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Old 02-20-2009, 11:07 PM
Steve Langasek
 
Default Auto-launching of applications

On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 06:46:11PM -0500, Mackenzie Morgan wrote:
> On Friday 20 February 2009 5:13:36 pm Steve Langasek wrote:
> > Minor nit here; in the past update-notifier has always been present and
> > running in the background, displaying an icon as needed. update-notifier
> > takes up about 20MB of memory on my amd64 system to fulfill this function.
> > The new behavior launches update-manager, which is a much more involved
> > program that takes up over 100MB when it's launched. I know this is small
> > potatoes compared to, say, firefox, but I think we should be aware of these
> > costs since in aggregate they can certainly be an issue.

> Ubuntu CDs currently say min 256mb RAM, right? So update-manager uses *half*
> the total available memory? That sounds sub-optimal.

This is the minimum RAM required in order to run the graphical installer; it
does not appear to be a guarantee of the utility of the resulting system if
you load the default desktop after installation.

After all, firefox here takes 90% of the minimum RAM requirements for the
installer, and that's after being restarted only an hour and a half ago.

--
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:09 AM
Chow Loong Jin
 
Default Auto-launching of applications

On Fri, 2009-02-20 at 14:13 -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> Personally, I find the
> set of choices:
>
> - leave the update-manager window open until you're ready
> - hunt update-manager down in the menu when you're ready
> - act on the update request immediately even though it's interrupting
> your
> work to do so
> - close out the window and leave security fixes unapplied until the
> next
> notification (or the next, or...)
>
> to all be unsatisfying compared with the previous behavior.
>
> But then, I recognize that I'm going to be a hard sell here, because I
> was
> madly in love with the earlier update-notifier behavior from the first
> moment I saw it.
My concerns exactly. I like the current update-notifier behaviour, and I
don't doubt many others do. I highly doubt irritating the hell out of
many users just because some of them have poor icon observation skills
is a good idea.

If there must be a solution for users who have poor icon observation
skills, then let it be one that does not irritate those who do have
proper icon observation skills.

Perhaps a persistent, dismissable notification would be good, though I
understand this goes against the whole idea of the new notification
system for Ubuntu.

Anyway, I currently see the update-notifier approach being used for
other GNOME applications like Evolution, which puts an icon in the
notification area if you have new mail. If you're going to change this
behaviour to make update-manager pop up on its own, why not do a
complete job and change Evolution to steal focus when you have new mail?
(That, and every other application which uses this approach)

--
Chow Loong Jin

P.S. Apologies if I sound a little rude in the above message, but that
is how I really feel about the entire issue.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:59 PM
Matthew Paul Thomas
 
Default Auto-launching of applications

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Chow Loong Jin wrote on 21/02/09 02:09:
>...
> My concerns exactly. I like the current update-notifier behaviour, and I
> don't doubt many others do. I highly doubt irritating the hell out of
> many users just because some of them have poor icon observation skills
> is a good idea.
>
> If there must be a solution for users who have poor icon observation
> skills, then let it be one that does not irritate those who do have
> proper icon observation skills.
>...

Print out a screenshot, actual size, of the panel containing the
updates-available icon. Show it to fifty people who've used computers
before but haven't seen Ubuntu before, individually, and ask them what
that particular icon means.

Out of those fifty people, how many people do you think will guess it
has anything to do with software updates? Two of them, perhaps? Three?

If your benchmark for of "those who do have proper icon observation
skills" covers only a tiny proportion of the target population, it's a
useless and disingenuous benchmark.

And again, it's not a problem with that particular icon design; it would
be a problem with any design at that size. It's a problem with trying to
convey a bureaucratic idea in a 2222-pixel space.

> Perhaps a persistent, dismissable notification would be good, though I
> understand this goes against the whole idea of the new notification
> system for Ubuntu.

Update Manager *is* a persistent, dismissable notification. The most
important difference, interaction-wise, between it and a persistent
notification bubble is that Update Manager doesn't float in front of
everything else you're doing.

> Anyway, I currently see the update-notifier approach being used for
> other GNOME applications like Evolution, which puts an icon in the
> notification area if you have new mail. If you're going to change this
> behaviour to make update-manager pop up on its own, why not do a
> complete job and change Evolution to steal focus when you have new
> mail? (That, and every other application which uses this approach)

Because, as demonstrated by almost the entire mobile phone market, the
envelope icon is understandable to a sufficiently large proportion of
users. And because stealing focus is never a good idea, which is why
no-one has suggested that Update Manager should do it either.

Cheers
- --
Matthew Paul Thomas
http://mpt.net.nz/
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:58 PM
Chow Loong Jin
 
Default Auto-launching of applications

On Sun, 2009-02-22 at 16:59 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> Chow Loong Jin wrote on 21/02/09 02:09:
> >...
> > My concerns exactly. I like the current update-notifier behaviour, and I
> > don't doubt many others do. I highly doubt irritating the hell out of
> > many users just because some of them have poor icon observation skills
> > is a good idea.
> >
> > If there must be a solution for users who have poor icon observation
> > skills, then let it be one that does not irritate those who do have
> > proper icon observation skills.
> >...
>
> Print out a screenshot, actual size, of the panel containing the
> updates-available icon. Show it to fifty people who've used computers
> before but haven't seen Ubuntu before, individually, and ask them what
> that particular icon means.
>
> Out of those fifty people, how many people do you think will guess it
> has anything to do with software updates? Two of them, perhaps? Three?
Okay, but before I do that, why don't you print out a screenshot, actual
size, of the Windows taskbar containing the Windows Updates icon. Show
it to fifty people who've used computers before but haven't seen Windows
before, individually, and ask them what that particular icon means.

Fact is, if I don't know what it is, I'd hover my pointer over it, or
click on it.
>
> If your benchmark for of "those who do have proper icon observation
> skills" covers only a tiny proportion of the target population, it's a
> useless and disingenuous benchmark.
It's pointless arguing this. I'd say that majority of the target
population do have proper icon observation skills. However, you would
probably proclaim otherwise. Why don't you do an actual study?
>
> And again, it's not a problem with that particular icon design; it would
> be a problem with any design at that size. It's a problem with trying to
> convey a bureaucratic idea in a 2222-pixel space.
>
> > Perhaps a persistent, dismissable notification would be good, though I
> > understand this goes against the whole idea of the new notification
> > system for Ubuntu.
>
> Update Manager *is* a persistent, dismissable notification. The most
> important difference, interaction-wise, between it and a persistent
> notification bubble is that Update Manager doesn't float in front of
> everything else you're doing.
>
> > Anyway, I currently see the update-notifier approach being used for
> > other GNOME applications like Evolution, which puts an icon in the
> > notification area if you have new mail. If you're going to change this
> > behaviour to make update-manager pop up on its own, why not do a
> > complete job and change Evolution to steal focus when you have new
> > mail? (That, and every other application which uses this approach)
>
> Because, as demonstrated by almost the entire mobile phone market, the
> envelope icon is understandable to a sufficiently large proportion of
> users. And because stealing focus is never a good idea, which is why
> no-one has suggested that Update Manager should do it either.
>
Point taken, but if a notification area icon appearing doesn't catch the
user's attention, what makes you think that an update-manager window
appearing behind everything is going to catch the user's attention?
Right now, many of my friends are Windows users, and most of them are
irritated whenever Windows prompts them to update. If I'm not mistaken,
all Windows does is put up an icon and add a notification to it. Just
think how much more irritated they would be if they switch to Ubuntu and
find that Ubuntu pops up an entire window every time there is an update
to be applied.

Cheers
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:40 PM
Mackenzie Morgan
 
Default Auto-launching of applications

On Sunday 22 February 2009 11:59:50 Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> Print out a screenshot, actual size, of the panel containing the
> updates-available icon. Show it to fifty people who've used computers
> before but haven't seen Ubuntu before, individually, and ask them what
> that particular icon means.
>
> Out of those fifty people, how many people do you think will guess it
> has anything to do with software updates? Two of them, perhaps? Three?
>
> If your benchmark for of "those who do have proper icon observation
> skills" covers only a tiny proportion of the target population, it's a
> useless and disingenuous benchmark.

Can the screenshot include the tooltip that will certainly show up when the
user moves their mouse over it? If I saw a random icon suddenly appear in the
notification area, I would want to know why, and so I would put my mouse over
it to wait for the tooltip to tell me.

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Old 02-23-2009, 05:30 AM
Scott Kitterman
 
Default Auto-launching of applications

On Sun, 22 Feb 2009 19:40:10 -0500 Mackenzie Morgan <macoafi@gmail.com>
wrote:
>On Sunday 22 February 2009 11:59:50 Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
>> Print out a screenshot, actual size, of the panel containing the
>> updates-available icon. Show it to fifty people who've used computers
>> before but haven't seen Ubuntu before, individually, and ask them what
>> that particular icon means.
>>
>> Out of those fifty people, how many people do you think will guess it
>> has anything to do with software updates? Two of them, perhaps? Three?
>>
>> If your benchmark for of "those who do have proper icon observation
>> skills" covers only a tiny proportion of the target population, it's a
>> useless and disingenuous benchmark.
>
>Can the screenshot include the tooltip that will certainly show up when
the
>user moves their mouse over it? If I saw a random icon suddenly appear in
the
>notification area, I would want to know why, and so I would put my mouse
over
>it to wait for the tooltip to tell me.
>
... and even if the user doesn't know what it is the first time they see
it, that doesn't mean they need something thrown up at them every time.

What is perhaps optimal for initial discovery, is almost always overkill
for regular use.

Scott K

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Old 02-23-2009, 08:25 AM
Michael Vogt
 
Default Auto-launching of applications

On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 01:49:46PM -0600, Chris Cheney wrote:
> On Fri, 2009-02-20 at 11:14 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> > As Siegfried has described, if you don't want to use Update Manager at
> > all, you can turn off the automatic checking. In future we will make it
> > more obvious how to get to that option.
>
> As I noted in the bug report related to this issue we may want to have
> the apt cron job that downloads packages list be more smart about when
> it downloads them. Also, the cron job probably should be moved out of
> apt as well into possibly the update-manager package(?) and have some
> sort of network manager hook, so it doesn't get fired off when running
> on a mobile broadband connection, etc.

There is a bug open about checking for 3g connections [1] and network
changes support [2]. I do not see why the cron job needs to be moved out
of apt for this though.

Cheers,
Michael

[1] https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/update-notifier/+bug/308920
[2] https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/jaunty/+source/update-manager/+bug/323108

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Old 02-23-2009, 09:03 AM
Michael Vogt
 
Default Auto-launching of applications

On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 02:13:36PM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> [Is this the best place to provide feedback such as this, or would you like
> comments directed somewhere else, e.g., ubuntu-desktop@ or Launchpad?]
>
> On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 11:14:45AM +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> > > Apparently the window is supposed to open in the background, but I think
> > > that users may wonder why a program is seemingly running without them
> > > wanting it to.
>
> > > Also, I'm sure I'm not the only person who doesn't use update-manager.
>
> > > Can anyone explain to me why autolaunching programs is a good idea?
>
> > update-notifier has always auto-launched, as long as it has existed in
> > Ubuntu. The only thing that has changed in Jaunty is how it presents
> > updates, when there are any. Instead of displaying an icon with a bubble
> > pointing at it inviting you to click it to show the available updates,
> > it shows the available updates directly.
>
> Minor nit here; in the past update-notifier has always been present and
> running in the background, displaying an icon as needed. update-notifier
> takes up about 20MB of memory on my amd64 system to fulfill this function.
> The new behavior launches update-manager, which is a much more involved
> program that takes up over 100MB when it's launched. I know this is small
> potatoes compared to, say, firefox, but I think we should be aware of these
> costs since in aggregate they can certainly be an issue.
[..]

I agree that update-manager is substantially heavier in resource usage
(mem/cpu) than update-notifier. The later was written with efficiency
and low memory use in mind. But the memory use you cite does include
all shared libs and all mmaped stuff. So the numbers sound a lot
scarier then they actually are. But still update-manager needs a lot
more than update-notifier (by design).

Cheers,
Michael


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Old 02-23-2009, 09:19 AM
Matthew Paul Thomas
 
Default Auto-launching of applications

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[Reposting my reply publicly, since Chow Loong Jin reposted his:]

Chow Loong Jin wrote on 22/02/09 17:38:
>...
> Okay, but before I do that, why don't you print out a screenshot,
> actual size, of the Windows taskbar containing the Windows Updates
> icon. Show it to fifty people who've used computers before but haven't
> seen Windows before, individually, and ask them what that particular
> icon means.

Are you expecting me to defend the Windows behavior? :-) It's just as
bad in Windows as it has been in Ubuntu.

> Fact is, if I don't know what it is, I'd hover my pointer over it, or
> click on it.

You and I (and most Ubuntu developers) are in a small fraction of people
who are confident in clicking things even when we don't know what they
are. Last year, a schoolteacher friend of mine -- who is much smarter
and more well-read than I will ever be -- went to the trouble of taking
a screenshot of his Windows screen, printing it out in color, and
bringing it to me to ask what all the icons next to the clock were. The
idea of hovering over the icons or clicking on them hadn't even occurred
to him.

>> If your benchmark for of "those who do have proper icon observation
>> skills" covers only a tiny proportion of the target population, it's
>> a useless and disingenuous benchmark.
>
> It's pointless arguing this. I'd say that majority of the target
> population do have proper icon observation skills. However, you would
> probably proclaim otherwise. Why don't you do an actual study?

We intend to, once Canonical's Design team is fully staffed. But we
won't be treating it as a test of how many people have "proper icon
observation skills". Rather, we'll be testing for what proportion of
people an icon succeeds. That's an important distinction! Making
software smarter is much easier than making people smarter.

>...
> Point taken, but if a notification area icon appearing doesn't catch
> the user's attention, what makes you think that an update-manager
> window appearing behind everything is going to catch the user's
> attention? Right now, many of my friends are Windows users, and most
> of them are irritated whenever Windows prompts them to update. If I'm
> not mistaken, all Windows does is put up an icon and add a
> notification to it. Just think how much more irritated they would be
> if they switch to Ubuntu and find that Ubuntu pops up an entire
> window every time there is an update to be applied.
>...

I think part of the irritation in Windows is that the bubble floats
above whatever else you're doing until you explicitly dismiss it, which
Update Manager does not. And no, Update Manager won't appear every time
there is an update; if there are no security updates, it'll appear once
a week *at most*.

Cheers
- --
Matthew Paul Thomas
http://mpt.net.nz/

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Old 02-23-2009, 09:22 AM
Steve Langasek
 
Default Auto-launching of applications

On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 11:03:18AM +0100, Michael Vogt wrote:
> > Minor nit here; in the past update-notifier has always been present and
> > running in the background, displaying an icon as needed. update-notifier
> > takes up about 20MB of memory on my amd64 system to fulfill this function.
> > The new behavior launches update-manager, which is a much more involved
> > program that takes up over 100MB when it's launched. I know this is small
> > potatoes compared to, say, firefox, but I think we should be aware of these
> > costs since in aggregate they can certainly be an issue.
> [..]

> I agree that update-manager is substantially heavier in resource usage
> (mem/cpu) than update-notifier. The later was written with efficiency
> and low memory use in mind. But the memory use you cite does include
> all shared libs and all mmaped stuff.

No, it doesn't. *That* number is 260MB larger; the 100MB figure is the
'RES' figure from top, which excludes the shared libraries.

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Debian Developer to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com vorlon@debian.org

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