Re: empathy integration with the desktop

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 2:53 AM, Guillaume Desmottes <gdesmott gnome org> wrote:
> Le mardi 29 mars 2011 à 10:09 +0200, Alexander Larsson a écrit :
>> Our integration of empathy is pretty nice these days, you set up
>> accounts in the global settings, you can control presence via the user
>> menu, get nice notifications, etc.
>> However, to a normal user, just logging in for the first time none of
>> these things actually work. You won't get notifications from people even
>> if you switch to "Available", and the control center applet will always
>> keep showing your accounts as offline, with no obvious way to go online.
> The presence chooser could turn the account online very easily (just a
> couple of lines to change) but that can be a bit tricky. For example,
> user sets his desktops status to away because it doesn't want to be
> annoyed with notifications; should we connect his IMs account with
> 'away' as status?

As a new user of gnome-shell when I installed the Fedora 15 Alpha, my
first thought was that "Available" and "Busy" referred to my IM
status, and there was nothing that indicated to me that they had
anything to do with the notification system. I only made that
connection from a stray reference on either this list or the
gnome-shell mailing list. My guess is that a lot of users will make
the same connection and be confused when those settings don't seem to
do anything to their IM status (even assuming they knew that they had
to start empathy to begin with).

> Basically, mapping desktop status with IM status can be tricky. IIRC
> Ubuntu used to automatically connect accounts when changing the presence
> using their presence indicator and stopped doing so because loads of
> users were wondering why their IM accounts were suddenly online.

I think a bigger issue with the ubuntu Me Menu is that in the initial
state after login, the IM status menu items are desensitized, and
empathy (just as unintuitively as in Alexander's use case) needs to be
started from the messaging menu, which is two items away on the
notification menu bar. In both cases, the proper behavior should not
necessarily address the IM status at login, but actually making the
menu items useful in adjusting that status. Even though I hardly ever
use IM, I do try to remember to have it on when I am working from
home, and I occasionally (maybe 3-4 times a month) chat with my wife
when I am at the office and she's on the computer at home. That said,
the task of muting and unmuting notifications seems to be a rather
lower priority than setting online status, and I don't think that the
current menu items communicate their purpose particularly well.

Michael Knepher

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