Re: panel notification area -- not many apps

On Tue, 2003-03-04 at 07:19, Calum Benson wrote:
> On Tue, 2003-03-04 at 00:49, Alan wrote:
> > 
> > Based on what I know of human interface guides, the icon should stay
> > where it is, and not dissapear, so that a user knows where it is. 
> Funnily enough, I was thinking about this the other day, but I couldn't
> really think of a clear guideline.  You'd really want a "new mail"
> notification icon to disappear as soon as you've cleared your new mail,
> for example, there's no point in it hanging around.  But then you have
> the problem of how to get it at its context menu when it's disappeared,
> so we also need good guidelines about what sort of things should go on a
> status icon's context menu. :)

This could be difficult, unless you had very very broad scope of
requirements; some services you'd want to be able to quit with this
menu, others not, some to open configurations, others not, some to
launch new actions, others not - I don't think there is a clear set of
what you can put in there to cover all applications.

> The clearest distinction I could come up with is icons that tell you
> about binary events (you do/don't have new mail, you are/aren't still
> logged into your chat client), and icons that tell you about a range of
> events (your network connection is currently
> idle/sending/receiving/both).  Seems to me the icon should disappear in
> the former case and remain there all the time in the latter case, if we
> are to allow the latter type in the notification area at all... opinion
> seems to be split on that.

I'd definitely say the latter should be there.  Take something like a
wireless pcmcia card on a laptop.  You'd want something like the modem
lights for it (connected, disconnected), but you don't want the icon to
be there even when you don't have the device in the machine (like an
applet would more or less dictate you'd have to do).

The notification area is defined as being for notification, but maybe
that definition just isn't the correct one - however rare, there are
instances where "status" is pretty important, and best implemented using
the notification area.

> (FWIW, I also have a theory that if a notification icon doesn't have a
> parent application-- which includes capplets in this case-- from whose
> Preferences window it can be turned on or off, then it should probably
> be an applet or something and not a notification icon.)

Ya - if it's something that is always always displayed, and there is no
reason to ever disable it or turn it off during the course of most
sessions, it is probably best of as an applet (however much I despise
the organization nightmare they make).

As soon as it becomes something you might want to remove or turn off for
a while tho, the wonderful organizational deficiencies of applets make
them a bad bad evil naughty choice for the icon, I think.

> Cheeri,
> Calum.

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