Comment 307 for bug 332945

On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 11:20 AM, Matthew Paul Thomas <email address hidden>wrote:

> John Clemens: The issue of trying to guess when is the best time to
> interrupt people is a tricky problem for notifications in general.

As getut pointed out, you're conflating "interruption" with "notification".
Notifications, like an icon appearing in the notification area and a
transient bubble saying "hey, you have updates" is not an interruption.
Notifications can happen at any time, you don't need to guess the "best
time". This is how they work in Intrepid.

Interruptions are opening full blown applications that require user
interaction without the user requesting them. You have chosen to interrupt
people, which is where I think you're wrong. There is another way...

Unfortunately, "never" is not a viable choice for a mass-market OS on an
> Internet-connected computer. If you have specific suggestions of
> heuristics we could use to choose more appropriate times, we'd be
> delighted to hear them.

You're presenting a false choice. Noone is saying you shouldn't notify
users of updates. A persistent notification of "updates are available" is
EXACTLY what we want... like we had in intrepid.

I can not suggest any heuristics for you, because it's impossible for update
manager to know when would be a good time to update. The only entity that
has that information is the user, so stop trying to make a decision for
them. You're only guessing, and most of the time you're wrong.

I design software all the time, and the first thing you look at when looking
at an architecture diagram is find out if each part has enough knowledge to
make the decision it needs to make. You need two pieces of information to
install updates: 1) that updates are available, and 2) when would be a good
time to install them. Update manager can only know number 1, the user is
the only one who knows number 2. The proper thing to do in this case is
tell the user there are updates available, and let them choose when to
install them. The update manager notification method in intrepid understood
these truths and acted accordingly.

You would argue that opening update manager is a "persistent notification",
and I would disagree. It's a "transient interruption". I've kept the
jaunty way running on my box for a few days.. and I hate it. People, myself
included, close the update window because we're annoyed at being
interrupted, without installing updates. Once closed, there is no
persistent reminder. In Intrepid, I got a small 20x20 icon that was a
constant but unobtrusive reminder. In jaunty I get interrupted with at
random intervals (random because of 'security updates', some of which I
don't need).

Improve the icon if you want, update the verbiage in the notification and
tooltip; but don't guess randomly and then throw your arms up in the air
when the user closes a random window that showed up and winds up not
installing updates, only to repeat the process 7 days later.

Please, please reconsider.

John Clemens <email address hidden>