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So, the problem is that some chat buddies send chat lines a lot or too often. A typical example:

Chad McChaddy: Hi mate
Me: Hi
Chad: Could you take a look at problem XYZ? ABC is not working.
Me: K, checking...
Chad: It's actually working sometimes
Chad: But
Chad: sometimes it's not
Chad: For example
Chad: just now
Chad: Have you looked into it yet?
Chad: ping
(and so on)

I don't want to be cruel and block my buddy outright. I just need a little button or command that can turn off notification on the chat window so further messages from Chad don't cause a notification (blinking icon, sound, whatever) and distract me. For some reason, I don't see this feature in Kopete or Pidgin or Empathy.

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Not sure if is acceptable for you, but I use Irssi + BitlBee. Irssi, just as IRC clients in general, is much more configurable and extensible than regular chat/messenger clients. Irssi is text mode IRC client, so no obtrusive notifications by default. Then you can add scripts to perform visual notifications. – manatwork Jan 26 '12 at 9:42
Thanks, I have used TUI-based IM clients like CenterIM or Finch, and have dabbled in several console IRC clients in the past. I'll consider using them again. – user462508 Jan 26 '12 at 15:52
@manatwork You may want to post your comment as an answer instead, so this question doesn't apppear in 'unanswered' section. – user13764 Oct 6 '12 at 1:37
At least in Pidgin here, each conversation window has an 'enable sounds' that you can uncheck in the Options menu. – derobert Feb 25 '13 at 16:59
Sound kind of "rate limit" like "one notification every 15 scounds per given user" would be nice as well – Bonsi Scott Apr 3 '13 at 19:45

You can modify your notification settings in Empathy as well as Kopete.

For empathy, Goto

Edit -> Preferences -> Notifications -> Checkbox for Enable bubble notifications

For disabling sound notifications

Edit -> Preferences -> Sounds -> Checkbox for Enable sound notifications

For Kopete, Goto

Settings -> Configure Notifications

Here you can configure your notification settings to a very granular level

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