

And experience tells me that most gaim users are in fact rather like children,
in the way they ask for help, in the way they respond to comments, in the things
they want their IM clients to do, in the things they want their IM clients not
to do, etc. When you have the years of IM user support that I (and the other
gaim developers do) you can then tell us what IM users by and large do and do
not want and do and do not think/feel. Until then, please don't assume what
you want/think/feel is what everyone else does.
(Did you know that until we got rid of the Send button many IM users didn't
know you could send messages by hitting Enter?)

To create a shortcut in gaim, hover over the menu item and push the key. Done.

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