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Old 02-26-2009, 05:34 PM
Matthew Paul Thomas
 
Default Notifications: uselessness of

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(``-_-) -- BUGabundo wrote on 26/02/09 01:39:
>...
> May I suggest here something?
> Setting /apps/metacity/window_keybindings/toggle_fullscreen to a nice
> key shortcut, I use many app in fullscreen mode. I would love for
> indicator/notifications to NOT go above fullscreen apps (video
> playback anyone?). This at least would allow you to work with any
> kind of visual interruption, dont you agree?
>...

We considered treating full-screen applications specially, but realized
that wouldn't really make sense. If you're using Ubuntu on a netbook,
for example, you're quite likely to make the current application
full-screen whenever you can -- but that doesn't have anything to do
with which notification bubbles you want to see.

Your example of video playback is covered by what we have designed,
though: if you're doing something that inhibits the screensaver, that's
a good sign that you don't want to be disturbed by non-critical
notification bubbles either. (In future, gnome-session will have a flag
for this that isn't so tightly associated with the screensaver.)

>...
> Since I'm at it. cant the IM queue be lowered to 100? 1000 is way too
> big. Some time pidgin/gwibber crashes and 15 mins latter I'm still
> getting notifications. Anything older then 1 min, should just be sent
> to /dev/null

That should improve a lot once messages from the same person start being
concatenated into the same bubble.

Cheers
- --
Matthew Paul Thomas
http://mpt.net.nz/
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:50 PM
Bruce Cowan
 
Default Notifications: uselessness of

On Thu, 2009-02-26 at 18:18 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> One pleasant side effect of our work on notifications is that it has
> given us the excuse to rip out some gratuitous notification bubbles,
> such as the one saying "Your laptop battery is now fully charged". And
> when an interactive notification is really necessary, an alert box or
> other window that opens in the background will usually be less
> distracting then a bubble that floats on top of your work.

Replacing a "distracting ... bubble that floats on top of your work"
with a distracting window that appears behind your work doesn't seem to
be much of an improvement. Also, why is the window list considered a
second notification area now?
--
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:36 PM
Scott James Remnant
 
Default Notifications: uselessness of

On Thu, 2009-02-26 at 17:06 +1100, Robert Collins wrote:

> Its certainly a minimum of that for me; for really deep things it can be
> nearly an hour: When I'm trying to get that sort of work done, I drop
> off IRC, close my browser, email client, everything. But I find its also
> geared to the depth and nature of the interruption. 'Honey I'm heading
> out for coffee' - no issue. 'Quick, look at this clip on youtube' ->
> bah, state-drop.
>
I find that "quick, look at this clip on youtube"/"quote on bash.org"
can kill an entire afternoon

Scott
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:52 AM
Mat Tomaszewski
 
Default Notifications: uselessness of

Bruce Cowan wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-02-26 at 18:18 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
>
>> One pleasant side effect of our work on notifications is that it has
>> given us the excuse to rip out some gratuitous notification bubbles,
>> such as the one saying "Your laptop battery is now fully charged". And
>> when an interactive notification is really necessary, an alert box or
>> other window that opens in the background will usually be less
>> distracting then a bubble that floats on top of your work.
>>
>
> Replacing a "distracting ... bubble that floats on top of your work"
> with a distracting window that appears behind your work doesn't seem to
> be much of an improvement. Also, why is the window list considered a
> second notification area now?
>
First of all, let me quickly welcome everyone and introduce myself. My
name is Mat and I'm with Canonical's design team, being responsible for
large part of the design of the new notification system.

Now, to the point

I can't quite see how the window that appears *behind* your other open
windows, so that you *don't see it* until you close/minimise other
windows, is as distracting as big, ugly yellow bubble that appears *on
top of* your open windows, covering your work. What you're saying simply
does not seem logical.

I also find it very arficicial and unconvincing to distinguish between a
bubble that contains actions and an open alert window as two completely
different things. One of them contains text, a button to invoke an
action, and another button (x) to close it. The other contains text, a
button to invoke an action, and another button (x) to close it. The only
difference being that the first has a shape of a speech bubble and is
yellow and the other looks like an app window. What if we decide that
all app windows should be yellow and look like speech bubbles? Is it
going to magically turn them into notifications? Really, when there is
no *functional and behavioural* difference, they are effectively the
same thing.

The only issue regarding the U-M that has been raised and I agree with
is the fact that the window is big and clunky and uses a lot of RAM. We
will be investigating a possibility of replacing it with a simple,
lightweight alert window with short text and 3 buttons: [install now],
[details...] and [later] (exact wording TBC). I'm really struggling to
see how this alert box appearing in the background would be more
distracting and annoying than the yellow ugliness

Again, I'd like to reiterate the main point: we have a good reason to
believe that persistent indicators only work for some very specific
cases (examples being network connection, volume, etc). We are now going
through long and painful process of carefully defining these cases. It
is early days, and there can be reconsiderations. So please be patient
and forgiving

Many thanks,

Mat





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Old 02-27-2009, 09:38 AM
Stefan Potyra
 
Default Notifications: uselessness of

Hi,

Am Friday 27 February 2009 10:52:01 schrieb Mat Tomaszewski:
> Bruce Cowan wrote:
[..]
>
> I can't quite see how the window that appears *behind* your other open
> windows, so that you *don't see it* until you close/minimise other
> windows, is as distracting as big, ugly yellow bubble that appears *on
> top of* your open windows, covering your work. What you're saying simply
> does not seem logical.

just out of curiosity: How does launching a window in the background fit into
working with multiple workspaces?

Cheers,
Stefan.

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Old 02-27-2009, 11:59 AM
Lars Wirzenius
 
Default Notifications: uselessness of

to, 2009-02-26 kello 18:18 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas kirjoitti:
> One pleasant side effect of our work on notifications is that it has
> given us the excuse to rip out some gratuitous notification bubbles,
> such as the one saying "Your laptop battery is now fully charged".

Thank you! Ripping out these notifications is enough to validate the new
notification work, for me. I don't care about bling, but now I'm happy
with the new stuff. (Although I may decide to go overboard and file bugs
every time I see a notification not satisfying the criteria I gave
earlier.)



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Old 02-27-2009, 03:43 PM
Jordan Mantha
 
Default Notifications: uselessness of

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 1:52 AM, Mat Tomaszewski
<mat.tomaszewski@canonical.com> wrote:
> Bruce Cowan wrote:
>> On Thu, 2009-02-26 at 18:18 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
>>
>>> One pleasant side effect of our work on notifications is that it has
>>> given us the excuse to rip out some gratuitous notification bubbles,
>>> such as the one saying "Your laptop battery is now fully charged". And
>>> when an interactive notification is really necessary, an alert box or
>>> other window that opens in the background will usually be less
>>> distracting then a bubble that floats on top of your work.
>>>
>>
>> Replacing a "distracting ... bubble that floats on top of your work"
>> with a distracting window that appears behind your work doesn't seem to
>> be much of an improvement. Also, why is the window list considered a
>> second notification area now?
>>
> First of all, let me quickly welcome everyone and introduce myself. My
> name is Mat and I'm with Canonical's design team, being responsible for
> large part of the design of the new notification system.
>
> Now, to the point
>
> I can't quite see how the window that appears *behind* your other open
> windows, so that you *don't see it* until you close/minimise other
> windows, is as distracting as big, ugly yellow bubble that appears *on
> top of* your open windows, covering your work. What you're saying simply
> does not seem logical.

I can't quite see how you can't quite see it. :-) The notification
popups allow you to quickly address whatever has come up and get back
to work on whatever you're doing. When you just have a flashing window
list item you *have* to switch context to even figure out if it's
important or not! That's a huge flaw in design logic, IMO. The first
thing the user wants to be able to do is prioritize actions, the
flashing window list does *not* allow for that.

One of the primary arguments against the old notifications seems to be
that they are big and yellow, something that can totally be changes
without fundamentally changing the way notifications are done. The
"they're ugly" argument is a bit of a red herring and totally
orthogonal to the discussion.

> I also find it very arficicial and unconvincing to distinguish between a
> bubble that contains actions and an open alert window as two completely
> different things. One of them contains text, a button to invoke an
> action, and another button (x) to close it. The other contains text, a
> button to invoke an action, and another button (x) to close it. The only
> difference being that the first has a shape of a speech bubble and is
> yellow and the other looks like an app window. What if we decide that
> all app windows should be yellow and look like speech bubbles? Is it
> going to magically turn them into notifications? Really, when there is
> no *functional and behavioural* difference, they are effectively the
> same thing.

This doesn't make a lot of sense. If they're the same thing then why
are you changing it? Obviously there is difference in function and
behavior or else you wouldn't be gitting rid of one in favor of the
other. Put another why, if they are no *functional and behavioral*
differences then why are you bothering to change it?

> The only issue regarding the U-M that has been raised and I agree with
> is the fact that the window is big and clunky and uses a lot of RAM. We
> will be investigating a possibility of replacing it with a simple,
> lightweight alert window with short text and 3 buttons: [install now],
> [details...] and [later] (exact wording TBC). I'm really struggling to
> see how this alert box appearing in the background would be more
> distracting and annoying than the yellow ugliness

That's really the only issue you think has been raised? And again, the
"yellow ugliness" bit. It's like not liking the color of the house so
you decide to remodel the whole thing.

> Again, I'd like to reiterate the main point: we have a good reason to
> believe that persistent indicators only work for some very specific
> cases (examples being network connection, volume, etc). We are now going
> through long and painful process of carefully defining these cases. It
> is early days, and there can be reconsiderations. So please be patient
> and forgiving

Again, I'd like to reiterate that the "trust us, we have our reasons"
is not going to be very convincing to many people. I keep getting this
sort of double-speak feeling when the same team is having to keep
pushing both "we know what were doing" and "we're just starting to
figure this out so bear with us". If you really do know what you're
doing, patches welcome. If you're still not sure yet, maybe you should
consider waiting until Karmic before making such huge changes.

I'd like to point out that I'm not against the notification work per
se. I like the new, prettier notifications I'm seeing, etc. I do
however think there's maybe too much assumption from the Dx team that
whatever they see as "better usability" *is* better usability. This is
why in the open source world we like to have heavy discussion about
the fundamental design, not just the implementation details.

-Jordan

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Old 02-27-2009, 03:56 PM
Mat Tomaszewski
 
Default Notifications: uselessness of

Jordan Mantha wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 1:52 AM, Mat Tomaszewski
> <mat.tomaszewski@canonical.com> wrote:
>
>> Bruce Cowan wrote:
>>
>>> On Thu, 2009-02-26 at 18:18 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> One pleasant side effect of our work on notifications is that it has
>>>> given us the excuse to rip out some gratuitous notification bubbles,
>>>> such as the one saying "Your laptop battery is now fully charged". And
>>>> when an interactive notification is really necessary, an alert box or
>>>> other window that opens in the background will usually be less
>>>> distracting then a bubble that floats on top of your work.
>>>>
>>>>
>>> Replacing a "distracting ... bubble that floats on top of your work"
>>> with a distracting window that appears behind your work doesn't seem to
>>> be much of an improvement. Also, why is the window list considered a
>>> second notification area now?
>>>
>>>
>> First of all, let me quickly welcome everyone and introduce myself. My
>> name is Mat and I'm with Canonical's design team, being responsible for
>> large part of the design of the new notification system.
>>
>> Now, to the point
>>
>> I can't quite see how the window that appears *behind* your other open
>> windows, so that you *don't see it* until you close/minimise other
>> windows, is as distracting as big, ugly yellow bubble that appears *on
>> top of* your open windows, covering your work. What you're saying simply
>> does not seem logical.
>>
>
> I can't quite see how you can't quite see it. :-) The notification
> popups allow you to quickly address whatever has come up and get back
> to work on whatever you're doing.

Yes, true. But that's only provided that you understood that you have to
click on the icon in the first place. We believe that many people won't
get to that conclusion with the U-M icon. That's why we decided to make
life easier for them.
>
>
>> I also find it very arficicial and unconvincing to distinguish between a
>> bubble that contains actions and an open alert window as two completely
>> different things. One of them contains text, a button to invoke an
>> action, and another button (x) to close it. The other contains text, a
>> button to invoke an action, and another button (x) to close it. The only
>> difference being that the first has a shape of a speech bubble and is
>> yellow and the other looks like an app window. What if we decide that
>> all app windows should be yellow and look like speech bubbles? Is it
>> going to magically turn them into notifications? Really, when there is
>> no *functional and behavioural* difference, they are effectively the
>> same thing.
>>
>
> This doesn't make a lot of sense. If they're the same thing then why
> are you changing it? Obviously there is difference in function and
> behavior or else you wouldn't be gitting rid of one in favor of the
> other. Put another why, if they are no *functional and behavioral*
> differences then why are you bothering to change it?
>
>
Right, I'll try to explain again. The bubble does essentially the same
thing as the window, and behaves similarly. *Apart* from the fact, that
you have to click on *the icon that the bubble points to*, rather than
on a bubble. That's tricky! Not only that - the icon itself is
enigmatic, and scary! Yes it is, it may not seem scary to you, but we
want *everyone* to be able to use Ubuntu and update their system
regularly, not just you... That's why, again, we want to make life
easier for people.

>> The only issue regarding the U-M that has been raised and I agree with
>> is the fact that the window is big and clunky and uses a lot of RAM. We
>> will be investigating a possibility of replacing it with a simple,
>> lightweight alert window with short text and 3 buttons: [install now],
>> [details...] and [later] (exact wording TBC). I'm really struggling to
>> see how this alert box appearing in the background would be more
>> distracting and annoying than the yellow ugliness
>>
>
> That's really the only issue you think has been raised? And again, the
> "yellow ugliness" bit. It's like not liking the color of the house so
> you decide to remodel the whole thing.
>
>
OK, so you picked up on one little word that was not in the center of
the point I was making. That's not very constructive

>> Again, I'd like to reiterate the main point: we have a good reason to
>> believe that persistent indicators only work for some very specific
>> cases (examples being network connection, volume, etc). We are now going
>> through long and painful process of carefully defining these cases. It
>> is early days, and there can be reconsiderations. So please be patient
>> and forgiving
>>
>
> Again, I'd like to reiterate that the "trust us, we have our reasons"
> is not going to be very convincing to many people. I keep getting this
> sort of double-speak feeling when the same team is having to keep
> pushing both "we know what were doing" and "we're just starting to
> figure this out so bear with us". If you really do know what you're
> doing, patches welcome. If you're still not sure yet, maybe you should
> consider waiting until Karmic before making such huge changes.
>
> I'd like to point out that I'm not against the notification work per
> se. I like the new, prettier notifications I'm seeing, etc. I do
> however think there's maybe too much assumption from the Dx team that
> whatever they see as "better usability" *is* better usability. This is
> why in the open source world we like to have heavy discussion about
> the fundamental design, not just the implementation details.
>
>
Exactly. That's why I'm here discussing it with you.

Many thanks,
Mat

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Old 02-27-2009, 04:07 PM
Chow Loong Jin
 
Default Notifications: uselessness of

On Fri, 2009-02-27 at 16:56 +0000, Mat Tomaszewski wrote:
> Yes, true. But that's only provided that you understood that you have to
> click on the icon in the first place. We believe that many people won't
> get to that conclusion with the U-M icon. That's why we decided to make
> life easier for them.
You believe? Have you done a study? And exactly how many icons in the
notification area are not clickable anyway? Most, if not all of them
are. How can you even say that people might decide that "oh the u-n icon
probably isn't clickable and I'm not even going to try clicking on it"?

> Right, I'll try to explain again. The bubble does essentially the same
> thing as the window, and behaves similarly. *Apart* from the fact, that
> you have to click on *the icon that the bubble points to*, rather than
> on a bubble. That's tricky! Not only that - the icon itself is
> enigmatic, and scary! Yes it is, it may not seem scary to you, but we
> want *everyone* to be able to use Ubuntu and update their system
> regularly, not just you... That's why, again, we want to make life
> easier for people.
Yes, of course, and it's such a wonderful idea to pop up the Update
Manager window automatically, so that instead of clicking an icon to
open it, we now have to click a button to close it if we want to
procrastinate a little longer before updating! Geez. There's only so far
you can go to help users before you start becoming pushy and irritating,
and end up hindering them. And this is one such case.

> ...

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Old 02-27-2009, 04:23 PM
Jordan Mantha
 
Default Notifications: uselessness of

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 8:56 AM, Mat Tomaszewski
<mat.tomaszewski@canonical.com> wrote:
> Jordan Mantha wrote:
>> On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 1:52 AM, Mat Tomaszewski
>> <mat.tomaszewski@canonical.com> wrote:
>>> Bruce Cowan wrote:
>>>> On Thu, 2009-02-26 at 18:18 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
>>>>> One pleasant side effect of our work on notifications is that it has
>>>>> given us the excuse to rip out some gratuitous notification bubbles,
>>>>> such as the one saying "Your laptop battery is now fully charged". And
>>>>> when an interactive notification is really necessary, an alert box or
>>>>> other window that opens in the background will usually be less
>>>>> distracting then a bubble that floats on top of your work.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Replacing a "distracting ... bubble that floats on top of your work"
>>>> with a distracting window that appears behind your work doesn't seem to
>>>> be much of an improvement. Also, why is the window list considered a
>>>> second notification area now?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> First of all, let me quickly welcome everyone and introduce myself. My
>>> name is Mat and I'm with Canonical's design team, being responsible for
>>> large part of the design of the new notification system.
>>>
>>> Now, to the point
>>>
>>> I can't quite see how the window that appears *behind* your other open
>>> windows, so that you *don't see it* until you close/minimise other
em>>> windows, is as distracting as big, ugly yellow bubble that appears *on
>>> top of* your open windows, covering your work. What you're saying simply
>>> does not seem logical.
>>>
>>
>> I can't quite see how you can't quite see it. :-) *The notification
>> popups allow you to quickly address whatever has come up and get back
>> to work on whatever you're doing.
>
> Yes, true. But that's only provided that you understood that you have to
> click on the icon in the first place. We believe that many people won't get
> to that conclusion with the U-M icon. That's why we decided to make life
> easier for them.

"We believe" isn't very convincing. Why do you think people don't
understand icons? What have you done to determine this? I've not heard
of anybody complaining about not being able to find the updates, quite
the contrary. Usually the complaints I hear are "why are there so many
updates?!" It's not that you're wrong, it's just that I don't have any
evidence that what you're saying is true so I wonder what evidence you
have that I don't. Has there been thought about how the icon or
current notification system could be made better? How about user
education? It just feels from this end that the Dx team had to do
something "big" out of the gate to prove themselves so they just
picked something to "revolutionize" in 6 months.

>>> I also find it very arficicial and unconvincing to distinguish between a
>>> bubble that contains actions and an open alert window as two completely
>>> different things. One of them contains text, a button to invoke an
>>> action, and another button (x) to close it. The other contains text, a
>>> button to invoke an action, and another button (x) to close it. The only
>>> difference being that the first has a shape of a speech bubble and is
>>> yellow and the other looks like an app window. What if we decide that
>>> all app windows should be yellow and look like speech bubbles? Is it
>>> going to magically turn them into notifications? Really, when there is
>>> no *functional and behavioural* difference, they are effectively the
>>> same thing.
>>>
>>
>> This doesn't make a lot of sense. If they're the same thing then why
>> are you changing it? Obviously there is difference in function and
>> behavior or else you wouldn't be gitting rid of one in favor of the
>> other. Put another why, if they are no *functional and behavioral*
>> differences then why are you bothering to change it?
>>
>>
>
> Right, I'll try to explain again. The bubble does essentially the same thing
> as the window, and behaves similarly. *Apart* from the fact, that you have
> to click on *the icon that the bubble points to*, rather than on a bubble.
> That's tricky! Not only that - the icon itself is enigmatic, and scary! Yes
> it is, it may not seem scary to you, but we want *everyone* to be able to
> use Ubuntu and update their system regularly, not just you... That's why,
> again, we want to make life easier for people.

Who is it scary to? Who thinks an icon is scary but a flashing window
list item isn't? Who thinks an icon is scary but windows mysteriously
popping up isnt? We all want to make people's lives easier I think
(there may be a few exceptions ;-) ). I'm starting to get a little
irritated by people in the Dx Team essentially saying that they know
what users want/need/feel and the rest of don't and are just going on
our own personal preferences and experiences. I don't think that's
really what you're trying to say but it's really coming off that way I
think to a lot of developers.

>>> The only issue regarding the U-M that has been raised and I agree with
>>> is the fact that the window is big and clunky and uses a lot of RAM. We
>>> will be investigating a possibility of replacing it with a simple,
>>> lightweight alert window with short text and 3 buttons: [install now],
>>> [details...] and [later] (exact wording TBC). I'm really struggling to
>>> see how this alert box appearing in the background would be more
>>> distracting and annoying than the yellow ugliness
>>>
>>
>> That's really the only issue you think has been raised? And again, the
>> "yellow ugliness" bit. It's like not liking the color of the house so
>> you decide to remodel the whole thing.
>>
>>
>
> OK, so you picked up on one little word that was not in the center of the
> point I was making. That's not very constructive

That one little word is about the only consistent argument (along with
"icons are stupid") I've seen for why the notification system is being
remodeled.

>>> Again, I'd like to reiterate the main point: we have a good reason to
>>> believe that persistent indicators only work for some very specific
>>> cases (examples being network connection, volume, etc). We are now going
>>> through long and painful process of carefully defining these cases. It
>>> is early days, and there can be reconsiderations. So please be patient
>>> and forgiving
>>>
>>
>> Again, I'd like to reiterate that the "trust us, we have our reasons"
>> is not going to be very convincing to many people. I keep getting this
>> sort of double-speak feeling when the same team is having to keep
>> pushing both "we know what were doing" and "we're just starting to
>> figure this out so bear with us". If you really do know what you're
>> doing, patches welcome. If you're still not sure yet, maybe you should
>> consider waiting until Karmic before making such huge changes.
>>
>> I'd like to point out that I'm not against the notification work per
>> se. I like the new, prettier notifications I'm seeing, etc. I do
>> however think there's maybe too much assumption from the Dx team that
>> whatever they see as "better usability" *is* better usability. This is
>> why in the open source world we like to have heavy discussion about
>> the fundamental design, not just the implementation details.
>>
>>
>
> Exactly. That's why I'm here discussing it with you. *

And that's awesome, thanks for that. This should have happened a few
months ago, but better late than never for sure.

-Jordan

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