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

On Mon, Feb 13, 2006 at 02:56:57PM +1100, Paul Drain wrote:
> > 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
> Agreed, some people don't have a UPS plugged directly into the back of
> their machine -- so the loud 'donk' noise that's emitted needs to be
> substituted with something the user can see.

Some users are also deaf or listening to something else at the time.

> >  - 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.
> I'd love to see that, from a sysadmin perspective, there used to be the
> odd support query come through that "my screen went black and the lights
> went off" -- only to find the machine had gone into suspend.
> FWIW, it's not just Linux that has that problem though --
> suspend/hibernation issues used to happen on Win32 too.

It seems to me that there is a solution here in
usplash/whateversplash for swsusp2, not sure about S3 sleep, however
what is important for GNOME is that we understand where this message

> >  - "Your mouse is about to go flat"; this also makes sense, since
> >    now I know why my mouse stopped working.
> substitute "mouse" for "devices that power management knows about" and
> that'd be cool.

Yeah. Mouse here is the all encompassing example for keyboard, PDA,
phone, viabrator, whatever you've got plugged in or associated that
we somehow know the power status of.

The bubble here should be tied to a notification icon that sits in
the panel as a continual passive warning that something is about to
go flat. There may be a case for another warning when the device
does go flat, however it may be hard to deterministically tell this
case apart from another fail state. If the user knows that it was
about to go flat, they will hopefully put two and two together.

> > 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:

> Actually, things like:
> - 'your network is up/down/cannot be contacted', (network-monitor 2.12.0
> gives you a visual icon for this, but it'd be nice to know if you'd
> suspended/resumed and lost your connectivity).
> - 'you've switched from wired-to-wireless or vice-versa'

We've got to be careful here. I feel that for actions we chose to
do, we don't need notification, eg. choosing a wireless network for
ourselves. This then leads us to the problem of connecting network
cables, how can we tell whether a network cable was disconnected
because the user chose for it to be connected or because some wanker
just pulled you out of the wall. A lot of this is currently handled
well through passive notification with animation (I notice when my
network is reconnecting itself). As an aside, something I don't know
is when I've been assigned a 169.254/16 IP address (ie. I didn't
managed to get a reply from the DHCP server), but this may be
resolved in more recent NetworkManager.

> >  - "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.
> I guess that'd depend on if the insecurity was caused by:
> - not having up-to-date packages on your box (in which case, having an
> update manager warn you about it is more than sufficient).

Certainly true.

> - your box not being firewalled.

This depends on whether is was a concious action or not. My Ubuntu
box is unfirewalled, but it also runs no services. My Fedora box is
unfirewalled because I'm at work and on a secure WAN where the
firewall only gets in my way. So both of these are intentional

I feel in this case the administrator should be warned that they are
possibly making the machine insecure when they choose to disable the
firewall. A consistant warning that my firewall is off (particularly
if it is undismissable) would drive me insane (it has in Windows).

> - a remote user causing trouble (multiple incorrect SSH password
> attempts, for example).

This is quite an interesting idea. Some sort of GNOME/libnotify
based log monitoring daemon would be quite useful for some people I
imagine: messages like "Host ( has
attempted to log in as the user root 5 times in 30 seconds. Firewall
that host?".

> - a local user causing trouble.

Perhaps this is related to the above.

I think what is important in these set of use cases is that we're
notified of something specific.

> >  - "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.
> Which was, if I hadn't mentioned it, one of the original issues I had,
> you have to click on the "warn me later" or "show updates" buttons to
> make it go away, the TAB key doesn't know what you're on about, and
> there's no Alt-F* binding to access things in the notification tray[1].

People need to consider the a11y and keyboard navigation issues of
the bubbles if they haven't already.

> >  - "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.
> I like the icon in Dapper for this, it just pops up in your notification
> tray and lets you know you need to do it at some point.

I like it too. It puts an icon in the panel and then tells you what
that icon is and then goes away.

> Although, without forethought, I can see such a time where GNOME might
> adopt a more 'consumer-oriented' 'Your system needs a reboot, so we'll
> do it now' strategy, which would irk me to tears :)


> > This email has probably gone on long enough, I have more examples
> > written down, these are ones off the top of my head.
> Is there a wiki entry for this? If not, could there be? :)

Not yet AFAIK. I've mostly been relaying notes that I've made on my
computer and in my head, based off my own reasoning and some email
conversations I've had with people both pro and anti bubbles.
Perhaps moving to documenting this in the wiki will be a good start
for people like Calum to derive a set of style guidelines for the
HIG and produce sets of use cases that are good for notification
bubbles and bad for notification bubbles.

> [1] Actually, that'd be awesome -- just as Alt-F1 does the Applications
> menu, if another Alt-combination could access the tray by default, then
> TAB moved between the icons there -- it'd solve the "I only have a
> keyboard w/ accessibility turned on and I must scream" issues i've had
> with popup bubbles since the start. [2]

Here are some off-the-cuff ideas w.r.t keynav...
 - if bubbles are present, the bubbles layer should be selectable
   with Ctrl-Alt-Tab like panels are, you should then be able to tab
   through the bubbles
 - for chronic keynav'vers and people who hate bubbles,
   notification-daemon should be disabled to be replaced with an
   applet that listens on the notification BUS and logs all of the
   messages (I'm actually thinking of writing this). In this applet,
   the applet would expand to show the message and flash the widget
   that the message was emmitted from (metacity box style), it would
   then collapse almost immediately and could be navigated with the
   mouse or the keyboard to view the message or look at previous


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

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