Re: requesting official list of modules and versions for GNOME 2.14

On Mon, Feb 13, 2006 at 12:37:36PM +1100, Paul Drain wrote:
> > > This is exactly what I mean by notification spam. I hope to get some
> > > clarification on what is good notification and bad notification that
> > > is suitable for the HIG shortly.
> > 
> > In my opinion this is possibly the most clear cut and legitimate case 
> > for using notifications.  I think a message that essentially says that 
> > your computer will run out of gas in 2 minutes is hardly "notification 
> > spam".

> After all that, g-p-m came up and told me my UPS had < 5 minutes left.
> I think that means there are other places we can look for "notification
> spam" without crippling g-p-m's functionality.

I certainly did not mean to imply that g-p-m was the only, or by far
the worse offender, only that 4 notifications were perhaps a bit

Here is a (somewhat long) list of example notifications and some
notes on them. Some are good, some are bad: it is my hope that these
can be reduced down to use cases for the style guidelines.

Using the power management metaphor (but not referring to anything
that g-p-m does) we can look at some events and attempt to discuss
whether or not they warrent some form of notification:
 - UPS battery backup has kicked in: yes, this is not always
   obvious, some notification of the event is warrented
 - Laptop has been unplugged: this one is a little more vague, I
   probably carried out this action myself, but perhaps for some
   reason I lost power. In addition many laptops give some sort of
   audible notification and hardware lights change status, but you
   may have your sound down: what is the correct behaviour here?
 - You're about to run out of battery power: I made this the most
   obnoxious dialog in the desktop, it's large and gets in your way
   (but doesn't steal the focus). I don't think it should be a
   notification, because if you only have 5 minutes of power
   remaining, we want to make sure you know. The dialog
   automatically dismisses itself if you plug into mains. This
   dialog exhibits (though accidently) very similar behaviour to
 - You have used up half of your battery: who cares, you are going
   to look at your battery status on the panel long before the 1.5
   hours it takes for this dialog to arrive.
 - You have 30/20/10 minutes left: I feel that your average laptop
   user (including me) will not be planning their laptop usage far
   enough ahead of time for it to matter. They're not likely to say
   "oh, I've only got 30 minutes of power left, I'd better start
    working on this other task". If they're in an environment where
   their power is limited, they will have started working on that
   task first. It is my (uncorroborated) opinion that the only thing
   that matters is losing your work because you run out of power.
 - Beginning suspend: this seems redundant. Perhaps if I've run out
   of power, the screen should be locked for input with the message
   "Your battery is critically low, the machine will now suspend to
    save you from losing your work. Please plug your machine in and
    power back up to continue". This should be one of those
   obnoxious dialogs, ideally it should appear as part of a nice
   graphic that takes place while a progress bar shows you that
   you're suspending. A notification that quickly vanishes is
   probably not much use, and is certainly not accessible.
 - "Your laptop is now fully recharged"; this is acceptable, if the
   user opts to care. Having a notification bubble for this is the
   current default in battstat.
 - "Your mouse is about to go flat"; this also makes sense, since
   now I know why my mouse stopped working.

On the subject of other applications and other uses for the
notification framework, there are a lot of things in which the
notification framework would be useful in opt-in circumstances, eg:
 - new users coming online in presence framework;
 - the song that is playing
 - wall messages and other UNIX messages (eg, those sent with `write`):
   davyd localhost says "dude, you're using all the CPU time up :("
   Traditionally these are already opt-in/out, we should use that
   existing framework. Also useful:
   From oper charlie15: charlie15 rebooting in 5 minutes for "new
   disks". This is quite common in some multiuser environments.

Here are some areas that need definite attention in any future style
 - "You have unused icons on your desktop"... gee, thanks
 - "Your system is insecure"... possibly unhelpful, perhaps it would
   have been more helpful to tell me this when I somehow made it
   insecure. Assuming I opted to do this (which is the way it should
   be) perhaps I really want this message to f*ck off.
 - "You have new updates"... not sure about this, Ubuntu started
   doing it, it appears at the start of every session, even when I'm
   not on an Internet connection. I have to click on this dialog to
   make it go away (in Breezy at least), this was apparently
   impossible to do without a mouse (because I didn't have one with
   me). As a result, some part of my screen was obscured for the
   whole session.
 - "Your system needs rebooting"... this seems reasonable, without
   giving me some obnoxious dialog, it is pointing out an icon in
   the panel that will reboot my machine when I'm ready.

This email has probably gone on long enough, I have more examples
written down, these are ones off the top of my head.


Davyd Madeley
08B0 341A 0B9B 08BB 2118  C060 2EDD BB4F 5191 6CDA

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