Re: [GnomeMeeting-devel-list] Re: Sound events and GnomeMeeting

On Die , 2003-11-16 at 00:49, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> <quote who="Rodney Dawes">
> > > [1] For screenshots of what OSX and XP does, take a look at 
> > >
> > 
> > Was this supposed to be an example of what not to do, or what other
> > desktops currently do?
> What *to* do, because having fifteen different sounds for fifty different
> events is a waste of cognitive effort. When something goes wrong, beep at
> the user. They're not going to bother building a mental map of noises to
> error states - they just want to know something's up, or something wants
> their attention. Having to differentiate or configure the beeps and plops
> doesn't help them.

You must be confusing sound events with something else that actually
isn't totally subconscious. Sound events aren't about notifying the user
only when something goes wrong. People build mental maps of sounds to
events every day of their lives, subconsciously. It's how people know
that certain things happen. Granted it doesn't work much if you are
deaf, but showing an icon doesn't work much if you're blind, either. In
Boston, at least, when you hear *ding ding ding*, you know that it's the
trolley. If you hear tires screeching, you know a car just almost hit
something or some one. If you hear the police siren, you know it's the
cops. If you hear bees in a coffee can, you know it's a 12 year old in a
Honda, driving by. You don't sit and study this. You just know it. It is
not a waste of cognitive effort. Saying it is a waste of cognitive
effort, is like saying GNOME is a waste of effort, because it doesn't
allow you to do some certain minor thing. Having to differentiate or
configure the event sounds does help them, because audible notification
is all about personal look and feel. If we are not going to let users
change how their desktop looks and feels, we might as well go all the
way and get rid of metacity, gtk+, icon, cursor, and whatever themes and
things we can customize, because configuring the scrollbar hilight to be
pink instead of blue, is a waste of cognitive effort.

> If a particular piece of software has more complicated event notification
> requirements, it can handle it all by itself (using the standard play this
> sound API, or the text-to-speech API). (I imagine gnomemeeting users who
> really get into it - and who receive calls regularly - may want to do cool
> stuff with ring-in sounds and whatnot, much like people do with their desk
> or mobile phones.)

All pieces of software have more complicated event notification
requirements. Because we don't currently support them in a standard
way, doesn't mean that we shouldn't start to. Users who really get
into anything, that has audible notification of events, generally like
to customize those sounds. And when I was doing PC repair 6-3 years ago,
it was very rare that I would have to work on 2 machines that had the
same sound events configured. Hell, I configure them to something else,
just because the ones in gnome-audio are bad enough that we have to
disable sound events by default in gnome.

-- Rodney

<insert profound statement about cognitive effort here>

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