Re: Notification Area guidelines

Hi Jeff,

On Wed, 2003-03-12 at 13:21, Jeff Waugh wrote:

> I think 'notification' and 'status' succinctly sum up the first two use
> cases you mentioned (ie. the ones we actually want to support). Notification
> is for short term, attention-grabbing information ("new mail"), status is
> for long-term, at-a-glance information ("connected to network", "battery
> percentage", etc).
> Many apps will want to use both. Examples:
>   - IM apps show connectivity / number of buddies status, but also
>     notification of new messages / buddies.
>   - A battery applet will show remaining battery life, but also notify when
>     the battery is fully charged or close to spent.
>   - A network/dialup applet will show connectivity / usage status, but also
>     notification of connections and disconnections.
> Should an application use only the same icon space for notifications? I
> guess this will be mostly answered with the balloon messages stuff (you can
> notify without changing the status icon).
> Of course, some applications should really only show "true' notifications.
> Examples:
>   - Distribution update notification tools
>   - New email
>   - Someone attempting to share/view your desktop (authentication query)
>   - Administrator rights granted period (su/sudo)

	The first time I read this I agreed, but on thinking about it some more
I'm not so sure. I don't think "pure notification" icons - i.e. ones
that appear blinking for a while and then dissappear again - will be
such a good idea in most cases.

	In most cases I think it might be better to implement notification
using a status icon. E.g. the "New email" notification may actually be
made a part of status icon telling you how many unread emails you have.
If a new email arrives the icon would flash for a few seconds and stop.
Same goes for the "battery fully charged" or "network disconnected"

	I suppose what I'm saying is that in most cases the notification will
be of a change in status - status that will be shown in a status icon -
and would be better indicated by the status icon itself.

	I'm uncomfortable with recommending the "flashing icon which
dissappears again" for notification because:

	1) Icons appearing and dissappearing may be somewhat disconcerting.

	2) You're likely to miss this notification. You might be gone to get a
joffee, reading a book or chucking something at your cube buddy ...
whatever. When you get back, in most cases I'm guessing you'll still
want to see that latest status.

	I'm not saying there'll never be a good case for it, just that in most
cases I don't think it would be the best way of doing it.

Good Luck,

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