On Wed, 02 May 2001 16:09:34 EDT, Paul Davis said:
> And then when you're done, you should reconsider the reasons why you
> want to do this, because unless its an audio program there is almost
> never a good reason for it.

There's a *very* good reason for it for some programs:  Alerts.

If a program is intended to be run in the background and notify you
when an event you may be interested in happens, sound is a good way
to do it.  As I'm editing a Perl script, I may hear the chime that means
GAIM has received a message from somebody I want to talk to immediately,
or a different chime for somebody I can delay.  When my e-mail comes in,
I get different spoken "New mail from", so I can tell how important it is.
"New Mail from gtk mailing list" means when I get around to it, "new mail
from <my boss's e-0mail addr>" means I need to go poke Exmh *now* to see
what it says.

Remember that the window can't necessarily do a 'visual flash' and get
your attention - my Enlightenment has 6 virtual desktops going, and if
a program flashes on one of the other 5, I don't see it.

Sure.. the program can go and call 'XBell()' and get an annoying beep.
But that does *NOTHING* to give cues about which program wanted attention,
or what priority it is.

There's another very good reason for sound:  Additional feedback.

Some people *like* running their keyboards with keyclick enabled.  Why?
because it provides an additional confirmation that a key has been pressed.
I have the Enlightenment window manager set up to give a small 'click' sound
when window focus changes.  Why? As an additional hint - if I've been sloppy
and left the mouse very near the edge of a window, and I hear a click I
wasn't expecting, I know my mouse has slid and focus has changed.

Sound almost never benefits a program that you're paying attention to.

It's when you need reminding that you are NOT paying attention to it that
sound is a winner.
				Valdis Kletnieks
				Operating Systems Analyst
				Virginia Tech

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