[Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information / new update-manager behaviour is annoying

Bug #332945 reported by Noel J. Bergman
This bug affects 156 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
One Hundred Papercuts
Undecided
Unassigned
update-notifier (Ubuntu)
High
Unassigned
Nominated for Karmic by Strongman332
Nominated for Lucid by Noel J. Bergman
Jaunty
High
Unassigned

Bug Description

I am referring to the removal up the update-notifier in the Gnome notification area. The discussion of it is embedded in the thread headed by:

  https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027416.html

Specific messages worth reading are:

  https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html
  https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027451.html
  https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027454.html
  https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027437.html
  https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027445.html

Matthew Paul Thomas says that the desired behavior is:

* When there are security updates, Update Manager will open and show
    them (plus any other available updates) within a day.

* When there are non-security updates, Update Manager will open and
    show them *one week* after it was last opened (whether it was last
    opened manually or automatically, and regardless of whether updates
    were actually installed then).

* When there are no available updates, Update Manager will not open
    automatically at all.

Desired by whom? And where was discussion of this change that effects the entire Ubuntu community? Because some percentage of users don't apparently understand that the notification area has meaning, we are not going to use it for updates? Chow Loong Jin raised a valid point that if update notification is now done by opening the entire update manager program, perhaps evolution and similar should open their application UIs rather than use the notification area. And there are concerns about unintended functional consequences of this ill-conceived change, discussed in the thread.

Personally, I predict that opening the Update Manager window while people are working will piss off a lot of users when it happens, and may result in them wanting to disable automatic checking. Yes, that'll be highly desirable, won't it?

In other words, this change should be corrected, and a notification icon should be displayed when updates are available.

------------

The window currently opens far too often when security updates are available: this is because of bug 369198, which is awaiting testing before it can be fixed in Ubuntu 9.04.

------------

To disable the new behaviour and get the old behaviour:

    gconftool -s --type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false

(Take into account that this gconf change is not supported.)

To have the update manager launch immediately when updates are available, use this:

    gconftool -s --type int /apps/update-notifier/regular_auto_launch_interval 0

Revision history for this message
Charlie Kravetz (charlie-tca) wrote :

I am confirming this bug report. I too feel that removing the update-notifier is more a move in the direction of degrading Ubuntu. At least with the update-notifier-icon, I made the decision to install the updates. If the update-manager simply opens, I will have to continue with the work I am doing. Since I have several applications that run when my system starts, having update-manager think I want to run it is not really a desired function. I normally run my updates when I am not busy.

This appears to be one more thing getting in the way of productive work. I have to wonder how many businesses are going to decide that is just one more thing in the way. Doesn't that give the average business and personal user one more reason to quit using Ubuntu?

Changed in update-notifier:
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Noel J. Bergman (noeljb) wrote :

Further reading for people:

  http://www.markshuttleworth.com/

which links to:

  https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NotificationDesignGuidelines
  https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NotifyOSD

And I do like the new OSD. I just disagree with removing the presence of a notification icon, which is a persistent notice of some event or condition, and certainly disagree with the proposed behavior of launching the update manager.

Revision history for this message
John Vivirito (gnomefreak) wrote :

One thing people didnt notice or left out of bug. It only happens when using dist-upgrade interminal upgrade doesnt trigger u-d to open.

Revision history for this message
John Vivirito (gnomefreak) wrote :

Also it goes against the idea you not being able to run 2+ apt/dpkg sessions. Since it is opening for me during dist-upgrade (it may be every 2 days but i do updates everyday so i dont notice if it happens more so. I that idea it would not be possible for it to open let alone run update as it is doing upon opening.

Revision history for this message
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Curses, our secret plan has been uncovered! Canonical is indeed trying to degrade Ubuntu, make it less secure, and drive average business and personal users away. The orange star icon was a paragon of obviousness and clickability, so it just had to go.

But seriously, we did not design this behavior yesterday on the back of a napkin. We discussed it publicly at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in December. It's part of a long-term plan to clean up the notification area, and in particular to stop using it for things that it cannot actually recognizably notify people of. If you have learned to both notice and recognize the orange star icon, then I'm sorry that skill will no longer be required, but we think making update installation more obvious will make Ubuntu more secure for more people.

Of course the new behavior is a bit rough around the edges, but the problems are fixable. As I write this, the auto-opening interval is being changed (now that we know it works) from two days to seven. Compiz needs fixing so that when windows open unfocused (as Update Manager does when it opens automatically) they're in the background too. And any patches to reduce Update Manager's memory footprint are more than welcome.

Changed in update-notifier:
status: Confirmed → Invalid
Revision history for this message
C. Cooke (ccooke) wrote :
Download full text (3.4 KiB)

(bear with me on this one; I'm stuck at home ill, so this may be less coherent than would be ideal)

I can think of a few use-cases where the new implementation may/will cause problems as it's currently laid out:

Problems relating to the window being opened for you:

1) If it appears at the bottom of the Z-buffer, it might be behind a long-running application such as Firefox. It may even appear behind a long-running application on a virtual desktop the user doesn't visit often; it's entirely possible that the window won't be noticed for days or weeks.

2) If it appears at the top of the Z-buffer, it will be distracting to the user; it's supposed to appear unfocussed, but what if the user has focus-follows-mouse? Will the window appear under the cursor, steal focus and (if the user happens to be typing at that moment) immediately start updating packages?

3) There's no single place to look to know you're up-to-date. In fact, for the average user, there will be no simple way to know they're up to date at all. It seems to be a "harsher" user interface - and thus it fails to follow the principle of least astonishment. (windows appearing when you don't expect them is astonishing; *notifications* appearing when you don't expect them is... expected!)

Some thoughts on mitigation:

1) could be mitigated partially by making the window appear on all workspaces.
2) open at the bottom of the Z-buffer. Any other solution is still going to cause unwelcome astonishment sometime, with some (common) sets of options.

Some thoughts that might, possibly, help:

The new design specifies two different concepts of notification: "informational" and "demanding": Informational notification is ephemeral and can vanish quickly; it should never need a response. "demanding" notifications must have a response within a short time limit, so they pop up a window grabbing attention.
I have to say, I very much like that... but I can see a third class of notifications that are not covered at all. "Patient" ones: something that needs a response but has a very long time limit. It seems that we're trying to force all notifications of this type into one of the other two, and this doesn't work well in all cases - such as this one. Icons in the taskbar *without* a bubble would be perfect for this: They call attention, but they don't demand it *now*. Based on some logic, they can be converted into a "demanding" notification later, if there's a good opportunity or a time limit is approaching.

What would be really nice for the specific example of the update notifier is this:

1) When there's any update, assign a "passive" time limit (~30 minutes for security updates, ~2 weeks for upgrades). Pop up an icon in the taskbar that will launch or focus update-manager. Do *NOT* notify in any other way; hover text for the icon should be a nice, frendly explanation of what's up.
2) automatically convert to a demanding notification on login or (if the passive time limit is more than half used) when the system has been idle for some sane pre-determined time - 5 minutes, say. Having the window ready when you come *back* to the computer is much less astonishing than having it suddenly break you...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
Fernando Miguel (fernandomiguel) wrote :

Please read [1] & [2] for more information:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NotifyOSD#Update%20Manager
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NotifyOSD#update-notifier

--
Hi, I'm BUGabundo, and I am Ubuntu (whyubuntu.com)
(``-_-´´) http://LinuxNoDEI.BUGabundo.net && Ubuntu LoCoTeam Portugal http://ubuntu-pt.org
Linux user #443786 GPG key 1024D/A1784EBB

Revision history for this message
Jan Claeys (janc) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

@C. Cooke: that would need to be (at least) 24h for security updates, as many people delay installing fixes until the beginning or end of a day, to minimize the interruptions...

@Matthew Paul Thomas: one problem with the "popup update-manager" method is that it is not persistent. If I close that window (which I do because I don't want to install them now and it pollutes the "window list"), there is no (permanent) reminder for the updates anymore.

Revision history for this message
Noel J. Bergman (noeljb) wrote :

> Curses, our secret plan has been uncovered! Canonical is indeed trying to degrade Ubuntu,
> make it less secure, and drive average business and personal users away.

No one has said that there is any malicious intent. That's just a defensive reaction on your part. But nor do we like the direction that you have taken with this change.

> We discussed it publicly at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in December

Yes, I was there. Oh wait, no I wasn't. Nor was more than an insignificant fraction of the Ubuntu community. Most of us first got wind of the change when it dropped in our laps, and now we're letting you know how we feel about it. And it isn't just one person complaining. Actually, I'm still trying to find anyone who likes the change. In the e-mail chain, people disagreed with you. In this bug report, we disagree with you. And I certainly do not consider it appropriate for you to mark the report as invalid, anymore than it would be a generally acceptable policy for a reporter to mark their own bug as confirmed.

So now lets get away from the irrelevant defensive nonsense and talk about the problem:

> It's part of a long-term plan to clean up the notification area
> Of course the new behavior is a bit rough around the edges, but the problems are fixable.

The first is fine, and the second is a good starting point for your admission.

The unfocused window solution is NOT the desired solution for that "third kind" of notification as C Cooke classified it. And I really don't care what technology is used to get it. The end result is what matters, and I'm sure that a suitable solution can be found. After all, it is all 1's and 0's in the end. But we want some sort of persistent, dynamic, notice.

One way of looking at it is that this is a condition, not an event. it may be set & cleared by events, but it is not an event - it is a persistent condition.

Revision history for this message
Alan Pope 🍺🐧🐱 🦄 (popey) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

2009/2/24 Noel J. Bergman <email address hidden>:
>  Actually, I'm still trying to find anyone who likes the
> change.

You now found one. I like it. It's _unfinished_ and buggy (I have
reported a couple of bugs to help in that regard), but I like the
concept and look forward to it being finished and polished.

I realise this is just a bug report, and as such we should be focusing
on _bugs_ not necessarily opinionated rants. I just wanted you to know
there _are_ people out there who like it.

Revision history for this message
Noel J. Bergman (noeljb) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

Alan,

You like the new OSD? So do I. It is very nice, and that is not the problem. But do you like the lack of a persistent notification for the presence of a condition, and feel that launching the handling application, in this case the update manager, is the correct solution?

The bug isn't the new OSD. The bug is the lack of a persistent notification for the available updates condition.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

"Instead, Update Manager should open automatically, unfocused and in the background. (When opened manually, Update Manager should still open focused and frontmost as usual.) "

So a pop-under is a solution for system upgrades? It seems to me rather a way to emulate one of the most annoying web spamming techniques on the desktop. Changes like these should have a broader discussion IMHO.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

As my previous comment may sound more aggressive than it is, let me explain this a bit better. Quoting from above

"But seriously, we did not design this behavior yesterday on the back of a napkin. We discussed it publicly at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in December."

And quoting from the top

"Specific messages worth reading are:

  https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html
  https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027451.html
  https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027454.html
  https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027437.html
  https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027445.html"

None of these messages contains ubuntu-devel-discuss as the target. That wouldn't probably suffice anyway. In my opinion, ubuntu is a successful distribution because of the effort of the community in publicising it. If it looses community consensus it may die. The effort of people is not for free: big changes should be discussed with the active community in my opinion, not just with the developers.

That's my 2 cents, and what I would really like to see. I contributed a lot of my free time in the past but I am really getting "pissed off" by serious regressions not being taken care of because changes have to be introduced, and by disruptive changes which most users won't like, that "can not be reverted because we are too late in the development cycle, and have already been discussed in <insert here a place which is not commonly accessed, or accessible at all, by users>"

More public discussion, and even being keen to change "ubuntu's mind" on some topics, would help a lot in the relationships between the community and ubuntu itself.

No aggressive tone intended here. Ubuntu is still yours more than mine, and if I really wanted to I could even fork it.

Revision history for this message
Fernando Miguel (fernandomiguel) wrote :

since discussion on the devel ML tended to a possibility of having UN back, i'm setting this to NEW.

Changed in update-notifier:
status: Invalid → New
Revision history for this message
Vodka (vodkaneat) wrote :

We need a method for notification of updates and we have a notification area. I don't really understand the issue. I can agree applications clutter the notification area but surely this is a real notification. I ended up here as I want passive update notification and thought it was broken.

Revision history for this message
Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

This is seriously annoying. I fully agree that the notification area icon is just not obvious for most users, and I fully support popping up update-manager once a week to grab the attention of those users who haven't updated their system yet.

However, as someone who likes to install updates as soon as they arrive (for example, for testing *-proposed packages), the lack of notification area icon is annoying at best and a severe usability regression at worst. In Intrepid, I would be automatically notified of the updates when they arrived, prompting me to update. In Jaunty though, I have to keep manually opening update-manager every day to check for updates, whereas this was not necessary before. When Jaunty becomes stable, I'm going to find myself doing this manual checking every day when there might only be updates once a week or so, which is a real waste of time.

I think the notification area icon should remain, but still pop up update-manager once a week for those users who don't notice the icon.

Revision history for this message
oss_test_launchpad (oss-test-launchpad) wrote :

I don't get it. How else am I being informed that updates are pending?

Revision history for this message
kimus (kimus) wrote :

I was wondering why I wasn't notified of updates... no update-notifier?! that sucks!!! :-S
*I want my notifier back* and I really don't care about libnotify popups (tough was good)... a icon it's fine by me.... please :-D

Revision history for this message
Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx) wrote :

Although I understand the high importance of this bug, this is really a wishlist bug as the removal of update notifier is what has been planned and you are requesting that it be reversed.

Changed in update-notifier:
importance: High → Wishlist
Revision history for this message
Jan Claeys (janc) wrote :

According to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/Importance "Wishlist" should be used for "a request to add a new feature to one of the programs in Ubuntu".

This bug is about a regression, not about a new feature.

(I personally think it should be marked at least "Medium", as it impacts a core application, but I'll leave it to more experienced people to decide how serious it is.)

Revision history for this message
Brian J. Murrell (brian-interlinx) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

On Wed, 2009-03-18 at 22:35 +0000, Jan Claeys wrote:
> According to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/Importance "Wishlist" should
> be used for "a request to add a new feature to one of the programs in
> Ubuntu".
>
> This bug is about a regression, not about a new feature.

I absolutely agree that this is a regression. I had update-manager pop
up right in front of all of my work today out of nowhere. How much more
annoying can this new UI design get?

Revision history for this message
Dana Goyette (danagoyette) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

Another thing I've noticed: this auto-launching update manager doesn't even achive its stated purpose of having people install updates:
Just yesterday, I booted a drive I hadn't booted in 5 weeks.... and update-manager, of course, auto-launched....
The only problem: it didn't update the PACKAGE CACHE first... so it was showing... 5-WEEK OLD updates! That strikes me as rather stupid. I had to manually hit "Check", and only then did it show recent updates.

Revision history for this message
Jan Claeys (janc) wrote :

@Dana: that would be another bug (please file a new bug report, if one doesn't exist yet).

Revision history for this message
Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx) wrote :

So what I am understanding from everyone, is that they don't mind the pop-up BUT the fact that theres no after-reminder and/or after icon to let them know updates are available is the regression/issue? If this is the case then, i will switch it off of wishlist. There is a fine line between a regression and a wishlist, sorry if i couldn't distinguish this first.

Revision history for this message
Benjamin Fogel (benjaminfogel) wrote :

It may be a better idea to give the user some sort of control over when the pop-up will occur. That way, those who want the defaults (1 day for security, 5 days for some others, etc...) will be able to leave it like that, and the rest of us will be able to get the minute-by-minute notifications we want after running a manual "apt-get update" :)

Revision history for this message
C. Cooke (ccooke) wrote :

Brian:

Yes, I think that's the main problem. According the spec, update-manager should be a morphing window by the time this piece of work is "finished", right? That will solve pretty much all of the problems relating to it becoming a pop-up, I believe. I expect we'll end up needing to file a few usability bugs to get it all sorted and user-friendly - for instance, it's not currently a morphing window and if a partial upgrade is needed, it pops up a *focussed* window. If these aren't currently being sorted, they should be bugs... but they're not as important as the loss of passive information in *this* bug.

The basic regression, then, is thus:

1) No *continuous* reminder that a reboot or log-out is necessary. A pop-up window is a terrible thing for this: If it can't be closed, it's a constant annoyance. If it can, it's not continuous!
2) No policy for what happens if the user closes the update-manager window after it pops up. Do we really want to leave them a day (presumably) when there are security updates? Or another week if there are upgrades? The lack of some continuous reminder is a regression.

There are other issues with the *current state* of the new system which should be split out into new bugs - but those aren't regressions.

Revision history for this message
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Brian J. Murrell, the problem with Update Manager appearing in front of everything else is bug 333284.

Revision history for this message
Fernando Miguel (fernandomiguel) wrote :

@Brian the bug here is the removal of Update-Notifier.
It can be set on gconf (not as discoverable as wished)

But this bug introduces a few ones like Cooke mention: no control of the popup/popunder, no notification of reboot

Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx)
Changed in update-notifier:
importance: Wishlist → High
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Jens Gottfried (jug) wrote :

I also like the Ideas behind the new notification system and I love the idea of cleaning up the notification area, but does this mean notification area is deprecated?

Agreed, there are far too many applications abusing these icons by presenting completely irrelevant icons. Mainly applications stating »Hello, I am running and there is nothing to do« should not go there.

BUT: Update notifications are a perfectly valid example of reasonable notification icons. An update is an event that requires action, sometime in the near future.

Open windows like that update notification waste space in the window list and they do appear in the application switcher (alt-tab) - Notification icons do not. They are in no possible way ever in the way of the users work flow. But with a glimpse you could determine that some action is required.

--
And now for something completely different:
Windows implements an option to install updates on shutdown. So maybe update-manager could be coupled with gnome-session-save to display the update-notifications on shutdown. That would could be another solution to the problem of users not realizing the notification icon. Of course with an option to not install the updates, because sometimes you’re in a hurry an want the system to shutdown fast.

~jug

Revision history for this message
Alethea Mack (halow8888) wrote :

I really cannot say that I'm in favor of the way this is projected, but I find myself in most agreement with the points that:
1) this should be adjustable, and
2) that there needs to be a more persistant way of notifying for needed reboots and updates not attended to (most especially security updates).

With Ubuntu's ever growing popularity, more security flaws are found, more quickly, but also stand to be exploited more often as well, in my opinion. I also believe that this should be left to be decided by the (at least more informed) people, as Ubuntu is supposed to be Linux for the people.

Revision history for this message
riban (brian-riban) wrote :

The update notifier icon (as implemented in Intrepid) is fantastic. It is clear and obvious and no one I know has been confused by it. It is only there when it needs to be. The user can decide what to do about the notification of updates. I am pretty computer savvy but relatives and friends that I have encouraged to use Ubuntu (because it is so simple to use) are not, yet find the current update mechanism good. The idea of a nag-box popping up when you don't want it reminds me of other operating systems. Such annoying prompts are a pain.

In Intrepid, I see the update. At a time that suits me (usually quite quickly) I check out what has been updated and why. I then perform the update (if appropriate).

I can't understand what is better about the new mechanism. Surely we don't want to upset our current and future users. Please keep the existing mechanism, it is great!

What feedback I do have on updates is to offer a simpler description option for non-geeks. I like the full descriptions and am worried when one is not available but others just get confused by descriptions that appear to be a different language. I know it is difficult to describe technical detail in simple (normal) terms but this would be appreciated by the non-geeks out there. (I understand Ubuntu is aimed at them!)

Revision history for this message
Steve Jackson (aearenda) wrote :

I echo what riban said. I'm likely to just disable the update-notifier altogether rather than risk having ugly pop-unders (and maybe pop-overs by mistake) happening in the middle of a presentation. Losing the existing 'gentle' mechanism for persistent reminders in favour of a 'bullying' one is a worrying development in my (forgetful but freedom-loving) mind.

Revision history for this message
ktp420 (ktp420) wrote :

I will quote:

I was wondering why I wasn't notified of updates... no update-notifier?! that sucks!!! :-S
*I want my notifier back* and I really don't care about libnotify popups (tough was good)... a icon it's fine by me.... please :-D

Can I get an option to have the icon show up if I want? Even windows gives me that option. This way if you don't care for it leave it disabled.

Revision history for this message
Brian J. Murrell (brian-interlinx) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

On Mon, 2009-03-23 at 23:06 +0000, Steve Jackson wrote:
> I echo what riban said. I'm likely to just disable the update-notifier
> altogether rather than risk having ugly pop-unders (and maybe pop-overs
> by mistake) happening in the middle of a presentation. Losing the
> existing 'gentle' mechanism for persistent reminders in favour of a
> 'bullying' one is a worrying development in my (forgetful but freedom-
> loving) mind.

What they said. I don't need to interrupted while I'm busy trying to
achieve my work task to deal with updates. I will deal with them in an
albeit expedient, however convenient time frame.

Revision history for this message
Christoph Korn (c-korn) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

I also want to vote for the free choice.

I support innovations but please also keep an option for the more conservatives. ;-)

Revision history for this message
jerrylamos (jerrylamos) wrote :

Intrepid update notifier was fine. An applet appeared on the top line, I could attend to it at an appropriate time.

I certainly don't want a drop down window interrupting what I'm doing.

Since I'm running alpha jaunty much of the time when I boot up I invoke update manager and then do a check. If it reports "partial" then I do sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade.

Intrepid update notifier wasn't broken. "If it isn't broken don't fix it".

Jerry

Revision history for this message
Kyle Jones (mutiny32) wrote :

This is a case where I actually agree with the philosophy of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Perhaps the logical progression would have been to make the update notifier configurable in a way that could be configured to do it the "old" way instead of changing it without an easy way to change it back and piss off everyone who likes their systems updated constantly.

And also, if something crashes, it's going to make people not report bugs because Apport tells them that their system is out running old crappy software, update to the new version, and then file a bug when something crashes. Sure, it may cut down on invalid bugs, but it also increases the chances of a bug slipping through the cracks when the perfect combination of things are done to cause it to show up.

In short; don't change the behavior, we don't like it your way. Ubuntu is the software equivalent of Burger King. Make it my (our) way.

Revision history for this message
bigal50 (bigal50) wrote :

That is one of the features that I liked about Ubuntu. When a security update became available the little red arrow icon would appear on the top taksbar. I then had the option to open the Updater and see what was available and then decide if I wanted to do it or not. I also had the option to make it automatic which I didn't use.

I agree with others that removing this is like taking a b ig step backward and I don't quit see why Ubuntu would want to do this.

I think most of us are used to the red arrow informing us ooof Security updates and would like for it to stay in future versions or at the very least ask us and show us the options.

Revision history for this message
Vadim Peretokin (vperetokin) wrote :

What a horrible change. I just accustomed my mom to looking at the notification area for a red arrow (update now) or an orange starburst.

And now she needs to either manually open the window and check for updates, or be interrupted in the middle of her work for them? What happened to "let the user decide their schedule" idea?

Revision history for this message
Jamin W. Collins (jcollins) wrote :

I can't agree more with the sentiment of those that want the old functionality back. Security update or no, I don't want to wait a week to be notified and then be either notified by an abrupt "in your face" pop over or a "you'll never see me" pop under.

Since starting to test Jaunty I've repeated encountered application crashes (npviewer.bin, as I recall) that apport won't let me report as the system is lagging behind on updates I wasn't aware were available since I was expecting the old behavior.

In short, security update or not, I would like to be notified in a obvious and unobtrusive manner that there are updates available as soon as my system knows that they are there. I would like said notification to be persistent but unobtrusive. I felt the method used in Intrepid and prior worked fine. I don't care for what I've seen of this new method at all.

Revision history for this message
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

The problem with crash reports in out-of-date packages is bug 340970.

Revision history for this message
Jamin W. Collins (jcollins) wrote :

@Matthew, the complaint isn't about an inability to update the reportedly out of data packages at the time of a crash. That's of little use. The complaint is instead that there were updates the system knew about prior to the crash but didn't notify me about, as expected based on previous and preferred behavior. If the system knows about updates, it should (IMO) notify me that there are updates. Not wait up to a week to potentially interrupt what I'm doing or put a notification under a pile of windows so it's never seen.

Especially when testing a pre-release, updates should be presented as soon as the system knows about them.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

I know that this bug addresses the issue of users not understanding where to click when the popup alert about updates came out. I can't understand why the obvious solution, that is, put a button into the popup notification, would not work well. I either can't understand why the most hated solution of all, that is, a dialog window coming out automatically, that is, the solution that good old windows used all the way, and that we gnome users where proud of avoiding, well, I don't understand why this is the chosen solution.

Again, taking as a principle to more or less never pop up a dialog, is one of the best qualities of gnome. Popping-under makes no sense. There's people in offices that NEVER closes firefox or openoffice, not to mention evolution. If the pop-under goes below evolution I am sure people won't notice it. Makes no sense to me! Please be constructive and discuss this a bit more. Not for me, but for the sake of our users. I know that unwanted popups trigger an automatic "close and forget" mechanism in ordinary users. Moreover, persistent popups that come out every now and then also add a sense of anger and frustration against the system that disturbs the user.

Revision history for this message
Vadim Peretokin (vperetokin) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

Well,

"the obvious solution, that is, put a button into the popup notification,
would not work well."

The new notifications are designed to be non-clickable. Again, design
decision. When you hover your mouse over them, they dissapear / fade out to
reveal the content below and clicks go through.

Revision history for this message
Walter_Wittel (wittelw) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

 Matthew Paul Thomas wrote on 2009-02-23: (permalink)
"... clean up the notification area, and in particular to stop using it for things that it cannot actually recognizably notify people of ... but we think making update installation more obvious will make Ubuntu more secure for more people."

I agree 100% with the goal but have to disagree with the notification not being recognizable. For 90% of new users coming to Ubuntu will quickly recognize what the icon is used for (they have already received this training on the OS they are leaving). When I first started using Ubuntu a couple of years ago this was one of the first things I learned about and I really appreciated the first class update support that notified me on a daily basis and persisted until I clicked initiate the update. If you want to improve usability for novice users a streamlined Update Manager (with an option for the old UI with additional details) would be more appropriate than removing the notification.

I fully agree with other posters that a persistent notification is required.

I think launching Update Manager would be appropriate for any machine that was way out of date (user selectable times?) and for the users that don't understand or ignore the notification icon.

I also think it would be OK to allow the user to easily migrate to the new system as the bugs get worked out by electing to turn off the notification (but I do worry that a non-persistent notification is asking for big trouble and is a big regression in functionality). Once you find that only a small fraction of users still feel the need of the notification icon it could be gently removed, but not before a *superior* mechanism is in place. It's tough to innovate without ruffling feathers, but new features should be compelling enough to make users *want* to switch, otherwise stick with what works.

Revision history for this message
pingou67 (pingou67) wrote :

Entirely agree with ruban, the notifier icon for updates (as implemented in Intrepid) is simply perfect. As against, no one like unsolicited windows. Please restore the old behavior.

Revision history for this message
Scott Kitterman (kitterman) wrote :

Looking at this blog post:

http://amber.redvoodoo.org/2009/03/ubuntu-chronicles-saga-of-amber-and_23.html

There's a way to at least get the old icon notifier back.

Revision history for this message
Michal Matyska (michal-matyska) wrote :

YES !!!
I followed the hint from the blog and it has helped! The orange icon is there... I had to downgrade one package manually with dpkg to give it try :-)

In the terminal run:
gconftool -s --type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false

and then either logout/login from X or restart update-notifier (killall update-notifier && update-notifier) and wait for next rolled-out update.

Revision history for this message
Philippe Escarbassière (phil-esc) wrote :

I know it's just a "me too" comment, but this issue is serious enough so I add it.

Most people here are right, as a simple user, the new mechanism is a pain and a big regression. I think this effort is a waste of time and resources.

Open a window periodically is simply bad and somewhat aggressive. Furthermore, update are checked less often which lead to security problems compared to previous behavior!

Revision history for this message
Charlie Halford (soupmonster) wrote :

I really don't understand how a pop-under window is supposed to notify the user about anything. A pop-under just isn't obvious at all. If I'm using Windows, I often find myself annoyed at any window that appears on my task bar without me specifically launching it.

The current Ibex method seems perfect, a persistent icon is included in an area that is generally unobtrusive, and a balloon explaining the icons purpose appearing beneath it, for a short period. The only problem I might have with this solution is that occasionally the bubble gets in the way of work I want to do.

Please, please, please regress this change, as I almost guarantee the feedback when Jaunty drops will be universally negative.

Revision history for this message
Vadim Peretokin (vperetokin) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

Will there be any words on this?

It's bad enough that this feature was practically not covered anywhere
public but the UDS (personally I did not sit and listen to every uds session
or read every transcript, I'd expect something important to show up in a
publicly visible space like planet ubuntu or fridge), there is also no
response from the developers for two days, when there is a clear issue.

Revision history for this message
Sarah Kowalik (hobbsee-deactivatedaccount) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

Vadim, you'll want someone like Mark commenting on this, or a member of the DX team. Any other developer won't cut it (as we're effectively users in this instance, and many of us don't like these changes either).

Also, i'm not sure this *particular* bit was mentioned at UDS - I remember seeing the mockup of what they planned for notification, with the black boxes, but I don't recall hearing them talk about, let alone, show mockups of, cleaning up the notification area. This is likely why no one blogged about it (at least that i saw) - perhaps they all missed it too, or it just wasn't there.

Either way, I'm sad to say that this hasn't been handled well by Canonical, and, unless the DX team decide to go and break even more freezes (such as the UI freeze), we'll be stuck with it like this for Jaunty. One can only hope that there is a better result in Karmic, and that not too many users are lost to other distributions, due to the regressions they see in Ubuntu.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

I'd like to point out that the "old" notification style is still used by apport, where the notification text points to the icon in the notification area. Including a picture of the icon would in my opinion ease the understanding of the upgrade request. Also, notifications seems to start close to the icon in pidgin for example, so maybe their shape can become that of "pop-up balloons" actually STARTING in the originating icon, if any? I think that should definitely make it clear.

Revision history for this message
Matt Wheeler (funkyhat) wrote :

I would like to second (third, fourth?) the point that while cleaning up the notification area is a good idea as applications are abusing it, the update -notification- icon IS A NOTIFICATION!
Surely that means it is something that does belong there, and shouldn't be messed with?

I think removing it is a bad move

Revision history for this message
Steve Beattie (sbeattie) wrote :

Assigning to the dxteam, per the regression tracking process.

Changed in update-notifier:
assignee: nobody → dxteam
Revision history for this message
Steve Beattie (sbeattie) wrote :

Bah, sorry, assigned to the wrong team.

Changed in update-notifier:
assignee: dxteam → canonical-dx-team
Revision history for this message
Ante Karamatić (ivoks) wrote :

If it would be possible to reverse behavior for next releases - great, let's try this new way. Let users bash or glorify us. But if we get serious bashing, those who decided that we should go this way (even though majority of us don't like it), should admit they are wrong and kill this idea.

Remember the spatial browsing?

Revision history for this message
Pauli (paniemin) wrote :

From security point of view this idea sounds horrible. There is claim that this is made to improve security but only way to do it is make automatic security update install default in new installations.

Here is one good idea that is implemented very badly. So my idea of implementing removal of icons from notification areal is that it has to be easily configurable to user.

I want to have easy access to background applications and open window is much worse than icon. Notification icno is many times smaller than window selector entry. For me it would be better if I could configure even more applications to use notification icons to help me to interact with them. And my guess is that I'm not alone who hopes that there is way to have easily clickable icon for many background running programs that I use infrequently.

It is good idea to try new UI design but you should also do UI testing and compare new and old interface. Preferable as near as possible of real world usage pattern. That way at least the worst usability bugs would be fixed in new implementation before making . people hate it.

PS. If you make radical changes toUI you will always get bad initial reaction. But if new design was really improvement (and no major bugs) nearly everyone will accept it shortly.

Revision history for this message
Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :
Download full text (4.1 KiB)

Nothing like a healthy debate. But please let's keep it stylish, informative and pleasant. There are some comments here that are not very Ubuntu. Please take a breath, and pour some water on any flames you're about to throw. They don't help.

Now, some folks are saying "why wasn't I consulted about this change?". But think about this. You probably weren't directly consulted on a million other changes that make up this release. Most of those came from upstream, some came from Debian, and many were made right here in Ubuntu. We have a lot of very public, open, participative forums, but nobody can be in every forum, on every thread, in every meeting, on every channel. The fact that there is a change here that surprises you isn't grounds for shouting out that the change itself was made in bad faith.

Also, the fact that this change was driven by a team at Canonical (including me) is no reason for conspiracy theories or abuse. Canonical drives a huge amount of changes, mostly in proportion to the person-hours contributed, but we invest Ubuntu alongside the rest of the community, and we work hard at making that relationship a success. I've personally spent quite a lot sponsoring some of the people who are most vocally upset here, to come to UDS's, so I'm not all that sympathetic to them saying that Canonical doesn't make an effort to hear their voices.

Now, on this specific issue.

We have good usability information that says that notification areas are swamps. They are swamps on Windows, and swamps in all the Linux distributions. They inevitably become dumping grounds for "things that don't fit". Users dislike them, and application vendors abuse them. Most of all, average users don't understand the majority of the information that is presented there, because it's all inconsistent and often arbitrary. We want Ubuntu to be better than that. So we have been studying the panel indicators and trying to figure out what we can do to make it better.

Now, this is highly sensitive stuff. People who DO understand something there, are often very attached to it, because it's very visible. We're going to cause a lot of ruptions, and we might get the odd thing wrong.

But, we're not afraid of making bold moves. Ubuntu itself was a bold move, and has attracted a fair amount of criticism for its very existence, but that didn't stop us. If we want to transform the Linux desktop from where it is today, to something that Apple will feel obliged to emulate in parts, we are going to have to make bold moves and big changes, and those will cause distress. If we're right, the result will be fantastic, and the changes will be embraced by other distributions and upstream. If we're wrong, they won't.

We are focusing our design and user experience attention on the elements of the experience that span multiple applications. Notifications, and the notification area, are two such elements. We developed a framework for "how applications engage with the user when they don't have the focus". We tested those ideas, and we think they are worth taking some risks to achieve. MPT documented that conceptual framework, it was discussed, and now we are getting down to work.

Back to th...

Read more...

Changed in update-notifier (Ubuntu Jaunty):
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
summary: - [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG
+ [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Changed in ubuntu-release-notes:
importance: Undecided → Low
Revision history for this message
Åskar (olskar) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Well spoken Mark.

I would'nt lie if I said that this decision was a strange one that actually sounds kind of bad to me. Especially the part being interupted by updates when you work.

However as Matthew says, this behavior was not designed yesterday on the back of a napkin and there is propably a great deal of thinking behind such a bold move. I guess we'll just have to trust you on this one, it may turn out great in the end :)

Revision history for this message
Vadim Peretokin (vperetokin) wrote :

Great reply but it's lacking in substance of answering the question. By experts being able to get it back, I assume you mean downgrading.

What do the non-experts do though? My mother, a non-expert user, couldn't care less about updates - because she doesn't get on her computer to update it but do other work. She definitely doesn't or won't be launching the update manager manually to check, and at best, will be disrupted (as she previously was) by the popup notification, except this time it'll spawn a window to be more intrusive.

Maybe there is a link specifically to this update-notifier decision? I've read the meaning behind notify-osd, but spawning unsolicited windows and making important security processes less visible wasn't mentioned.

Revision history for this message
Brian J. Murrell (brian-interlinx) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

On Fri, 2009-03-27 at 19:29 +0000, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
> Nothing like a healthy debate.

Indeed. So let's kick it off with where we stand right now and that's
(afaik, correct me if I'm wrong) no notification icon anymore and an
update-manager window that pops up once-a-week (in absence of critical
updates) and interrupts me. Is this understanding correct?

I'm not sure I see how popping up windows in front of what users are
actively working on is good UI design.

I have caught wind that this popping up of windows might somehow be
molded into "morphing windows" or somesuch thing, that tbh, I don't
understand. Am I off base yet/still?

I guess the question is then, if windows popping up and disturbing one's
workflow is not the final UI design in all of this, will the final
design be done before Jaunty is GA? And if not, then why start exposing
users to this new way of doing things while it is still ugly, disruptive
and not complete state?

b.

Revision history for this message
Iain Lane (laney) wrote :

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Hash: SHA1

Brian J. Murrell wrote:
> On Fri, 2009-03-27 at 19:29 +0000, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
>> Nothing like a healthy debate.
>
> Indeed. So let's kick it off with where we stand right now and that's
> (afaik, correct me if I'm wrong) no notification icon anymore and an
> update-manager window that pops up once-a-week (in absence of critical
> updates) and interrupts me. Is this understanding correct?

No, they pop in the background, unfocused. I personally don't think this
is the right behaviour either, but at least it's not disruptive in that
way. Nobody would be insane enough to try that ;)

Iain
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Revision history for this message
Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Hi everybody, Discussion should probably be moved to the Ubuntuforums, http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1097110

Thanks everybody for your interest in this topic. Your interaction in bug reports really helps make Ubuntu a better place. Please keep reporting bugs as you encounter them!

~Brian Curtis
Bug Control Member

Revision history for this message
Michal Matyska (michal-matyska) wrote :

No downgrade neccesary at all... it is just GConf setting ... In the terminal run:
gconftool -s --type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false

restart X and you are done. It's working for me.

Revision history for this message
Ted Gould (ted) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

On Fri, 2009-03-27 at 20:13 +0000, Brian J. Murrell wrote:
> On Fri, 2009-03-27 at 19:29 +0000, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
> > Nothing like a healthy debate.
>
> Indeed. So let's kick it off with where we stand right now and that's
> (afaik, correct me if I'm wrong) no notification icon anymore and an
> update-manager window that pops up once-a-week (in absence of critical
> updates) and interrupts me. Is this understanding correct?

No.

What should happen is that the window should pop up behind other
windows. In this way it won't steal focus or have accidental clicks.
There would be several problems with it popping up in front of what the
user is working on.

If there are security updates, it won't wait for a week to show the
window, and the window will call for attention -- meaning that it should
pulse in the window switcher, to encourage the user to interact with the
window and install the security updates.

Revision history for this message
Brian J. Murrell (brian-interlinx) wrote :

On Fri, 2009-03-27 at 20:26 +0000, Iain Lane wrote:
>
> No, they pop in the background, unfocused. I personally don't think this
> is the right behaviour either, but at least it's not disruptive in that
> way. Nobody would be insane enough to try that ;)

So hidden under all of the other windows that literally cover very
square inch of my screen?

In any case, I don't think my experience was that it was popping up
under other windows. I saw the update-manger up on top of all of my
other windows.

I just fail to see how unsolicited application pop-ups that cover a
major portion of my screen real-estate is good UI design. Maybe a
lesson about "pop-ups" needs to learnt from the popularity of web
browser pop-up blockers. Surely that lesson is not being ignored, yes?

b.

Revision history for this message
Brian J. Murrell (brian-interlinx) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Fri, 2009-03-27 at 20:33 +0000, Brian Curtis wrote:
> Hi everybody, Discussion should probably be moved to the Ubuntuforums,
> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1097110

Uhm, please no. I don't "interact" on web pages/forums. I don't have
the time or attention to go check forums multiple times a day to see if
there might be conversation updates (never mind having to tolerate
people's whizzy-bangy-eye-candy-graphical avatars and other crap, and
having to scroll through pages of messages I have already read, etc. --
in two words: forums suck). I much prefer conversations in tools that
were meant for them, like e-mail (read: very high signal-to-noise ratio
with regard to content vs. eye-candy), which I get with Launchpad bugs.
b.

Revision history for this message
michael perigard (overprescribed) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (10.5 KiB)

On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 4:40 PM, Brian J. Murrell <email address hidden> wrote:

> I just fail to see how unsolicited application pop-ups that cover a
> major portion of my screen real-estate is good UI design.

It's not good design. I don't think the Canonical team is even suggesting it's good design. That's what I don't understand. I've been watching this conversation for a while, and now that I saw Mark make his comment, what I feared is true.

Some things we all agree on (maybe?):
The notification area shouldn't be a place to display open tasks; that's for a window list applet. If your task doesn't need to notify the user of new events, or a change in status, then it has no place putting an icon in the notification area.
Tasks with frequently changing status that don't have panel applets like to put icons into the notification area. I'm looking at Gajim right now in my notification area. The application has a setting which allows me to have the icon appear at all times, or only to appear when there are events I haven't given attention. The latter is, what I can tell, the intended purpose of the notification area. A quick glance shows me if there are any new messages since the last time I checked. No envelope? Back to ignoring it. (Usually sounds do the trick, but they aren't working for me right now :)

Now here's where the developers are starting to change things:
"Bubbles" as they used to be called, or as I used to know them as anyway, were little, tiny border- and decoration-less windows that popped up near the notification area (or in an area of our choosing). These bubbles were to give more information about an event that needed attention or a change in status than a simple icon change or animation. These bubbles became actionable (click on me to address the event, or ignore me to address it in your own time, and I'll go away in a few seconds). These bubbles became numerous and there was (still is) no standard for their content or the actions performed when clicking (or right clicking) on the bubble or the icon itself.

There was talk that the lack of standards led to security issues. "Click here to address this issue" was construed by some as click on this bubble, instead of the icon it was supposed to draw attention to. When clicking on the bubble did nothing, some blamed the idea of having bubbles at all as being too confusing because of the lack of standards, rather than addressing the poor UI of that particular bubble. Couldn't we have made clicking on the bubble and the icon do the same thing? Some people see the lack of a specific, coherent standard of content and click behavior as freedom put in the developers hands for how they want their user to interact with their programs and vice-versa. I'm guessing that 'some' definitely includes individual application developers more than developers of the desktop itself. The issue became that notifications were falling by the wayside, that some bubbles were more critical than others, but since there was (is) no standard, people weren't giving critical notifications their due.

I certainly see where the developers of the desktop as a whole are coming from here. Bubbles were non-standa...

Revision history for this message
Jan Claeys (janc) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

Op vrijdag 27-03-2009 om 19:29 uur [tijdzone +0000], schreef Mark
Shuttleworth:
> Back to the notification area. If we're going to clean up the panel and
> the notification area, we should start with the system pieces. Those
> include the restart-required icon, and the updates-available icon. So
> those are gone in 9.04. There are ways for experts to have that
> functionality if they want it.

I suggest that even if a user chooses to see the icons instead of the
popup/popunder, that if he/she didn't install security updates after 3
days, the popup/popunder should still happen. That way you can make
sure that the wannabe experts that follow all those 'how to "fix"
ubuntu' blogs & websites will still install security updates...

--
Jan Claeys

Revision history for this message
ktp420 (ktp420) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

I just did a update and upgrade using apt-get. After the upgrade, I got two notification, one for Firefox needs to be restarted and click here for more information, and another for you need to restart you system and click here for more information.

Now two questions and are these bugs:
1) I thought notifications are not click-able. So why does it say click me for more information. Also they disappear within few seconds. I didn't even get to finish reading all the info in both before they were gone. Good think I knew what they were. Is there preferences to set how long to keep the notifications up before closing it? I can see this being issue if you get few notifications together and can't read all of them in whatever the time is now.

2) I thought you said:

> Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 19:29:34 +0000
> From: <email address hidden>
> Subject: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG
> ....
> Back to the notification area. If we're going to clean up the panel and
> the notification area, we should start with the system pieces. Those
> include the restart-required icon, and the updates-available icon. So
> those are gone in 9.04. .....

But I got both Firefox needs restart icon and restart required icon. Is this another bug? If it is, then will the dialog, which is shows the information when user clicks the notification or icon, be opened like updates-available dialog when the notifications are shown?

Revision history for this message
ktp420 (ktp420) wrote :

Also forgot to say that the upgrade notification icon showed up showing that "a package manager is working" while the updates are being installed. How is this useful?

Revision history for this message
Jamin W. Collins (jcollins) wrote :

Sounds like you've made the gconf change to restore the original behavior.

Revision history for this message
ktp420 (ktp420) wrote :

Funny thing is I didn't. But now I am going to since this is just logical to me. Call me an export.

Revision history for this message
Ted Gould (ted) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Sat, 2009-03-28 at 00:02 +0000, ktp420 wrote:
> But I got both Firefox needs restart icon and restart required icon. Is
> this another bug? If it is, then will the dialog, which is shows the
> information when user clicks the notification or icon, be opened like
> updates-available dialog when the notifications are shown?

Yes, they are bugs. We were looking into them this afternoon.
Hopefully they'll both be fixed shortly. If you have any other
information on how to reproduce them, that'd be great.

Revision history for this message
Ted Gould (ted) wrote :

On Fri, 2009-03-27 at 23:10 +0000, michael perigard wrote:
> Now I've seen the emergence of the "indicator-applet" which seems to me
> to be an attempt at a notification area with standards. I feel like
> there's a bit of wheel re-inventing going on. We already have an area
> for notifications. Most applications I use that can put an icon in the
> notification area but don't really need to give me the option of it
> being there in the first place (banshee, rhythmbox, gajim when there are
> no pending events). If the issue is clutter, get on the individual
> developers. The way I see it, in a desktop without a notification area,
> the only way to notify a user is with a pop-up window. It seems to me
> that the notification area was an attempt at progressing past pop-up
> windows. We've now gone from getting rid of automatically starting a
> program and placing it on the desktop, to a simple, unobtrusive icon in
> an area meant for such notifications, back to popping up the
> application. This seems like a step backwards to fix a problem that has
> come about from cruft and misuse of a good idea, not progress. I feel
> like the developers could have gone and filed bugs with the applications
> that sit in the notification area for no good reason if they felt there
> was clutter that was ruining it's purpose rather than removed an icon
> that seemed at home where it was. Take up the issue where the issue is.

I wanted to say something about your comment that we're reinventing the
notification area. In some ways you're entirely correct. There are
some key points you're missing.

The notification area is fundamentally broken. It's broken in the fact
that what it requires is applications to make a small X window, which
then gets embedded into the panel. This means that the application must
learn what the interface of what is around it is, and conform to that.
There is no reasonable way for applications to learn how all the
different panels work, and make custom behavior for all of them. What
is better is if the applications export the data they want to appear
there, and leave the rendering of that data to the panel itself. Then
it will be consistent with the UI concepts that are being used.

Secondly, on most panels, and this is especially true of netbooks, it's
unreasonable to think that every application could have their own little
icon. There's simply not enough space. At that point we need to start
grouping them, and grouping them by features makes a ton of sense, but
that quickly leads to the UI embedding problems discussed above.

The notification area is a broken concept, and fixing all the
applications won't fix that.

> make decisions based on attracting users who want
> everything to 'JustWork',

Hopefully from the installer experience on you start to realize that we
want it to "just work" for everyone on the planet, not just the elite
who enjoy tweaking their computers. If you'd like to see what we think
about market share, I'd recommend Bug 1. :)

Revision history for this message
Jan Claeys (janc) wrote :

(CC'ed to ubuntu-devel-discuss, as this is where further discussions
should happen. Please everybody answer there.)

Op zaterdag 28-03-2009 om 02:23 uur [tijdzone +0000], schreef Ted Gould:
> The notification area is fundamentally broken. It's broken in the
> fact that what it requires is applications to make a small X window,
> which then gets embedded into the panel. This means that the
> application must learn what the interface of what is around it is, and
> conform to that.
> There is no reasonable way for applications to learn how all the
> different panels work, and make custom behavior for all of them. What
> is better is if the applications export the data they want to appear
> there, and leave the rendering of that data to the panel itself. Then
> it will be consistent with the UI concepts that are being used.

I agree with that mostly, and I think most developers will agree with
this idea in principle. One important issue that people have been
complaining about is that you[*] removed some very important icons in
the notification area without providing an alternative.

No, the popup/popunder is not an alternative, because it's not
_persistent_ (it seems like you[*] don't understand this, because I
haven't seen a single answer to this complaint--except for "disable the
new behaviour of update-notifier completely").

What you[*] should have done is provide an alternative: exporting the
data so that something can display it, and provide at least a basic
"something" so that it actually gets shown. (Maybe it's possible to
include this in the new indicator-messages applet, I don't know.)

[*] not you personally of course, but the whole group of people involved
in this change

--
Jan Claeys

Revision history for this message
michael perigard (overprescribed) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Ted Gould wrote:

Hopefully from the installer experience on you start to realize that we
want it to "just work" for everyone on the planet, not just the elite
who enjoy tweaking their computers. If you'd like to see what we think
about market share, I'd recommend Bug 1. :)

fair enough. and I was aware of Bug 1 before I wrote my tirade, so I should have known better. I'm constantly frustrated by those who don't want to put in *any* effort - there are definitely people in between them and a computer engineering student who codes for a living and loves filing bug reports - and I'm not against simplifying processes and unifying. I agree that it'd be nice if there was a framework that applications could feed into and leave rendering to the desktop; the notification system comes to mind. I also admit to not knowing much about the notification area backend. I'm a fan of customization, and I've seen where efforts to standardize something ends up completely sacrificing options to customize. It's also that... there's just those few things that shouldn't "just work", and I worry that implying that Ubuntu security is something that takes care of itself without you having to know *anything* about it creates a false sense of security. I think you should be able to draw a line at a point where you expect the user to learn something about the operating system and how it works.

Oh, and I certainly wasn't advocating every application have their own icon. If a program is running on another workspace or in the background and doesn't need to notify me of state updates or new events, it shouldn't take up any precious space on my desktop at all, in a panel or not. Is the indicator-applet cross-desktop (gnome, kde, xfce, etc)? I've asked a few questions on the indicator-applet launchpad to no avail. Maybe the update-notifier/manager should be the first application to appear in the indicator-applet? :)

Revision history for this message
Vadim Peretokin (vperetokin) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

"Notification area is broken" - most applications provide an option to show
the notification. Personally, I see it as a useful space for the application
to go away, while still running, and not using up space in my window space.

So I still don't see how to "fix" the broken applications.

Revision history for this message
pingou67 (pingou67) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Just to be more precise, I have nothing against the new notifyosd.

But, I think, there is a problem with update-notifier implementation. The permanent reminder for "updates available" or "reboot required" is very important for every users (everyone doesn't want to update or reboot immediately), this information is lost in Jaunty and I think it's a very bad thing. Maybe there is other way that icon in notification area, but this information is very useful.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

On 27/03/2009 Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
> We have good usability information that says that notification areas
> are
> swamps. They are swamps on Windows, and swamps in all the Linux
> distributions.

Dear Mark,

I see your point, but we all know from years of experience that pop-ups
and pop-unders are only considered an annoyance by users, and that they
don't fit for the purpose. That's why most of us were proud of the gnome
way: to avoid as many pop-ups as possible. This gave ubuntu a "rock
solid, unannoying" feeling that made it extremely competitive on
usability over windows.

We all are complaining because we feel that pop-under or whaterer are
just wrong, and we want ubuntu to be perfect :)

In any case I appreciate a lot the work of canonical: to summarize,
"jaunty is lovely".

Vincenzo

Revision history for this message
Fernando Miguel (fernandomiguel) wrote : Re: Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

Olá Ted e a todos.

On Friday 27 March 2009 20:36:13 Ted Gould wrote:
> If there are security updates, it won't wait for a week to show the
> window, and the window will call for attention -- meaning that it should
> pulse in the window switcher, to encourage the user to interact with the
> window and install the security updates.

Many users dont even have the window switcher. They use AWN or Gnome-DO Docky.
How are this group of users be alerted to updates?

--
Hi, I'm BUGabundo, and I am Ubuntu (whyubuntu.com)
(``-_-´´) http://LinuxNoDEI.BUGabundo.net && Ubuntu LoCoTeam Portugal http://ubuntu-pt.org
Linux user #443786 GPG key 1024D/A1784EBB

Revision history for this message
Fernando Miguel (fernandomiguel) wrote : Re: Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Saturday 28 March 2009 04:11:31 michael perigard wrote:
> Is the indicator-applet cross-desktop (gnome, kde, xfce, etc)?

AFAIK no. Its primarily for GNOME, but the Xubuntu team did some tests on it, and I think they gave up.
Kubuntu will not use it for this cycle, and AFAIK KDE has its own Upstream project to clean the system tray, creating a set of 5 groups of apps that *can* use the tray. Maybe DX could talk to them to get the work done for Kubuntu 9.10 Koala cycle? No need to have two teams doing same stuff.

> Maybe the update-notifier/manager should be the first application to appear in the indicator-applet? :)

I would like to see that too.

--
Hi, I'm BUGabundo, and I am Ubuntu (whyubuntu.com)
(``-_-´´) http://LinuxNoDEI.BUGabundo.net && Ubuntu LoCoTeam Portugal http://ubuntu-pt.org
Linux user #443786 GPG key 1024D/A1784EBB

Revision history for this message
Ted Gould (ted) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Sat, 2009-03-28 at 04:11 +0000, michael perigard wrote:
> Oh, and I certainly wasn't advocating every application have their own
> icon. If a program is running on another workspace or in the background
> and doesn't need to notify me of state updates or new events, it
> shouldn't take up any precious space on my desktop at all, in a panel or
> not. Is the indicator-applet cross-desktop (gnome, kde, xfce, etc)?
> I've asked a few questions on the indicator-applet launchpad to no
> avail.

Currently it is not, but we're working to make it so. I haven't noticed
the questions on LP, I'll try to get answers to them. Sorry about that.

Revision history for this message
Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

Vincenzo Ciancia wrote:
> I see your point, but we all know from years of experience that
> pop-ups and pop-unders are only considered an annoyance by users, and
> that they don't fit for the purpose. That's why most of us were proud
> of the gnome way: to avoid as many pop-ups as possible. This gave
> ubuntu a "rock solid, unannoying" feeling that made it extremely
> competitive on usability over windows.
>
> We all are complaining because we feel that pop-under or whaterer are
> just wrong, and we want ubuntu to be perfect :)

And I see your point! We've been focused on the idea that the action
itself should be immediately accessible to the user (rather than a
notification followed by a clickable panel icon followed by the action
:-)). But the windows itself could be minimised. Let's explore that. I
think it may be too late for Jaunty but I'll see what we can do.

MPT, can you see any issues with having the window start minimised?
That's consistent with our longer-term plans for elegant
calling-for-attention. If you think it's workable, would you raise it
with MVO and see if it's a one-liner or close to it for Jaunty?

Mark

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote : Notifications as instant messages?

Mark Shuttleworth ha scritto:
>
> And I see your point! We've been focused on the idea that the action
> itself should be immediately accessible to the user (rather than a
> notification followed by a clickable panel icon followed by the action
> :-)). But the windows itself could be minimised. Let's explore that. I
> think it may be too late for Jaunty but I'll see what we can do.
>

 From the beginning, this issue made me think of IM programs such as
pidgin. There, you have exactly the same problem: there are messages
pending for you, and you have to choose how to be notified. Notice that
the various modalities (blinking or non-blinking notification icon,
pop-up window, pop-under window, pop-up minimised window) are _already_
(!) a choice in most IM clients. Because they had to solve this problem
before.

Here I'd like to argue that the two problems are the same problem and
their solution should be the same, as the system is actually an entity
talking to you. Of course your mileage may vary, but I would be happy to
start a blueprint if there is consensus, with the idea of using a
_local_ IM protocol (such as bonjour) and an IM client (either pidgin or
a lightweight ad hoc receiver) to notify the user.

Motivations are as follows:

- IM clients already have to solve the problem of notifying the user.

- it is evident to most users that they can configure how to get
notified of new messages (pop-ups, minimised pop-ups, blinking icons etc.)

- Pidgin already uses the new notification machinery, hence pretty
notifications would be automatically obtained

- messages can contain URLs. One can use a clickable URI to run a
program - e.g. update-notifier. Indeed, these URIs must be made
clickable in the client _only if_ coming from the system account. And
for more security enabled applications could be whitelisted as one can
do with sudo.

- If ALL the applications notify via this system, there can be a
"system" buddy that notifies you of ALL system messages, instead of a
SEPARATE window for every application. Enabling the chat log in the IM
client will save all the messages that the system sent to you, so that
you can choose when to take a look at all the pending messages (e.g.
before going home from office).

- Having a chat window is perceived as much less annoying than a perhaps
non-standard pop-up dialog, and would enable for the future smart
applications, such as enhanced "intelligent" interactions and dialogues
with the system, as it happens with IRC bots.

- many more reasons but I first would like some impression on these.

- the only problem I see is: how to make a notification persistent
across different sessions? That's a problem also in pidgin: if I close
the session without reading a pending message, will I be notified next
time? I don't think so. But perhaps this is easy to solve, and indeed
would be part of the blueprint.

Vincenzo

Revision history for this message
Charlie Halford (soupmonster) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

I personally don't think an Instant Messaging program would be a correct fit for messages relating to system updates. Not all users have an IM running all the time, and if the solution would then be to create a lightweight message notifier, we are just re-inventing the update-notifier wheel.

The solution in Jaunty seems to very closely model the OS X method for update notification, which is one I feel is very inelegant and clunky.

Mark said previously that users feel like the notification area is a swamp, and I agree. Very few programs have a need to be there. However, I honestly feel like update-notifier is one that should remain there, and if it is unrecognisable by new users, then that should be worked on separately.

Revision history for this message
Michael Rooney (mrooney) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 1:56 AM, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:

> But the windows itself could be minimised. Let's explore that. I
> think it may be too late for Jaunty but I'll see what we can do.
>

That is a really wonderful idea! I think this would solve a lot of the
usability issues and also eliminate any bugs regarding z-ordering / focus
issues.

Revision history for this message
Jamin W. Collins (jcollins) wrote :

Michael Rooney wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 1:56 AM, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
>
>> But the windows itself could be minimised. Let's explore that. I
>> think it may be too late for Jaunty but I'll see what we can do.
>
> That is a really wonderful idea! I think this would solve a lot of the
> usability issues and also eliminate any bugs regarding z-ordering / focus
> issues.

While it may solve/mitigate some of the complaints. It will also
expose/aggravate a bug in Metacity with multiple workspaces. If a
window is minimized on one workspace, and the user is on any other
workspace, clicking on the window in the window list on the panel does
nothing other than flash the entry. The use has to be on the same
workspace the window was minimized on in order to restore it. I've
verified that this is still a problem with up to date Jaunty.

Reported here: http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=571588

This is one of the prime reasons replacing Metacity with Openbox is one
of the first things I do after install.

Then there's also the fact that the default configuration of the window
list is to only show the windows for the current workspace. So, what
happens when a user is on workspace 1, the window opens minimized, and
then the user switches away from the workspace without noticing it? Are
we then going to set the window to be on all workspaces minimized?

It may just be me (though I seriously doubt it), but this seems like an
awful lot of effort for something that will only annoy users.

--
Jamin W. Collins

Revision history for this message
kulight (kulight) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

well i thought it was a bug that the icon notifying about new updates is gone and after reading the comments (i admit not all) i still think its a bug even though it was planed

i think new updates are important info that i would like to know about

Revision history for this message
Jamin W. Collins (jcollins) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

Jamin W. Collins wrote:
>
> If a window is minimized on one workspace, and the user is on any
> other workspace, clicking on the window in the window list on the
> panel does nothing other than flash the entry. The use has to be on
> the same workspace the window was minimized on in order to restore
> it. I've verified that this is still a problem with up to date
> Jaunty.
>
> Reported here: http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=571588

I knew there was an older report of that bug:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/metacity/+bug/216049

Appears it was closed for non-response. Wouldn't have taken but a few
moments for the individual that closed it verify it. All necessary
information was in the bug report.

--
Jamin W. Collins

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

On 30/03/2009 Michael Rooney wrote:
> > > But the windows itself could be minimised. Let's explore that. I
> > > think it may be too late for Jaunty but I'll see what we can do.
> > >
>
> That is a really wonderful idea! I think this would solve a lot of the
> usability issues and also eliminate any bugs regarding z-ordering /
> focus
> issues.
>

I tought about this today; while minimised windows are better, they will
get in the way of alt+tab. That's desired, because the idea here is to
"interact with the user immediately". But that's wrong with users:
suppose I am revising a paper, I constantly alt+tab between the comments
that I am writing in plain text, and the pdf of the paper. If a window
gets in the middle of the process it distracts me. Now I am tolerant to
computers :) But an employee in a non-techie company will inevitably say
"who is the System and why does He think that he can ask for my
_immediate_ attention???".

Now that gives me one more argument to adopt the "instant messaging"
interaction pattern: users deal with IM every day. When they don't want
to be disturbed they set their status to "busy". We have support for
this in the FUSA applet which is on the default desktop. A polite
interlocutor will not disturb you while you are busy, unless it's really
urgent.

A polite System, like ubuntu is expected to be, would in this case
postpone the notification. A really urgent notification such as "the
system is about to burn, turn it off please" would go trough instead.

Vincenzo

Revision history for this message
Brian J. Murrell (brian-interlinx) wrote :

On Mon, 2009-03-30 at 20:50 +0000, Vincenzo Ciancia wrote:
>
> Now that gives me one more argument to adopt the "instant messaging"
> interaction pattern: users deal with IM every day. When they don't want
> to be disturbed they set their status to "busy". We have support for
> this in the FUSA applet which is on the default desktop. A polite
> interlocutor will not disturb you while you are busy, unless it's really
> urgent.

Disagree. I don't fiddle with my IM status. If I'm busy, I just ignore
you because you don't get to pop up a window in front of my work. I
deal with you when I have a chance. I expect to treat my System in the
same way.

b.

Revision history for this message
ktp420 (ktp420) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 1:56 AM, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:

> But the windows itself could be minimised. Let's explore that. I
> think it may be too late for Jaunty but I'll see what we can do.
>

Is it just me or am I missing something? Isn't the hole point of notification system to NOTIFY the user when important/critical information user needs to know about? What's the point of the notification system if you don't want to notify the user that there is critical updates?

Why are we trying to make things hard here? Why not solve the real issue here? We are going for in your face open window to minimized window which someone might miss. What happens if someone does not see the minimized window, will it open up again next time system is restated?

Why not just have a little bouncing icon like MAC as? It's in your face. (I hope you don't do that.)

Revision history for this message
Walter_Wittel (wittelw) wrote :

 Vincenzo Ciancia wrote :

> - messages can contain URLs. One can use a clickable URI to run a
> program - e.g. update-notifier. Indeed, these URIs must be made
> clickable in the client _only if_ coming from the system account. And
> for more security enabled applications could be whitelisted as one can
> do with sudo.

I'm *very* glad to see security addressed. One problem with a "Click Here" window floating around is for the new user to understand if this is a system update or a phishing popup from Firefox. This is a common practice on that other OS we all want to get away from ("A virus has been detected, Just click here to fix your system"). The first successful attack will warn users away from updating ever. Getting security right is of the utmost importance. As a user I would like to understand how the windows can be (visually or otherwise) distinguished from a malicious popup to trick me into pwning my machine.

BTW, with a notification I feel more confident because the notification had to get installed with admin permissions and when I click it I have a high degree of confidence it will launch the Real(tm) update-manager rather than a trojan. That isn't to say this problem couldn't / shouldn't be solved for floating update notification windows.

> - If ALL the applications notify via this system, there can be a
> "system" buddy that notifies you of ALL system messages, instead of a
> SEPARATE window for every application. Enabling the chat log in the IM
> client will save all the messages that the system sent to you, so that
> you can choose when to take a look at all the pending messages (e.g.
> before going home from office).

I agree, there should be a central place where I can get all important notification, and the existing notification area is likely too heavily used / abused to fix. But please per above make it something that I can easily trust.

> - the only problem I see is: how to make a notification persistent
> across different sessions? That's a problem also in pidgin: if I close
> the session without reading a pending message, will I be notified next
> time? I don't think so. But perhaps this is easy to solve, and indeed
> would be part of the blueprint.

Also a crash with a pending update notification that doesn't come back to remind me of the fix is potential death to the system. Or else everyone goes back to polling the servers when ever they feel the urge. Maybe the pidgin interaction model is worthy for consideration but may need a new implementation to handle persistence.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

On 30/03/2009 Brian J. Murrell wrote:
>
> Disagree. I don't fiddle with my IM status. If I'm busy, I just
> ignore
> you because you don't get to pop up a window in front of my work. I
> deal with you when I have a chance. I expect to treat my System in
> the
> same way.

Not completely clear: do you have your IM open minimised windows in
front of you or what is your preferred method of being notified? Don't
minimised windows interfere with ALT+TAB so they actually come up every
now and then, and you have to close them or move to another desktop?

Vincenzo

Revision history for this message
Tom Harris (tom-harris) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Surely the solution for this is simple. Install updates automatically by default (but make it an option that power users can change).

This entire thread is about forcing people to click a button that says "update", and plenty of suggestions have been dismissed on the basis that the user might, as a result, decide not hit that button. If we're so keen on people to do this, why not do it for them?

In the case that someone has set to be notifed (instead of updating automatically), pop up a new-style disappearing notification every 24 hrs if there are updates, like so:

There are 12 updates available, of which 4 are security fixes

If they still haven't installed the security updates after 7 days, then open Update Manager unfocused like the current plan. If there are no security updates then still notify of the regular updates, but never open Update Manager.

Revision history for this message
Brian J. Murrell (brian-interlinx) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Removal of Update Notifier is WRONG

On Tue, 2009-03-31 at 07:37 +0000, Vincenzo Ciancia wrote:
>
> Not completely clear: do you have your IM open minimised windows in
> front of you or what is your preferred method of being notified?

No. I have two windows (I use pidgin) displayed all of the time. I
never minimize them. One window is the buddy list and the other a
window of tabs, one tab for each buddy (that has messages pending) and
one for each irc channel I am on.

I may not be your typical IM user though. I use IRC (in pidgin) all day
5 days a week as my main method of communicating with colleagues,
because I telecommute for work.

> Don't
> minimised windows interfere with ALT+TAB so they actually come up every
> now and then, and you have to close them or move to another desktop?

I never minimize my pidgin windows. I also use devilspie to have them
skip the tasklist and be visible on all workspaces. As a tool,
pidgin/IM is as important to me as are the panels and window management,
etc.

But probably, as such I've learnt to manage it's ability to (not)
interrupt me, yet keep me notified of what's happening. I want the same
from my update notifier.

b.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

Il giorno mar, 31/03/2009 alle 11.40 +0000, Brian J. Murrell ha scritto:
>
> I never minimize my pidgin windows. I also use devilspie to have them
> skip the tasklist and be visible on all workspaces. As a tool,
> pidgin/IM is as important to me as are the panels and window
> management,
> etc.
>
> But probably, as such I've learnt to manage it's ability to (not)
> interrupt me, yet keep me notified of what's happening. I want the
> same
> from my update notifier.

That's in the spirit of what I wrote: you want pidgin there all the
time, but as it's a long-running window you don't want it in your ALT
+TAB list. The same problem I think exists in update notifier. Even a
minimised window will not completely solve the problem. A notification
did, but this is the change we are discussing.

Now a typical user may enjoy suitable defaults. A more advanced user
will configure how to receive system notifications. If they are all in
one place, it's easy to do it. If they have the same choices,
conventions and defaults of the very common IM paradigm, people will
understand them effortlessly.

V.

Revision history for this message
John Clemens (clemej) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (4.6 KiB)

Mark said:

>> We all are complaining because we feel that pop-under or whaterer are
>> just wrong, and we want ubuntu to be perfect :)
>
>And I see your point! We've been focused on the idea that the action
>itself should be immediately accessible to the user (rather than a
>notification followed by a clickable panel icon followed by the action
>:-)). But the windows itself could be minimised. Let's explore that. I
>think it may be too late for Jaunty but I'll see what we can do

Please take this as constructive criticism, as it's meant that way.

My wife and I have windows on our laptop, but we rarely boot into it since we run Ubuntu all the time. It's the windows that came with pre-installed on each machine so it has a lot of crapware that came from the manufacturer. When we do boot into it, not only do we have a bloated notification area, but we also have to click through several pop-up and pop-under windows (both!) that these applications bombard us with asking us to upgrade our virus definitions, our java version, or whatever. And because they're all loading more DLL's to show a full GUI instead of a notification, they slow the machine down. Often we start doing the thing we need to get done, and get interrupted by another one. If they just blinked away in the notification area, they'd be a lot less annoying.

Plus, we're often puzzled to close an app in the foreground and find an update window sitting behind it.. we'll stare at it and go "wait, I didn't launch that update app, what's going on?". This type of behaviour makes the user feel they're not in control of their own computer. Running interactive programs that the user didn't ask us to run is a confusing and bad paradigm, whether the window starts minimized or not. We often joke about how glad we are Ubuntu doesn't do that.

You know what else is annoying? the annoying windows popup 'reboot now or remind me in 15 minutes" after you install updates. Much more intrusive then the Intrepid reboot notification. Is that the type of thing we're moving to for the reboot notification as well?

I understand that Mark is making a usability argument that he wants the action to be available immediately. But I don't understand what's so wrong with the 'Hey, I see I've got updates, I should click on the icon and install the updates'. How is that different then the normal 'Hey, I need to write an email, I'll click on the email icon to write my email'? I don't see a difference. Yes, we all agree the notification area was abused, but it was designed for just this case.

Actually, take the email analogy further: Imagine if a mail notification applet checked for new mail, didn't actually tell you when you had new email, and then launched your heavyweight email app every 5 hours regardless of what you're doing (unless you got a 'high priority mail', then it would launch immediately).

It also appears that this bug report has lost the fact that now there is NO notification that there are (non-critical) updates, allowing the user to decide when to install them. Instead, Ubuntu has (arbitrarily, though I assume user configurable in the future) when it will run the update manager a...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

John, one benefit of Ubuntu's package management system is that things like new virus definitions, new Java versions and so on can be combined into the single updates-available window, rather than appearing as separate windows.

No, we have no plans to put up frequent reminders for restarting.
<https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027565.html>

"What's so wrong" with the updates-available icon is that it's not obvious.
<https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html>

The e-mail analogy fails because the envelope icon is much more obvious.
<https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027460.html>

You make a good point about asking people to update when they are disconnected from the Internet. However, I don't know how we would distinguish between disconnected and unable to connect right now, and disconnected but able to connect if asked. If you have particular ideas about how that could be done, please report that as a separate bug.

Revision history for this message
Moritz Baumann (mo42) wrote :

I think 90% of the users agree with you in most aspects and like the new system for rather unimportant, temporary notifications.

The problem is that there doesn't seem to be a great concept for persistent notifications. And – just as long as there is none – why didn't you decide to keep the old system for that?

I just don't understand your decision of completely removing the tray icon as long as there's no proper replacement. And I hope that automatically opening windows is not a long-time solution.

--

By the way, I didn't find the bubbles too disturbing, at least they're much less disturbing than windows appearing out of nowhere. To me they looked good an served their purpose without eating up a lot of space, though I can live without them.

Revision history for this message
Giuseppe Pennisi (giupenni78) wrote :

People...I used Kubuntu Jauty but not show update-notifier.
Can be fixed?
gp

Revision history for this message
Vadim Peretokin (vperetokin) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Afaik the Kubuntu team hasn't accepted the new notifier and are still
discussing it's implications.

Revision history for this message
ktp420 (ktp420) wrote : RE: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

> Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 10:30:23 +0000
> From: <email address hidden>

> "What's so wrong" with the updates-available icon is that it's not obvious.
> <https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html>
>

I am confused. In the above list it says:
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.
This is not true now right? There is an interval, i.e 7 days before it is launched. So it does NOT aways auto-launch.

Also I am more interested in what happens when user can't or does not want to update whenever the dialog is opened. What happens when user just closes it? It will be week or two weeks later the dialog opens up again right?

_________________________________________________________________
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John Clemens (clemej) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (7.6 KiB)

Strange, I sent a reply to this via email several hours ago, and it's not in the bug report.
Does replying to a bug via email work? I'll post it through the web, and my apologies
(and permission to delete one) if it shows up twice.

On Thu, 2 Apr 2009, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:

> John, one benefit of Ubuntu's package management system is that things
> like new virus definitions, new Java versions and so on can be combined
> into the single updates-available window, rather than appearing as
> separate windows.

Point taken, but 1 or N, it's still confusing to the user to be presented
with an application window that is not the direct result of an action
they've taken, or part an application they're currently running (and even
that's dubious).

> No, we have no plans to put up frequent reminders for restarting.
> <https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027565.html>

Good! Glad to hear it.

> "What's so wrong" with the updates-available icon is that it's not
> obvious.
> <https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html>
>
> The e-mail analogy fails because the envelope icon is much more obvious.
> <https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027460.html>

So the real problem is that the bubble mechanism caused some people to click
on the bubble, and that there can never be a perfect icon. I don't
necessarily agree with that. By your appriach, any time the OS needs to
notify you of anything else besides mail: (how many other 'icons' are
universally acceptable? what's the one for web browser, for example? a
globe? a firefox logo?) would need to launch the full application as a pop
under to tell you whats going on.

People have been trained by using other OS's that if they don't understand
an icon, they hover over it, and a tooltip tells them what it means. If
you're willing to accept the training received from other OS's that the
envelope icon always means mail, then why is it so hard to accept other
things learned from those OS's.

> You make a good point about asking people to update when they are
> disconnected from the Internet. However, I don't know how we would
> distinguish between disconnected and unable to connect right now, and
> disconnected but able to connect if asked. If you have particular ideas
> about how that could be done, please report that as a separate bug.

It's an un-knowable. Even if the user has connectivity, perhaps they don't
want to update because they're on a metered line (3G modem, at a friends
house who has time warner cable modems, etc..). You can't know it, and
popping up the full application to the user when you can't know if it's a
good time or not does not make sense to me.

I'll note that the above post(s) don't really address the main thrusts of my
argument (I don't blame you, I shouldn't write rambling posts while going to
bed):

- That having a full, user-interactive application start up when the user
didn't ask it to (even minimised), is downright confusing and freightening
to the user, as they don't feel they have control over their own computer.
If we thought people were confused by notification bubbles, just wait until
full apps ...

Read more...

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Vadim Peretokin (vperetokin) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Replying via email does work. Launchpad is one of the bugtrackers that
actually supports this.

(you can see which people replied via email in the bug report by the reply
subjects)

Revision history for this message
Moritz Baumann (mo42) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Is there any reason why you didn't just invent a new type of non-clickable balloons which are only meant to tell the user the meaning of an icon representing a persistent notification and which can be disabled as soon as the user knows what the icon means?

Revision history for this message
Alessandro Pedarra (alessandro-pedarra) wrote :

I want back the Update Notifier that tell me there's an update (and I like to see that icon everytime it find an update, even minor) without 'breaking balls', just like in Windows (and AS Ubuntu 8.10). If things are PERFECTS why you have to change them?

Sorry for the rant but the new system is plainly stupid (and sometimes doing things like other peoples is not a shame...).

Alessandro

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

For everybody who just wants the old behaviour, you can have it by entering

gconftool -s --type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false

in a terminal, or browsing to the same option via gconf-editor. This has been reported in other comments in this bug report.

Revision history for this message
Alessandro Pedarra (alessandro-pedarra) wrote :

Exactly what it do? It says seen that it will not launch automatically 'anything', but I would just want the old notification behavior where it launch just the 'notification icon' near 'clock, etc.'.

Thanks

Revision history for this message
Alessandro Pedarra (alessandro-pedarra) wrote :

Guys I found a temporary way to revert back to the old system, it's explained all here: http://martinpitt.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/the-stracciatella-gnome-session/

Anyway I hope that the Ubuntu team will revert to the old system by default (I'm talking about the update notifier and nothing else).

Revision history for this message
Jonathan Davies (jpds) wrote :

> Exactly what it do? It says seen that it will not launch automatically 'anything', but I would just
> want the old notification behavior where it launch just the 'notification icon' near 'clock, etc.'.

That's exactly what the command does, it changes the gconf settings for the update-notifier's auto launching to false - and this brings back the old behaviour of the icon.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Il giorno ven, 03/04/2009 alle 17.12 +0000, Alessandro Pedarra ha
scritto:
>
> Guys I found a temporary way to revert back to the old system, it's
> explained all here: http://martinpitt.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/the-
> stracciatella-gnome-session/

Please let's not create additional confusion on a bug that has already
more than 100 comments. To get back to the old behaviour including the
notification icon it is sufficient to change the gconf key as explained
above, there is no need to install additional packages.

Revision history for this message
ddumont (ddumont) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (3.6 KiB)

While this will solve *my* problem... I still think it is a mistake in
general to annoy regular users with this new behaviour. More and more
people are finding out about this, how many people subscribing to this bug
will it take to force the developers' hands?

I don't understand the problem with users not understanding what the update
icon looks like... if anything that signifies a failure at giving the user
sufficient visual queues to learn about the OS. For those people who HAVE
learned about the OS and DO recognize the update icon... they will miss it
and be upset...

Why must you upset them...

On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 2:30 PM, Jonathan Davies <
<email address hidden>> wrote:

> > Exactly what it do? It says seen that it will not launch automatically
> 'anything', but I would just
> > want the old notification behavior where it launch just the 'notification
> icon' near 'clock, etc.'.
>
> That's exactly what the command does, it changes the gconf settings for
> the update-notifier's auto launching to false - and this brings back the
> old behaviour of the icon.
>
> --
> [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/332945
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.
>
> Status in Ubuntu Release Notes: New
> Status in “update-notifier” source package in Ubuntu: Confirmed
> Status in update-notifier in Ubuntu Jaunty: Won't Fix
>
> Bug description:
> I am referring to the removal up the update-notifier in the Gnome
> notification area. The discussion of it is embedded in the thread headed
> by:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027416.html
>
> Specific messages worth reading are:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027451.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027454.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027437.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027445.html
>
> Matthew Paul Thomas says that the desired behavior is:
>
> * When there are security updates, Update Manager will open and show
> them (plus any other available updates) within a day.
>
> * When there are non-security updates, Update Manager will open and
> show them *one week* after it was last opened (whether it was last
> opened manually or automatically, and regardless of whether updates
> were actually installed then).
>
> * When there are no available updates, Update Manager will not open
> automatically at all.
>
> Desired by whom? And where was discussion of this change that effects the
> entire Ubuntu community? Because some percentage of users don't apparently
> understand that the notification area has meaning, we are not going to use
> it for updates? Chow Loong Jin raised a valid point that if update
> notification is now done by opening the entire update manager program,
> perhaps evolution and similar should open their application UIs rather than
> use the notification area. And there are concerns about un...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
kulight (kulight) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (6.5 KiB)

if it is that easy to bring back the old behavior and make the icon
appear again when updates are availble while keeping the new
notification i think it should be done untill rethinking of the concept
will be done

On Fri, 2009-04-03 at 18:58 +0000, ddumont wrote:
> While this will solve *my* problem... I still think it is a mistake in
> general to annoy regular users with this new behaviour. More and more
> people are finding out about this, how many people subscribing to this bug
> will it take to force the developers' hands?
>
> I don't understand the problem with users not understanding what the update
> icon looks like... if anything that signifies a failure at giving the user
> sufficient visual queues to learn about the OS. For those people who HAVE
> learned about the OS and DO recognize the update icon... they will miss it
> and be upset...
>
> Why must you upset them...
>
> On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 2:30 PM, Jonathan Davies <
> <email address hidden>> wrote:
>
> > > Exactly what it do? It says seen that it will not launch automatically
> > 'anything', but I would just
> > > want the old notification behavior where it launch just the 'notification
> > icon' near 'clock, etc.'.
> >
> > That's exactly what the command does, it changes the gconf settings for
> > the update-notifier's auto launching to false - and this brings back the
> > old behaviour of the icon.
> >
> > --
> > [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
> > https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/332945
> > You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> > of the bug.
> >
> > Status in Ubuntu Release Notes: New
> > Status in “update-notifier” source package in Ubuntu: Confirmed
> > Status in update-notifier in Ubuntu Jaunty: Won't Fix
> >
> > Bug description:
> > I am referring to the removal up the update-notifier in the Gnome
> > notification area. The discussion of it is embedded in the thread headed
> > by:
> >
> > https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027416.html
> >
> > Specific messages worth reading are:
> >
> > https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html
> > https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027451.html
> > https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027454.html
> > https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027437.html
> > https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027445.html
> >
> > Matthew Paul Thomas says that the desired behavior is:
> >
> > * When there are security updates, Update Manager will open and show
> > them (plus any other available updates) within a day.
> >
> > * When there are non-security updates, Update Manager will open and
> > show them *one week* after it was last opened (whether it was last
> > opened manually or automatically, and regardless of whether updates
> > were actually installed then).
> >
> > * When there are no available updates, Update Manager will not open
> > automatically at all.
> >
> > Desired by whom? And where was discussion of this change that effects the
> > entire Ubuntu community? Because some p...

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Zied ALAYA (zied.alaya) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

totally agree that should be a bug, specially for the restart notification.
If some one have a bug and forget to do a restart, the bug still here and he can think "this bug is annoying"

Revision history for this message
Scott Kitterman (kitterman) wrote :

For any Kubuntu people commenting in this bug:

Kubuntu does not have this change. There is a python-qt4-dbus bug (Bug 348704) that happens for some people that upgrade from Intrepid that prevents update-notifier-kde from working. This is a high priority bug that's being worked on for the release. In the meantime, the work around is to re-install python-qt4-dbus. It's nothing to do with the Dx changes done in Ubuntu.

Revision history for this message
Bernhard (b.a.koenig) wrote :

I think most has been said already but I could I add one more thing?

If you have unstable internet (or are traveling), you might not want to update immediately. So I think the notifier icon is important to remind people that there are updates they haven't downloaded yet. Similar with the new notifications: I just had an expected notification about my new wireless network but unfortunately, I just got myself a new cup of tea while it popped up, so it's gone forever! :=)

Anyway, maybe there should be an easier way to get the update icon back for those who want it back (e.g. put a checkbox in the "software sources" "updates" tab).

description: updated
Revision history for this message
raindogx (raindogx-gmail) wrote :

I switched my 71 year old mother to Ubuntu about a year ago. After setting it up so that she could easily find the applications she needed I told her one thing. I told her that the little orange or red icon that appears in the top right means there are important updates and to click it when you're done working on your computer for the day. She leaves Firefox open and maximized permanently so a pop-under will go unsee by her. Also, if the pop-under were to pulse on the window list she would not notice it as well. I'm not complaining. I'm just telling you that now my mother won't update her machine since she's not even aware she has to.

Revision history for this message
ami_nakata (ami-nakata) wrote :

The "abolish the icon and bubble, and instead open the updates window directly" behavior introduced as part of this change just feels very disrespectful to me. One of the things that prompted me to install Ubuntu and move away from the market-share leader's products is what I view as that vendor's cavalier, heavy-handed updating behavior. They don't seem to realize that IT'S MY COMPUTER, not theirs, and this behavioral change seems to me to reflect confusion on that issue, as well.

I do not want any "phone home" process to unilaterally open windows on *MY* computer or to try to browbeat me into taking any action that some other person has decided I should take to modify *MY* computer. Yes, security updates are important to me, so much so that I've allowed a particular area of my screen's real-estate to be reserved for notification of their availability. But as important as they are, security updates are much less important to me than my sense of personal control over *MY* computer. Some might reply that delaying security updates can be hazardous to that control also, but it damages user's trust to try to force-feed updates in any way, as this change of behavior does. Any concerns (such as launchpad "bug" 175166) that the message "Click on the notification icon to show the available updates" might be misunderstood could have been addressed much more simply, in my opinion, and much less intrusively. ( Pardon the capitalization here, please, but I think the emphasis really is called for in this context. )

The bottom line on this for me is that I've decided to upgrade from Hardy to Intrepid rather than to Jaunty, as I'd originally planned, because I find this change of behavior so distasteful.

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Peter Whittaker (pwwnow) wrote :
Download full text (6.5 KiB)

The pop-up update notifier is a very bad idea for two simple reasons, both of which have to do with how the majority of people have learned to use computers:

1. On the web, a pop-up is often, very often, something obnoxious to be dismissed as quickly as possible: An ad, an invitation to swat a monkey, etc. "Firefox has prevented this site from opening a new window" is one of my favourite English-language phrases. Because of this behavior, many people have learned to dismiss without reading.

Ironic aside: When firefox prevents a window from opening, it notifies me of this. In a notification area. And gives me a choice. Exactly what Jaunty does not do anymore, but what previous Ubuntu releases did. Exactly the behavior I prefer, as it happens, but that's just me.

2. Web browsers and computer operating systems often pop up windows about error conditions, status, etc., and people are confused; "I didn't put that there! Why is it there?" Confusing a user does not encourage them to read or learn, it encourages them to feel that they understand their computer even less than they thought they did. It makes them feel small. Slighted.

Mark, as someone with a background in the CA business, you *must* be aware of this: Browsers pop up "helpful" messages about certificate status and users dismiss them quickly. Often, this results in the user not getting what they wanted - the web page - because the default behavior is to not proceed.

Which confuses the user. Slights them. Makes them resentful because it reminds them they did something they did not understand.

Popups get in the way. When something gets in the way, it is pushed aside or worked around. Often, that's the wrong thing to do.

The Vista "pop it up again" approach was discussed and derided. Rightly. But the proposed system is a step on the same path.

Was the notification system broken? In some ways. The Jaunty notification systems works great, absolutely great, for ephemeral events: You are now connected, you are disconnected, you have a message. That box in the upper right hand corner appears and informs, but does not distract.

Most importantly, it does not take me away from what I am doing: My attention stays where it I want it to be, be that an editor, email, a web browser, or an IDE.

But for persistent events, events that need my attention, that nice transient box is wrong. So what is right? I'm not sure, though I have an idea, which I'll get to in a moment. But I know that popups are wrong.

Ultimately, they are wrong not for the reasons cited above - as important as those are - but wrong because they are an intrusive violation of user space. They look like something we initiated, but they are not. They trespass.

Why? Because the display area consists of three separate zones:

1. The "how I start things" zone: The menu bars, etc. The interface elements people use to initiate action or make inquiries. Menus.

2. The "My computer has something to tell me" zone: The time, battery status, network status, update status, reboot required. What we have been calling a notification area.

3. The "what I am doing, things under my control" zone: The great bulk of the display area, where I am w...

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Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

ami_nakata and Peter Whittaker, your proposed rule about never opening windows automatically is unworkable.
<https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027568.html>

It's not particularly productive to be covering, in bug report comments, exactly the same points as were covered in the mailing list discussion six weeks earlier. So if you could read the mailing list discussion first, that would be awesome. :-)

Revision history for this message
Jamin W. Collins (jcollins) wrote :

@Matthew,

I highly doubt we'd be covering the same points if they weren't still a problem and concern to users. The fact that this problem still remains after that initial discussion indicates that at least some users (myself included) don't appreciate this change and think it's a bad idea. One I'd like to see officially reverted prior to Jaunty's release.

Referring concerned users back to a thread that was (as far as I can tell) effectively ignored isn't particularly productive either.

Revision history for this message
Brian J. Murrell (brian-interlinx) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Tue, 2009-04-07 at 14:21 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> ami_nakata and Peter Whittaker, your proposed rule about never opening windows automatically is unworkable.
> <https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027568.html>

I didn't read all of Peter's very long comment, but I think the general
feeling here from those of us who do not like the proposed functionality
is not "never opening windows automatically" but not starting up
applications automatically and/or unsolicited.

As an aside, is this "indicators" applet supposed to be this new
proposed functionality? Because I have the packages installed but I
never see anything from the indicators applet. There's probably a bug
open on that somewhere. Or maybe it's just a dummy applet for the
moment, but I thought I read indications (NPI) somewhere that people
were getting indications from it.

b.

Revision history for this message
Peter Whittaker (pwwnow) wrote :

On Tue, 2009-04-07 at 14:21 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> It's not particularly productive to be covering, in bug report comments,
> exactly the same points as were covered in the mailing list discussion
> six weeks earlier. So if you could read the mailing list discussion
> first, that would be awesome. :-)

Thank you for your kind words. I did read the discussion - the entire
interminable discussion :-> - and was left with the impression, perhaps
mistaken, that the design approach that led to the original bug report
was in fact still the intended approach.

If this is incorrect - if the approach has changed in response to
community feedback - then my apologies, I misread some of the later
posts. If, on the other hand, the design approach remains the same
despite counter-arguments both reasoned and inflamed, then I offer my
$0.02 as to why this approach is terribly, terribly wrong.

Hoping that the designers have heard the community, sincerely,

pww

Revision history for this message
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Jamin, the link I provided was to one of several messages that I (along with other members of the Design team) posted in that thread. So it's completely inappropriate to say the thread was "effectively ignored".

Brian, whether an automatically-opening window is from a newly-running application or an already-running application is, ideally, an implementation detail. Even for people who know what an "application" is, they quite likely don't consider Update Manager to be one, and we shouldn't force them into thinking that it is (using the word "Manager" is probably trying too hard to do that already). In practice there is a cost in memory consumption and disk access, but we've taken measures to reduce those in Jaunty, and we'll work on reducing them further for future releases. As for your question about indicator-applet, that currently provides access to messages from Evolution and from Pidgin. It has, and should have, nothing to do with software updates.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

MPT: I am very sorry to point this out, but in the e-mail that you are linking, you are not being fair to the discussion topic. In particular, you deliberately confuse persistent, non-interactive notification with unrequested new interactive windows. Getting to the conclusion that a "no unrequested popups" approach is impossible, while this approach is recognizeably that of gnome 2.0 and the following versions, and most of us really appreciate that aspect.

Referring back to a -devel only discussion is like saying you don't care of the opinion of users. Since I am sure that you care, please do put this under discussion; the reaction is too strong, and it's for sane principles.

Just waiting for the flames to settle won't be nice, and it seems to me that it's being done here.

Peter Whittaker in particular wrote a wonderful summary of the usability problem that we all see (in terms of violation of an user's own working space) and I am sure he spent a lot of time in it. Why acting like the message adds nothing new to the discussion? In fact I can't see how to object to the first part of it, even if I don't completely like the proposed solution. Therefore, I spend some more time in proposing another alternative, perhaps in line with all the changes happening in ubuntu.

A possible design concept alternative to Peter's one is to have bubble notification, and have "important ones" such as system updates iconifiy to some applet, e.g. the indicator applet, which changes in response to this, and _keeps the message_ there for the user to read it and initiate some interaction with the system. Messages should _stay there_ even after reboot, unless they get obsolete by some rule (e.g. the user upgrades the system).

Compiz animations would make it very clear where do notifications go after disappearing and an immediate cause-effect relationship would be established with the change in aspect of the indicator applet.

This is a simplified version of my "the system is talking to you, let's use a chat client for that" proposal which has been gladly ignored by the majority of us :)

Revision history for this message
Jamin W. Collins (jcollins) wrote :

@Matthew,

I've read the entire thread. Very good points (IMO) have been made for why this change is not a good idea. I've yet to see anything more than claims for backing up why the change was made. It's not inappropriate to say it was "effectively ignored". I'm not saying the thread wasn't read or even responded to in some way, that would be simply "ignored". I am saying that even though valid points were made for why it's a bad idea, with specific user feedback, the change remains without any solid justification. That, as far as I'm concerned, is being "effectively ignored". I and other users have given our feedback and personal use cases, which as far as I can tell, conflict with this change. Can we see these studies that support the change?

Revision history for this message
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Peter, I'm not sure from the text description how your proposed persistent indicator would behave; perhaps you could post a mockup and example timeline on the Ubuntu wiki?

Jamin, we have made several changes to the Update Manager behavior in response to feedback from others in the community <https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027562.html>. "X didn't get everything they wanted" is not the same as "X was effectively ignored".

Revision history for this message
Jamin W. Collins (jcollins) wrote :

@Matthew,

As far as I can tell none of those "changes" address the chief complaints, as I understand them, that I've seen voiced here.

* automated opening of a window
No matter how you go about this, it *is* more obtrusive than the previous, and preferred, notification icon. I've yet to see anything that disputes this, other than some claimed "study".

* timely notification of updates in an unobtrusive manner
See the previous point

* persistent notification of updates or need for reboot
I think this one is self explanatory

What I took from the message you reference was that the above points are seen as unimportant, as non of them were commented on or even addressed. Perhaps this is not the impression that was intended. There's a huge difference between getting everything one asked for and getting nothing at all. I'm not sure if you're deliberately trying to misconstrue my statements, I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt.

I don't think I (or the other users) are asking for much here. I simply don't want my OS pestering, which is exactly what a flashing window in my taskbar would be. I don't know about others, but flashing items tend to draw my attention, perhaps this is a personal flaw. However, a flashing window drawing my attention means taking my attention away from what I was working on. This is obtrusive, no matter how you look at it, and thus unacceptable. The previous behavior of opening an icon in the notification area was not obtrusive or distracting.

Revision history for this message
Peter Whittaker (pwwnow) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (3.3 KiB)

On Tue, 2009-04-07 at 16:25 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> I'm not sure from the text description how your proposed
> persistent indicator would behave; perhaps you could post
> a mockup and example timeline on the Ubuntu wiki?

I'm not a graphics guy (I struggle with getting anything more than
black-on-white bullets into presentations) so I'm not sure how to make a
mock-up, but a timeline I can do. I assume that the right page would be
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NotificationDesignGuidelines/Comments ??

Or perhaps just what follows will do?

1. User has three windows open, FF, email, gedit. User is working in
email.

2. Ephemeral notification appears - just like it works right now. A
bubble appears, disappears after a few seconds, user can react or
ignore.

3. Persistent notification appears: A bubble appears requesting user
action, does not have focus, user continues working in email. After a
few seconds, the bubble drops beneath the email window.

4. The user alt-tabs to FF - the persistent bubble moves to the top,
above FF, but FF has focus. The user works within FF and the bubble
drops beneath FF. The bubble appeared in the alt-tab list but the user
didn't choose it.

(This means that the window stack from desktop up is: gedit, email, the
bubble, FF; FF has focus.)

5. The user minimizes FF - email now has focus but the bubble appears
again. After a moment, it disappears.

6. The user clicks on show desktop - all windows are minimized, but the
bubble is in the notification area, waiting for the user to click on it.
As long as the desktop is displayed, the bubble is displayed.

7. The bubble never disappears. As long as the desktop is displayed, the
bubble is displayed. If an application is open and has focus, the bubble
pops above it briefly, then sinks beneath it again, taking top spot BUT
NEVER FOCUS when focus changes to another application.

8. With the exception of "reboot needed", the persistent bubble is still
there after reboot.

9. In the event of something urgent and important (Battery low, please
save all work and plug in or shutdown), keep bringing the bubble up.
When some threshold is reached, keep it on top, make it flash, make it
ring a bell, but leave it there. Never take focus.

10. Pretty much nothing else is both urgent and important: If there is
an email or an incoming phone call or anything else, display the bubble,
then sink it away. If I choose to ignore it and continue working, that's
my choice. Just like when I ignore the real phone while writing.

11. Never bring up a "real window" in the user zone. Ever. Only the user
can do this. Everything else should be a bubble, either ephemeral or
persistent, depending on urgency and importance.

12. The default policy should be that the only things that are important
and urgent are those that involve potential data loss. Everything else
is either urgent and unimportant - a phone call - or important and not
urgent - an available update.

13. If I think one of the above not urgent and not important items is
urgent and important, chances are I am sitting waiting for them and will
respond to them when they arise.

14. If a user has a video open full screen, persistent and e...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
Vish (vish) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

why the hatred towards notification icons???

i would like to have certain applications minimized and to just keep running in the background like> email clients, bittorrent client, im clients,< such apps dont deserve a place in the windows list unless they have some new event , when i desire to launch them as a window...

coming to the topic>
having the update-notification missing caused me to worry , thinking my upgrade wasnt proper, hence i came looking for the fix!!! but seems to be a new feature!

i feel that the update - notification icon should be displayed, similarly the restart required icon, as i would definitely miss the update availability

i usually hibernate/suspend the system with all the apps open, what happens if the pop-under is in a different workspace? or what happens if i dont close all apps to see the desktop and notice the pop-under? this is why we have the notification area> to notify of necessary events, it should not be an assumption that the user will always close all apps to look what has popped up behind the window? desktop is not the notification area!

and why checking for updates when u are not going to update immediately? remind after 1/2 weeks!!! if the security updates and the software updates are not in the same repos then this would be effective, but this is an unnecessary use of band width no matter however minuscule!!! what if the software i was using had a bug and the update available but i wasnt notified since i didnt no the fix was released!?!?

this is the worse case of reinventing the wheel as a sled!
   >>> THIS METHOD JUST USES THE DESKTOP AS THE NOTIFICATION AREA !!! <<<<<
even worse than the tiny icon in the panel !!! and doesnt even give the required attention the action deserves!?!?!

this is the worst idea i have heard come from the ubuntu team... love the notify-osd but the way u are implementing it is going to backfire... pls correct it before this lovely distro gets a bad name!!!

Revision history for this message
ktp420 (ktp420) wrote : RE: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

> Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2009 17:07:03 +0000
> From: <email address hidden>
> Subject: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
>
> @Matthew,
>
> As far as I can tell none of those "changes" address the chief
> complaints, as I understand them, that I've seen voiced here.
>
> * automated opening of a window
> No matter how you go about this, it *is* more obtrusive than the previous, and preferred, notification icon. I've yet to see anything that disputes this, other than some claimed "study".
>
> * timely notification of updates in an unobtrusive manner
> See the previous point
>
> * persistent notification of updates or need for reboot
> I think this one is self explanatory
>

I am also waiting for the answers. To me it seems like we are going from icon everyone didn't understand to flashing window which can easily be ignored specially in todays world with multi-monitors and a lots of windows you care about.

Also I would like to know what happens when the windows is automatically opened and user is not able to act on it right now because use doesn't want to or can't because of internet ore whatever. Does the user will be prompted again after seven or whatever the interval is? Sorry for asking this again and again but just really want to know.
_________________________________________________________________
Windows Live™: Keep your life in sync.
http://windowslive.com/explore?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_allup_1a_explore_042009

Revision history for this message
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Jamin, to address your three points once more: (1) Yes, it is more obtrusive, that's entirely deliberate, and I don't know what "study" you're referring to. (2) Using a notification icon to advertise updates is a bad idea first because it's not obvious, and second because it makes installing the updates gratuitously difficult. (3) Using a notification icon to advertise that a restart is required is a bad idea first because it's not obvious, and second because it makes restarting gratuitously difficult.

Peter, yes, <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NotificationDesignGuidelines/Comments> would be a better place. You'd need to include how the persistent notification would ever be dismissed, and (if it would be dismissed by clicking) how you'd avoid mis-clicking on an unexpected bubble.

mac_v, you have a good point that we could improve performance by checking for non-security updates either a week after the last updates or whenever security updates are available, whichever is earlier, rather than checking every day like we do for security updates. I've added that idea to <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/AppCenter>, thanks.

ktp420, yes, you'll be reminded again a day later for security updates, or a week later for non-security updates.

Revision history for this message
Vish (vish) wrote :

 Matthew Paul Thomas wrote::
 (1) Yes, it is more obtrusive, that's entirely deliberate, and I don't know what "study" you're referring to.
(2) Using a notification icon to advertise updates is a bad idea first because it's not obvious, and second because it makes installing the updates gratuitously difficult.
(3) Using a notification icon to advertise that a restart is required is a bad idea first because it's not obvious, and second because it makes restarting gratuitously difficult.

@Matthew >>> RIDICULOUS EXPLANATIONS <<<
1] seems to be a deliberate move... OK .. thts understood
2] & 3]not obvious???gratuitously difficult.????????? ARE U KIDDING????????

the reasons we have road signs as symbols rather than instructions is since they are more obvious!!!just like icons over windows with text!

with notification icons number of clicks to install updates>
1-click the icon for update > update manager is opened showing list of updates an option to install or close
2-click on install updates
THATS IT...

with notification icons number of clicks to restart>
1-click the icon for restart > restart dialogue is opened showing an option to restart now or restart later
2-click on restart
THATS IT...

2 clicks for both the steps and i dont understand how u define gratuitously difficult !!!

what u are doing this far worse>>>
when the user chooses to update later
1-click to close the dialogue
2-click on panel for system menu
3- to reopen the update manager from system menu
4-to install updates...

so i guess that 4 clicks are easier than 2?????

OK seems that this battle is not going to be won by the users!

cant we all co-exist? hear me out
option1:
proceed with the way u have planned by opening a pop-under window for notifications
BUT WHEN the user decides to update/restart later, display an icon { extra option which is disabled by default but can be set to show icon from settings in the update manager}

option2:***** to satisfy the regular user, and for all who complain provide an option to allow notification icon display****
a better way would be allow the user to decide whether the pop-under / icon is better for them, with the pop-under being the default setup...

the DELIBERATE steps u have taken for the new update notification system are understood to all... thought not many agree with it...

>>>PLS consider this extra option of having an icon displayed when the user postpones the update/restart <<<<

Revision history for this message
kulight (kulight) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (5.3 KiB)

i have to agree with mac_v

On Wed, 2009-04-08 at 13:56 +0000, mac_v wrote:
> Matthew Paul Thomas wrote::
> (1) Yes, it is more obtrusive, that's entirely deliberate, and I don't know what "study" you're referring to.
> (2) Using a notification icon to advertise updates is a bad idea first because it's not obvious, and second because it makes installing the updates gratuitously difficult.
> (3) Using a notification icon to advertise that a restart is required is a bad idea first because it's not obvious, and second because it makes restarting gratuitously difficult.
>
> @Matthew >>> RIDICULOUS EXPLANATIONS <<<
> 1] seems to be a deliberate move... OK .. thts understood
> 2] & 3]not obvious???gratuitously difficult.????????? ARE U KIDDING????????
>
> the reasons we have road signs as symbols rather than instructions is
> since they are more obvious!!!just like icons over windows with text!
>
> with notification icons number of clicks to install updates>
> 1-click the icon for update > update manager is opened showing list of updates an option to install or close
> 2-click on install updates
> THATS IT...
>
> with notification icons number of clicks to restart>
> 1-click the icon for restart > restart dialogue is opened showing an option to restart now or restart later
> 2-click on restart
> THATS IT...
>
> 2 clicks for both the steps and i dont understand how u define
> gratuitously difficult !!!
>
> what u are doing this far worse>>>
> when the user chooses to update later
> 1-click to close the dialogue
> 2-click on panel for system menu
> 3- to reopen the update manager from system menu
> 4-to install updates...
>
> so i guess that 4 clicks are easier than 2?????
>
> OK seems that this battle is not going to be won by the users!
>
> cant we all co-exist? hear me out
> option1:
> proceed with the way u have planned by opening a pop-under window for notifications
> BUT WHEN the user decides to update/restart later, display an icon { extra option which is disabled by default but can be set to show icon from settings in the update manager}
>
> option2:***** to satisfy the regular user, and for all who complain provide an option to allow notification icon display****
> a better way would be allow the user to decide whether the pop-under / icon is better for them, with the pop-under being the default setup...
>
> the DELIBERATE steps u have taken for the new update notification system
> are understood to all... thought not many agree with it...
>
> >>>PLS consider this extra option of having an icon displayed when the
> user postpones the update/restart <<<<
>
> --
> [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/332945
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.
>
> Status in Ubuntu Release Notes: New
> Status in “update-notifier” source package in Ubuntu: Confirmed
> Status in update-notifier in Ubuntu Jaunty: Won't Fix
>
> Bug description:
> I am referring to the removal up the update-notifier in the Gnome notification area. The discussion of it is embedded in the thread headed by:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archi...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

@ mac_v: It appears as if you're basing your judgement on the amount of clicks it takes to perform actions. The amount of time it *really* takes to make 4 clicks (making the assumption that you have to move the mouse between each click), is no more than like 4 seconds.

What makes these things "difficult", is that most of the time people aren't staring at their taskbar tray, and any icon that pops up goes unnoticed (most of the time). Making this how MPT has it , is something to try out, and get used to. I can't imagine you knew how to run ubuntu the first day you used it. Take the time to get used to the changes, and adapt yourself to it, as Ubuntu thankfully makes this easy.

In General: I really think that users should let the development teams run away with their ideas, because a ton of people really want to see changes to their OS that make it better (all in different ways), and the people that complain about 2 vs 4 clicks or how "intrusive" these things are, really need to step back a bit. Are you being intruded when your e-mail program notifies you in a persistent window that new mail is ready (and maybe even bring up the program window unfocused)? Are you being intruded when your IM client pops up a window when someone new IM's you? I bet you don't think so.

Adapt to the changes, as you would if you were trying out a different OS, or a new version of some software you use. It's really not that difficult.

Revision history for this message
Alan Pope 🍺🐧🐱 🦄 (popey) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

2009/4/8 mac_v <email address hidden>:
> @Matthew >>> RIDICULOUS EXPLANATIONS <<<
> 1] seems to  be a deliberate move... OK .. thts understood
> 2] & 3]not obvious???gratuitously difficult.????????? ARE U KIDDING????????
>

Lets keep this calm and adult shall we.

> the reasons we have road signs as symbols rather than instructions is
> since they are more obvious!!!just like icons over windows with text!
>

I don't know about your region, but where I come from road signs are
rarely 24 pixels high!

In addition in the UK we have a book full of them called the "Highway
Code" which is a lookup table of signs and their meanings, with a
couple of tests before you are allowed to drive alone. On the desktop
we don't have such a test, people can download and install Ubuntu with
nothing more than a CD or a web link.

The update notifier icon is an orange splodge or red arrow that has no
metaphor. The battery icon looks like a battery, the network icons now
look a bit like network signal on the now ubiquitous cell phone, the
bluetooth icon is indeed a bluetooth icon.

The update-notifier icon only means something once someone tells you
what it is.

> OK seems that this battle is not going to be won by the users!
>

This isn't a battle. It's a bug report.

Revision history for this message
ddumont (ddumont) wrote :
Download full text (4.9 KiB)

>Are you being intruded when your
>e-mail program notifies you in a persistent window that new mail is
>ready (and maybe even bring up the program window unfocused)? Are you
>being intruded when your IM client pops up a window when someone new
>IM's you?

YES!

Now please allow for the user to revert this behaviour.
There is a reason that the feature for new IM messages to be restricted to
only flashing in the system tray is part of every major IM program...
I wish you would realise that. Feel free to run like crazy with your
developer 'ideas' but when you do, provide a way for us users to turn the
insanity off when we don't like it.

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 10:19 AM, Brian Curtis <email address hidden>wrote:

> @ mac_v: It appears as if you're basing your judgement on the amount of
> clicks it takes to perform actions. The amount of time it *really*
> takes to make 4 clicks (making the assumption that you have to move the
> mouse between each click), is no more than like 4 seconds.
>
> What makes these things "difficult", is that most of the time people
> aren't staring at their taskbar tray, and any icon that pops up goes
> unnoticed (most of the time). Making this how MPT has it , is something
> to try out, and get used to. I can't imagine you knew how to run ubuntu
> the first day you used it. Take the time to get used to the changes,
> and adapt yourself to it, as Ubuntu thankfully makes this easy.
>
> In General: I really think that users should let the development teams
> run away with their ideas, because a ton of people really want to see
> changes to their OS that make it better (all in different ways), and the
> people that complain about 2 vs 4 clicks or how "intrusive" these things
> are, really need to step back a bit. Are you being intruded when your
> e-mail program notifies you in a persistent window that new mail is
> ready (and maybe even bring up the program window unfocused)? Are you
> being intruded when your IM client pops up a window when someone new
> IM's you? I bet you don't think so.
>
> Adapt to the changes, as you would if you were trying out a different
> OS, or a new version of some software you use. It's really not that
> difficult.
>
> --
> [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/332945
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.
>
> Status in Ubuntu Release Notes: New
> Status in “update-notifier” source package in Ubuntu: Confirmed
> Status in update-notifier in Ubuntu Jaunty: Won't Fix
>
> Bug description:
> I am referring to the removal up the update-notifier in the Gnome
> notification area. The discussion of it is embedded in the thread headed
> by:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027416.html
>
> Specific messages worth reading are:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027451.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027454.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027437.html
> https://lis...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
ddumont (ddumont) wrote :
Download full text (4.7 KiB)

This new feature is a slap in the face to users who have up until now have
been following a well established model of notification.
Ubuntu has been operating this way for years.

Now we file a bug report because for many of us, this IS a feature
regression.
The developers respond in a heavy handed manner saying that our concerns are
not valid... another slap in the face.

It sure feels like a battle. Do you simply not see the opposition here, or
do you choose to ignore it?
Why isn't such a drastic change in policy configurable by the user?
You're writing software for users... aren't you?

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM, Alan Pope <email address hidden> wrote:

> 2009/4/8 mac_v <email address hidden>:
> > @Matthew >>> RIDICULOUS EXPLANATIONS <<<
> > 1] seems to be a deliberate move... OK .. thts understood
> > 2] & 3]not obvious???gratuitously difficult.????????? ARE U
> KIDDING????????
> >
>
> Lets keep this calm and adult shall we.
>
> > the reasons we have road signs as symbols rather than instructions is
> > since they are more obvious!!!just like icons over windows with text!
> >
>
> I don't know about your region, but where I come from road signs are
> rarely 24 pixels high!
>
> In addition in the UK we have a book full of them called the "Highway
> Code" which is a lookup table of signs and their meanings, with a
> couple of tests before you are allowed to drive alone. On the desktop
> we don't have such a test, people can download and install Ubuntu with
> nothing more than a CD or a web link.
>
> The update notifier icon is an orange splodge or red arrow that has no
> metaphor. The battery icon looks like a battery, the network icons now
> look a bit like network signal on the now ubiquitous cell phone, the
> bluetooth icon is indeed a bluetooth icon.
>
> The update-notifier icon only means something once someone tells you
> what it is.
>
> > OK seems that this battle is not going to be won by the users!
> >
>
> This isn't a battle. It's a bug report.
>
> --
> [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/332945
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.
>
> Status in Ubuntu Release Notes: New
> Status in “update-notifier” source package in Ubuntu: Confirmed
> Status in update-notifier in Ubuntu Jaunty: Won't Fix
>
> Bug description:
> I am referring to the removal up the update-notifier in the Gnome
> notification area. The discussion of it is embedded in the thread headed
> by:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027416.html
>
> Specific messages worth reading are:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027451.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027454.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027437.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027445.html
>
> Matthew Paul Thomas says that the desired behavior is:
>
> * When there are security updates, Update Manager will open and show
> them (plus any other availabl...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
ami_nakata (ami-nakata) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Matthew, you wrote:

>> ami_nakata and Peter Whittaker, your proposed rule
>> about never opening windows automatically is unworkable.

Peter's threefold 'PUGIT' division of screen real-estate does confer a kind of 'holy ground' status upon what he identifies as the zone for 'what I am doing, things under my control', and I find his model helpful, but I didn't propose a general rule.

My objection was much more narrow and specific:

> The 'abolish the icon and bubble, and instead open
> the updates window directly' behavior introduced as
> part of this change just feels very disrespectful to
> me.... I do not want any "phone home" process to
> unilaterally open windows on *MY* computer....

I think it's important here to distinguish between two kinds of windows:

(1) Those that are part of an integrated, user-initiated 'dialog' with the user that helps him accomplish the work he's currently engaged in. Call these 'on-task windows'.

(2) Those arising unexpectedly, from seemingly autonomous system actions that have no temporal relevance to the user's current work flow or present intentions. Call these 'off-task windows'.

Users react differently to these two types of windows, obviously. And even more, the negative reaction which often results from the interruption that 'off-task windows' present is usually heightened when the appearance of the 'off-task window' was effectively initiated by some other computer. In that case, especially, I think users are even more likely to become annoyed.

I do agree with the implication of Peter's helpful 'PGUIT' model that the best way to avoid annoying the user in this is to employ an explicit notification area, and to use that for all 'off-task' messages except those of the most dire warnings of imminent catastrophe. It just seems so glaringly obvious to me that, as Peter wrote:

> “The Vista 'pop it up again' approach was discussed
> and derided. Rightly. But the proposed system is a
> step on the same path.”

If you feel you have to have a pop-up to make sure that users who won't respond properly to a notification icon and bubble nevertheless keep their systems up to date, I'd say make it as important as you like, emphasize it with color or sound or whatever, but

(a) do that only the first time it appears, and

(b) give users a “Don't show this message again, just present a notification icon” check box,

perhaps with a second-step confirmation required, or even a mandatory mini-tutorial about how that icon works if you feel that strongly about it. But don't do what Microsoft, Adobe, Sun and so many others do re their updates: Don't demand, don't insist, don't require, don't try to force-feed, don't persistently interrupt.

Or if you feel you absolutely have to have such interruptions, such 'off-task windows', as the default to protect users who won't respond to any less emphatic a message, then at least give those of us who will the opportunity to easily avoid your interruptions. Include a way to turn them off in the pop-up window itself.

I guess that's the crux for me: Please don't persistently interrupt my work.

Is that really too much to expect?

Revision history for this message
Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 10:32 AM, ddumont <email address hidden> wrote:

> >Are you being intruded when your
> >e-mail program notifies you in a persistent window that new mail is
> >ready (and maybe even bring up the program window unfocused)? Are you
> >being intruded when your IM client pops up a window when someone new
> >IM's you?
>
> YES!

My point to this, (and thanks for saying yes), was this is how Ubuntu
currently runs in Intrepid (so in essence you are saying you don't like the
current way ubuntu runs).

Revision history for this message
puntarenas (puntarenas) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

"Using a notification icon to advertise updates is a bad idea first because it's not obvious, and second because it makes installing the updates gratuitously difficult."

This drives me nuts. As soon as the icon comes into play you get a notification telling you what happened (Hello User, updates availiable! Ding dong!), either through the bubbles in the old system or the stylish black boxes in Jaunty now. After that there sits the lovely icon and if you wonder what it means, move your mouse there and get a helpful tooltip.

"The update-notifier icon only means something once someone tells you what it is."

Yes, I told my father and from that day on he was able to update his machine after finishing his work, others will learn from the tooltip. Don't degrade what you call average users to complete idiots and it needs no academic degree to handle some icons. On the other hand, now it will be hard to explain my father why the icons are gone and that he has to close those pop-unders if he feels disturbed, then manually re-open the update-manager after he finished his work with no icon reminding him of that and why this is meant to be a superior solution.

Okay, for now I can use gconf-editor to get the old behavior back, please don't break this backwards compatibility. I hope Gnome 3.0 and the new notification center there wil drive your ivory tower theory to an end. For me you definitely made things worse, consider incorporationg upstream developers next time and don't rely on any usability study before discussing it with your community.

Revision history for this message
ami_nakata (ami-nakata) wrote :

@Matthew:

I neglected to say something I think is pretty important: I do recognize how very frustrating it must be for you, Mark, et. al to have put so much work into this and to have received so much criticism, even hostile criticism, when you of course believed (and believe) you were introducing a significant improvement. Allow me to say that I honor how well you've handled that overall; the restraint you've shown has been admirable.

I also wanted to reply to your suggestion:

>> It's not particularly productive to be covering,
>> in bug report comments, exactly the same points
>> as were covered in the mailing list discussion
>> six weeks earlier. So if you could read the mailing
>> list discussion first, that would be awesome. :-)

Point taken. Before I posted the previous I read most of the thread that contains,

<https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027568.html>

including every comment you or Mark made. I'm a user of Ubuntu, not a developer, and I wasn't really much aware of the mailing lists – I don't subscribe to any of them – until I followed your helpful link; thank you.

Parenthetically, I arrived “here” after my acceptance of an Ubuntu-generated “updates available” prompt broke my ability to watch streaming video on fancast.com, something I'd done without problems many times before, and was, in fact, engaged in immediately before installing the Hardy updates. I interrupted watching a video there to install the updates, actually, found I couldn't watch videos there immediately afterward, and I've spent at least 30 hours since, without success, trying to regain that ability. I hoped the problem would be solved by an upgrade, and I was inclined toward Jaunty until I learned about the intention to use this new method for updates.

I really have only one specific comment re the thread and the post you directed me to. You replied to Aigars Mahinovs' in this way:

>> Linux is about user being in control.
>
> Any sentence of the form "Linux is about <noun phrase>" is a fallacy.

Perhaps; here's something that's irrefutable, then: For me, anyway, Linux is substantially about being in control. I didn't abandon the market leader because their products didn't work, or because of their effective monopoly, or because I objected to paying for software. I left because I felt their programs too frequently challenged and interfered with my ability to exercise sovereignty over my own computer, and that frustrated and angered me.

It's no secret that many users of commercial software feel similarly. If “bug number one” is ever to be solved, I think Canonical will have to support a radically unequivocal alternative to that user experience. I absolutely intend no disrespect, and I'm genuinely sorry to say it, but it's my opinion that the 'persistent interruption' model for updates in Jaunty doesn't provide such an alternative, nor does it even come close.

Revision history for this message
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

ddumont, that something is years-old and well-established does not mean it is correct. (For example, applications have been asking for over 25 years whether you want to "save changes" to documents, but that's always been nonsense and should be fixed eventually.) Nor does it mean the behavior should be configurable. (Though in this case, it is.) And we're obviously not "choosing to ignore" feedback, albeit that your unhelpful tone makes that quite tempting.

ami_nakata, all the examples I provided in the mailing list message, of automatically-opening windows, are also what you call "off-task" windows. Providing the ability to turn them off would imply either that they weren't necessary in the first place, or that there was a different but similarly effective way to present them. If we thought either of those things were true, we wouldn't be doing this in the first place. If you have an alternative proposal for how to present persistent notifications, then as I suggested to Peter Whittaker, you're welcome to post them on the Ubuntu wiki for further discussion.

Revision history for this message
Vish (vish) wrote :
Download full text (3.4 KiB)

Brian Curtis wrote:
 It appears as if you're basing your judgement on the amount of clicks it takes to perform actions. The amount of time it *really* takes to make 4 clicks (making the assumption that you have to move the mouse between each click), is no more than like 4 seconds.

What makes these things "difficult", is that most of the time people aren't staring at their taskbar tray, and any icon that pops up goes unnoticed (most of the time). Making this how MPT has it , is something to try out, and get used to. I can't imagine you knew how to run ubuntu the first day you used it. Take the time to get used to the changes, and adapt yourself to it, as Ubuntu thankfully makes this easy.

In General: I really think that users should let the development teams run away with their ideas, because a ton of people really want to see changes to their OS that make it better (all in different ways), and the people that complain about 2 vs 4 clicks or how "intrusive" these things are, really need to step back a bit.

@Brian Curtis:
if u had followed the discussion,the whole click count was mentioned because the devs mentioned that the existing method was gratuously difficult!
the count was to remind that it wasnt difficult , rather the existing method made it longer,
 which was the basis the devs say that they are implementing this feature!

click count is usually the easiest way to measure simplicity of an app...[Ubuntu itself prides about being able to fresh install in just 7/8 clicks!]

i dont deny that devs should be left free, but when they are yanking a feature from the system, people do tend to ask for it,
what i'm saying is, implement the new features with the existing features as a secondary option, when this option can be done with a gconftool, why not add it as a toggle option all users can easily restore rather than google for the option?

u do have to realize that the option exists but is hidden!

>Alan Pope wrote :
>Lets keep this calm and adult shall we.

i'm sorry if the tone didnt sound mannered, that wasnt my intention but it was rather a shocking reason stated by the dev.!

>I don't know about your region, but where I come from road signs are
>rarely 24 pixels high!
>In addition in the UK we have a book full of them called the "Highway Code"
>The update-notifier icon only means something once someone tells you
>what it is.

if u mean to say 24pixels is too large a space, then i wonder how come the window is smaller!
do u realize that rather than using the notification area, u are only using the DESKTOP AS THE NOTIFICATION AREA!!!
 also the windows list and the panel are used up!!! that is more space than the small icon!!!

****just because the devs couldnt come up with a reasonable icon, they change the feature of the system!!!****

do u think that the user cannot remember 2 icons? do u think that the average user cant remember just 2 icons after a few mins interaction? i think u must think we regular user are pretty dumb? highway code for 2 icons?

the arguments devs make for this whole thing make no sense...
-devs want to not use a 24x24 area so use a lager space to notify! also the windows list and the panel are used up!!!
-...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
LaserJock (laserjock) wrote :

We're up to ~146 comments and 13 dups on this bug report, and strayed a bit from discussing update-notifier into general "dude, were's my icons? what have you done with my notifications?!" territory. It is also not specifically an Ubuntu discussion even if it does affect Ubuntu, and I've not seen much of anything from Ubuntu developers (Matthew is a well respected UI design expert, but not an Ubuntu developer per se).

This seems mostly an issue between disgruntled users and the Canonical Dx/Ayatana team. So in the interest of keeping the bug tracker clean and getting discussion moved to a more appropriate and perhaps constructive place I would suggest that people move the conversation to the new ayatana-project mailing list [0] that was recently announced for just such discussions.

[0] https://lists.canonical.com/mailman/listinfo/ayatana-project

Revision history for this message
ddumont (ddumont) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (3.4 KiB)

I see a notification in the system tray when there are updates... what
behavior are you referring to?

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 11:04 AM, Brian Curtis <email address hidden>wrote:

> On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 10:32 AM, ddumont <email address hidden> wrote:
>
> > >Are you being intruded when your
> > >e-mail program notifies you in a persistent window that new mail is
> > >ready (and maybe even bring up the program window unfocused)? Are you
> > >being intruded when your IM client pops up a window when someone new
> > >IM's you?
> >
> > YES!
>
> My point to this, (and thanks for saying yes), was this is how Ubuntu
> currently runs in Intrepid (so in essence you are saying you don't like the
> current way ubuntu runs).
>
> --
> [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/332945
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.
>
> Status in Ubuntu Release Notes: New
> Status in “update-notifier” source package in Ubuntu: Confirmed
> Status in update-notifier in Ubuntu Jaunty: Won't Fix
>
> Bug description:
> I am referring to the removal up the update-notifier in the Gnome
> notification area. The discussion of it is embedded in the thread headed
> by:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027416.html
>
> Specific messages worth reading are:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027451.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027454.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027437.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027445.html
>
> Matthew Paul Thomas says that the desired behavior is:
>
> * When there are security updates, Update Manager will open and show
> them (plus any other available updates) within a day.
>
> * When there are non-security updates, Update Manager will open and
> show them *one week* after it was last opened (whether it was last
> opened manually or automatically, and regardless of whether updates
> were actually installed then).
>
> * When there are no available updates, Update Manager will not open
> automatically at all.
>
> Desired by whom? And where was discussion of this change that effects the
> entire Ubuntu community? Because some percentage of users don't apparently
> understand that the notification area has meaning, we are not going to use
> it for updates? Chow Loong Jin raised a valid point that if update
> notification is now done by opening the entire update manager program,
> perhaps evolution and similar should open their application UIs rather than
> use the notification area. And there are concerns about unintended
> functional consequences of this ill-conceived change, discussed in the
> thread.
>
> Personally, I predict that opening the Update Manager window while people
> are working will piss off a lot of users when it happens, and may result in
> them wanting to disable automatic checking. Yes, that'll be highly
> desirable, won't it?
>
> In other words, this ch...

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Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Il giorno mer, 08/04/2009 alle 14.19 +0000, Brian Curtis ha scritto:
>
> What makes these things "difficult", is that most of the time people
> aren't staring at their taskbar tray, and any icon that pops up goes
> unnoticed (most of the time). Making this how MPT has it , is
> something
> to try out, and get used to.

If the pop-up is supposed to be a pop-under, as it seems, then it will
go unnoticed though, because if people aren't staring at their taskbar
tray, neither they are staring at their window list.

> Are you being intruded when your
> e-mail program notifies you in a persistent window that new mail is
> ready (and maybe even bring up the program window unfocused)?

In fact, thunderbird opens an old-school popup when there is no network
connection, typically removing the focus from something else I was
typing. It's extremely annoying.

Evolution on the other hand, which is a gnome program, does not do that.
The non-intrusiveness is why I like gnome. Period.

> Are you
> being intruded when your IM client pops up a window when someone new
> IM's you?

In fact, it's a pop-under, and it's in the way anyways, especially when
somebody else is with me at the pc. However, a BIG difference between
pidgin and update-notifier is that if I close the pidgin window without
even reading it, I can reopen it later and read messages (I think this
is in the default log configuration but am unsure).

Revision history for this message
ddumont (ddumont) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (4.8 KiB)

>ddumont, that something is years-old and well-established does not mean
>it is correct. (For example, applications have been asking for over 25
>years whether you want to "save changes" to documents, but that's always
>been nonsense and should be fixed eventually.) Nor does it mean the
>behavior should be configurable. (Though in this case, it is.) And we're
>obviously not "choosing to ignore" feedback, albeit that your unhelpful
>tone makes that quite tempting.

I apologise for my "tone" but you must realise that your opening statement
sounds rather arrogant.
Who are you to decide what is right and what is wrong? We are the users, we
get to decide.

In fact, judging form the length of this thread and the number of dupes, I'd
say that the feedback has been a rather resounding "no" to your proposed
change and I hope that you consider backing it out completely until a less
annoying solution presents itself.

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 11:26 AM, Matthew Paul Thomas <email address hidden>wrote:

> ddumont, that something is years-old and well-established does not mean
> it is correct. (For example, applications have been asking for over 25
> years whether you want to "save changes" to documents, but that's always
> been nonsense and should be fixed eventually.) Nor does it mean the
> behavior should be configurable. (Though in this case, it is.) And we're
> obviously not "choosing to ignore" feedback, albeit that your unhelpful
> tone makes that quite tempting.
>
> ami_nakata, all the examples I provided in the mailing list message, of
> automatically-opening windows, are also what you call "off-task"
> windows. Providing the ability to turn them off would imply either that
> they weren't necessary in the first place, or that there was a different
> but similarly effective way to present them. If we thought either of
> those things were true, we wouldn't be doing this in the first place. If
> you have an alternative proposal for how to present persistent
> notifications, then as I suggested to Peter Whittaker, you're welcome to
> post them on the Ubuntu wiki for further discussion.
>
> --
> [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/332945
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.
>
> Status in Ubuntu Release Notes: New
> Status in “update-notifier” source package in Ubuntu: Confirmed
> Status in update-notifier in Ubuntu Jaunty: Won't Fix
>
> Bug description:
> I am referring to the removal up the update-notifier in the Gnome
> notification area. The discussion of it is embedded in the thread headed
> by:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027416.html
>
> Specific messages worth reading are:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027451.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027454.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027437.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027445.html
>
> Matthew Paul Thomas says that the desired beh...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Il giorno mer, 08/04/2009 alle 14.27 +0000, Alan Pope ha scritto:
>
>
> In addition in the UK we have a book full of them called the "Highway
> Code" which is a lookup table of signs and their meanings, with a
> couple of tests before you are allowed to drive alone

Yes, but on the road you can't click with the mouse on the signal and
gain more information. If you click on the old u-n icon, you see and
learn what it's for. Not that we can't make it simpler, e.g. by looking
for a clearer icon (thing which was not done AFAIK, but I may be proven
wrong).

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

Il giorno mer, 08/04/2009 alle 14.27 +0000, Alan Pope ha scritto:
>
>
> > OK seems that this battle is not going to be won by the users!
> >
>
> This isn't a battle. It's a bug report.

Did somebody notice how tons of people here are *fighting* for what they
feel like an usability decrease in ubuntu? How many persons do you think
would get involved in such a discussion with microsoft, or OSX?

These people are not here because they've nothing to do and have fun
quarrelling. You have a lot of non-developers taking usability of the
system you develop *very seriously*.

Five years ago, the dialogue with a linux user was like "OTHER: hey:
your system does not do the obvious thing by default... L.U.: oh yes, I
reinstalled and I forgot to reconfigure the setting, sorry, <click click
click>".

I am depicting myself here.

Now the same persons strive for an unique choice of extremely high
quality default on what they perceive to be *their* operating system.

That's just to explain why "battle". For me is not a battle. For me this
is a design mistake which developers are refusing to ack. And seeing
again that the proposed strategy of not opening unwanted pop-ups just is
not feasible makes me very sad, because current gnome desktop actually
implements the strategy.

I strongly dislike when people advocate a choice with a false
statement.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

Il giorno mer, 08/04/2009 alle 14.42 +0000, ddumont ha scritto:
>
>
> It sure feels like a battle. Do you simply not see the opposition
> here, or
> do you choose to ignore it?
> Why isn't such a drastic change in policy configurable by the user?
> You're writing software for users... aren't you?

Once again, it IS configurable by users. Just a change in gconf. It's in
the comments above, search for "gconf".

The "battle" here, at least for me, is that I want defaults to be
elegant, coherent and unintrusive. This is because I want the high
usability of gnome *by default* and don't want to get back to the age
where every linux user had his own set of magic recipes to use for every
new installed system. There was a looong fight in the beginning to
change gnome like that, in the name of usability principles that where
not understood by people! Now gnome has "a direction". This change goes
in "the other direction" at least to my eyes.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

Il giorno mer, 08/04/2009 alle 15.04 +0000, Brian Curtis ha scritto:
>
> My point to this, (and thanks for saying yes), was this is how Ubuntu
> currently runs in Intrepid (so in essence you are saying you don't
> like the
> current way ubuntu runs).
>

pidgin is a single program, "against" (if you like) the plethora of
gnome programs that don't open popups. And pidgin is THE instant
messaging client so if I configure an account *AND* set my status to
"online" then I *intend* to be disturbed. When I am working hard, I
close pidgin and nobody disturbs me. Do you second this?

Evolution is so nice with me that he does not disturb me even when
sending a message fails. That's likely a bug because it's lacking a
libnotify popup, but it's extremely appreciated by me and is the reason
why I switched back to it from thunderbird, which is extremely annoying
with popups (e.g. "could not automatically save your draft" which pops
up continuously when I write a draft far from my access point).

Look at the job firefox does to avoid popups and tell me if it's not
doable.

Try to browse the web with gutsy's konqueror (I don't know about the
kde4 version) and see how EVERY TIME it disables a pop-up, it WARNS you
with another pop-up. Now tell me which method do you prefer, the firefox
one or the konqueror 3 one? We want coherency on this topic across the
whole desktop.

And we want this, because we feel that our ordinary user, annoyed by the
popups, will start directly closing them as they do in the windows
world. So that we will have this bad image of a system popping up
windows that users close.

It's not a new idea. The windows world is full of pop-ups. People hate
them. Why becoming a target of hate in turn?

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote :

Il giorno mer, 08/04/2009 alle 15.26 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas ha
scritto:
> If
> you have an alternative proposal for how to present persistent
> notifications, then as I suggested to Peter Whittaker, you're welcome
> to
> post them on the Ubuntu wiki for further discussion.
>

Whenever anybody does that, please, link the wiki page on this bug
report. It will help people following here not to "loose contact" with
the problem.

Revision history for this message
ddumont (ddumont) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (3.9 KiB)

It is not configurable by everyday users... That setting is not explicitly
supported. When it breaks, everyone who relies on it will be SOL.

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 12:14 PM, Vincenzo Ciancia <email address hidden>wrote:

> Il giorno mer, 08/04/2009 alle 14.42 +0000, ddumont ha scritto:
> >
> >
> > It sure feels like a battle. Do you simply not see the opposition
> > here, or
> > do you choose to ignore it?
> > Why isn't such a drastic change in policy configurable by the user?
> > You're writing software for users... aren't you?
>
> Once again, it IS configurable by users. Just a change in gconf. It's in
> the comments above, search for "gconf".
>
>
> The "battle" here, at least for me, is that I want defaults to be
> elegant, coherent and unintrusive. This is because I want the high
> usability of gnome *by default* and don't want to get back to the age
> where every linux user had his own set of magic recipes to use for every
> new installed system. There was a looong fight in the beginning to
> change gnome like that, in the name of usability principles that where
> not understood by people! Now gnome has "a direction". This change goes
> in "the other direction" at least to my eyes.
>
> --
> [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/332945
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.
>
> Status in Ubuntu Release Notes: New
> Status in “update-notifier” source package in Ubuntu: Confirmed
> Status in update-notifier in Ubuntu Jaunty: Won't Fix
>
> Bug description:
> I am referring to the removal up the update-notifier in the Gnome
> notification area. The discussion of it is embedded in the thread headed
> by:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027416.html
>
> Specific messages worth reading are:
>
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027434.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027451.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027454.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027437.html
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027445.html
>
> Matthew Paul Thomas says that the desired behavior is:
>
> * When there are security updates, Update Manager will open and show
> them (plus any other available updates) within a day.
>
> * When there are non-security updates, Update Manager will open and
> show them *one week* after it was last opened (whether it was last
> opened manually or automatically, and regardless of whether updates
> were actually installed then).
>
> * When there are no available updates, Update Manager will not open
> automatically at all.
>
> Desired by whom? And where was discussion of this change that effects the
> entire Ubuntu community? Because some percentage of users don't apparently
> understand that the notification area has meaning, we are not going to use
> it for updates? Chow Loong Jin raised a valid point that if update
> notification is now done by opening the entire update manager program,
> perhaps evolution a...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
Peter Whittaker (pwwnow) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

I've updated https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NotificationDesignGuidelines/Comment with my (very long) comments from this report and have added text to answer some of Matthew's questions and observations.

The wiki post has a few differences from the bug report, mostly because my thinking got a little clearer: There are three zones (make the computer do something; what I'm actively doing; other things I'm doing or interested in) and two notification types (persistent system notifications appearing near the 'make the computer do something' zone, where the computer needs my help; ephemeral user notifications appearing near the 'other things' zone, where the computer tells about stuff I want to know about, like emails, IMs, etc.).

The two notification types are firealarms and doorbells. Users can ignore or even disable doorbells, but firealarms are harder to ignore and only an admin can remove them.

That's it in a nutshell, refer to the wiki page for details.

Revision history for this message
Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Thanks to everyone who's participated in this bug discussion and related threads. As a result, a number of changes were made in 9.04 pre-release. There is a gconf key which allows people to have a system tray icon visible when updates are available. The behaviour of the update manager was changed so that it doesn't pop up but instead opens minimised, and only on a weekly basis unless a security update is present (as opposed to another kind of update).

I think the system tray is heavily overused, and abused, by many applications, and as part of our design initiative we are working to reduce that. I think it's important that we not treat the OS specially, that we work to the same guidelines we want app authors to follow, which is why we aimed to change this OS-update behaviour first. We must lead, not follow, and lead by example too. It was expected that we would run into tough problems, but bringing the full weight of the community to bear on candidate solutions would be the best way to attempt to resolve them. A lot of the discussion here was in that spirit - finding smart solutions to the challenges presented, so thank you all.

I'm marking the bug wontfix on the basis that we are confident the behaviour as at 9.04 release is a good one. I wouldn't be surprised for the conversation to continue though I do ask that it continue in a good spirit. If significant data shows this to be a suboptimal choice in future, we will revisit the point, but for now the question is settled.

Changed in update-notifier (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
Revision history for this message
Peter Whittaker (pwwnow) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Wed, 2009-04-08 at 19:55 +0000, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
> I think it's important that we not treat the OS specially,

Mark, thanks for your comments. I think this one area where there is
considerable disagreement: The OS is different - when the computer needs
to tell me something, I probably shouldn't ignore it. Think firealarm.

But anything not from the OS - IM, email, etc. - is a doorbell that I
can safely if I want. They are very different types and need to be
presented differently so that users can easily recognize when which is a
doorbell and which is a firealarm.

Using the same signal presentation for both firealarms and doorbells is
a bug - the same underlying technology can be used, but the signal
presentation MUST be different.

I covered this in more detail on the Comments page in the wiki.

Revision history for this message
Vadim Peretokin (vperetokin) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Thanks.

It would be helpful to have a follow-up post on what is wrong with having applications minimize to the notification area and what should be done instead, so that application developers can take some action.

Revision history for this message
Jan Claeys (janc) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Op woensdag 08-04-2009 om 19:55 uur [tijdzone +0000], schreef Mark
Shuttleworth:
> I think the system tray is heavily overused, and abused, by many
> applications, and as part of our design initiative we are working to
> reduce that.

First of all, it's not called the "system tray", but the "notification
area", and I quite like its existence (although I agree that some
applications use it for the wrong reasons).

The problem discussed in this bug report is that you try to "clean it
up" by removing the one application that has the best reason ever to
show notifications. That's worse than "throwing away the baby with the
bathwater", it's "throwing away the baby and keeping the bathwater".

Anyway, the UI design team said that the reason to pop up (or pop under,
or pop minimized, or whatever) update-manager is that some people didn't
see or didn't understand the icons in the notification area. And I
believe that's true for some people, and *should* be fixed, because we
want everybody to install at least all the security fixes.

Now, if you want to fix that problem, you try to find a way to target
those people, without disturbing how other people work with Ubuntu. One
way to do that is by detecting people who didn't install security fixes
after a reasonable time (let's say: after 3 days). I think it's
actually a good idea to pop up update-manager for these people, because
they clearly need it.

But of course, attentive users need a way to see if updates are
available and that's what we need the notification area for; otherwise
all of us are destined to be treated as "clueless newbies"...

And yes I know about the gconf key, but if gconf keys become the
solution to get Ubuntu to behave in a sane way, then Ubuntu is doing
something seriously wrong in the usability area (I'm sure MPT will agree
with that ;) ). Never ever forget that medium to very experienced users
are Ubuntu users too, so "user-friendly" has to apply to them too!

--
Jan Claeys

Revision history for this message
Sean Dague (sdague) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

It's a shame that the team is so fixated on not fixing this, as I enabled the work around on my home desktop and got the notification:

310 updates to apply

Which hadn't been applied as we go along because my indicator went away.

Revision history for this message
Peter Velosy (petervelosy) wrote :

Mark wrote: "The behaviour of the update manager was changed so that it doesn't pop up but instead opens minimised"

I have a feeling that this behaviour is even worse than the original pop-under approach. It only strengthens the feeling in the user that an application was launched by mistake... Also, when I see update-manager running minimized, my first reaction is 'Okay, I've already checked for updates and they are now being installed while I'm doing my work'.

Revision history for this message
Michael Rooney (mrooney) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 5:33 PM, Peter Velosy <email address hidden> wrote:

> I have a feeling that this behaviour is even worse than the original
> pop-under approach.
>

I think it is a great approach. With the original approach I could just
imagine someone showing off their Ubuntu desktop to a friend only to have
update manager pop up right on top of it, and then the person has to
embarrassingly explain that it automatically pops up like that from time to
time. It also isn't going to pop up just as you try to take a screenshot of
something, and you aren't going to come back to a desktop after inactivity
with new windows that can throw you off.

> It only strengthens the feeling in the user that an
> application was launched by mistake... Also, when I see update-manager
> running minimized, my first reaction is 'Okay, I've already checked for
> updates and they are now being installed while I'm doing my work'.
>

You probably won't have that feeling in this case because the window will be
requesting your attention, such as by flashing in the task list. At least I
am assuming this as Mark mentioned it originally, can anyone confirm or deny
that the minimized window requests attention?

Revision history for this message
Peter Velosy (petervelosy) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Thanks, Michael, now the picture is getting clear to me. I thought the functionality thus far was that update-manager just appeared under all windows (there was some discussion about a pop-under), showing up only after all windows have been closed or its taskbar button has been clicked. The reason why I didn't know was that as updmanager showed no trace at my PC at all since my Jaunty upgrade, thus I got used to checking for updates manually every day.

So if the taskbar button really gets some kind of a flashing effect then it's a good approach indeed.

Revision history for this message
ktp420 (ktp420) wrote : RE: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 16:03:03 +0000
> From: <email address hidden>
> Subject: Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
>
> >ddumont, that something is years-old and well-established does not mean
> >it is correct. (For example, applications have been asking for over 25
> >years whether you want to "save changes" to documents, but that's always
> >been nonsense and should be fixed eventually.) Nor does it mean the
> >behavior should be configurable. (Though in this case, it is.) And we're
> >obviously not "choosing to ignore" feedback, albeit that your unhelpful
> >tone makes that quite tempting.
>
> I apologise for my "tone" but you must realise that your opening statement
> sounds rather arrogant.
> Who are you to decide what is right and what is wrong? We are the users, we
> get to decide.
>
> In fact, judging form the length of this thread and the number of dupes, I'd
> say that the feedback has been a rather resounding "no" to your proposed
> change and I hope that you consider backing it out completely until a less
> annoying solution presents itself.

I would just like to add that if you think these are only few people missing their feature. Please go read the forums. You can do a simple search you will find so many people are asking for where is the icon, why am I not notified of updates.... And if you don't think this is a big deal, then you might want to read comments like:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=7032536&postcount=32

    Re: No new updates notification
   thanks so much for the fix. does the circle still come up when it has to restart?

People are trained to do something and expected it there now. It does not mean you can't change it, but you need more the just:

"Using a notification icon to advertise updates is a bad idea first because it's not obvious, and second because it makes installing the updates gratuitously difficult."

The worst part of all this is, and maybe it is just me, I only get once chance to do something. And if I can't do it now or notice it, since it will be opened in background, I have to wait until next reminder, which can be a week for updates, or remember it myself....how is this secure. This is one of the things I like about the icons; I don't really want to manage this window, let me hide it, but I can always bring it back or hover over the icon to see what it is and what it wants me to do.

Also no one really care that dev went out of there way to provide settings button on the update manager, so options like how often to automatically check for updates are more visible. Now I can have this option set to daily, like I have, and I will get notified week later. Were does it say that??? How is this very user friendly?

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ktp420 (ktp420) wrote : RE: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 19:55:27 +0000
> From: <email address hidden>
> Subject: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
>
>
> I think the system tray is heavily overused, and abused, by many
> applications, and as part of our design initiative we are working to
> reduce that. I think it's important that we not treat the OS specially,
> that we work to the same guidelines we want app authors to follow, which
> is why we aimed to change this OS-update behaviour first. We must lead,
> not follow, and lead by example too.

Can please provide studies which show and helped in your conclusion that "system tray is heavily overused". Personally I only have one to three things in "system tray", which does not seem overused to me. Also maybe it is this way because almost all the application I use which allows me to chose if I want to have the icon or not. Can the OS follow the apps in this way and provide a supported option so the user can decide what make it easy for him/her?

>
> I'm marking the bug wontfix on the basis that we are confident the
> behaviour as at 9.04 release is a good one. I wouldn't be surprised for
> the conversation to continue though I do ask that it continue in a good
> spirit. If significant data shows this to be a suboptimal choice in
> future, we will revisit the point, but for now the question is settled.
>

Thanks for listening to the users and reading all the forum threads related this.

So in conclusion, I still don't see how going from icon with notification the you have update to minimized window make it more noticeable. I think it just made things worst because not I have to manage extra window since I don't want to update now and can't close it since I will be notified week later. Also this broke the automatically check for updates daily seeting, which have been set since day one of ubuntu for me. Thanks from making my system more secure, easy to manage/productive, and just the way I want it now. I would call this "settled".

And yes I am frusteraded and if you can't understand why then I am sorry.

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Vish (vish) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Peter Velosy wrote:
So if the taskbar button really gets some kind of a flashing effect then it's a good approach indeed.

@ Peter , actually that is a worse approach having an panel window list blink... !
that is the opposite of the whole idea of behind this change !!!

the devs say that they dont want the *non-blinking icon* to bother people but how is a *blinking window list* not bothersome?

what happened to me today:
after an update i was told for a reboot , but i clicked later... so now the notification has disappeared and i have no reminder that i need to reboot!!! so i have to remember to reboot ! today or i'd be reminded by surprise again 2morrow!!!
so the devs think that its easy for the user to remember for himself about the reboot than placing an icon!

*as this bug is a wont fix> why bother with these rants> waste of time! when the devs get to be so inconsiderate! *

Revision history for this message
Walter_Wittel (wittelw) wrote :

I'd like to offer a hopefully useful and constructive suggestion moving forward.

I'm assuming Canonical keeps stats on time to patch and percentage up-to-date machines (maybe this too hard with mirrors - would users accept a "phone home" to help out?).

I think it would be great to see if the new method improves the overall uptake of updates by the community at large using actual numbers rather than opinions of either side.

I think a graph showing these stats for intrepid vs. jaunty (and maybe an LTS or two).

Also I understand how difficult it is to implement new features and get sufficient feedback for a 6 month release cycle, but perhaps early Alphas of Karmic would be a great place to experiment and get early feedback on changes from this passionate group, all of which clearly want Ubuntu to be the best OS possible. Maybe there could be a "prototype of the week" for the first month or so and gather feedback in time to tune for the release.

Revision history for this message
Dean Loros (autocrosser) wrote :

I for one am not happy about this & have applied the gconf patch---also, anyone that really dislikes this "new fix" that was NOT needed--look at: http://martinpitt.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/the-stracciatella-gnome-session/ for a more Gnome-like session.

Revision history for this message
Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Peter Whittaker wrote:
> On Wed, 2009-04-08 at 19:55 +0000, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
>
>> I think it's important that we not treat the OS specially,
>>
>
> Mark, thanks for your comments. I think this one area where there is
> considerable disagreement: The OS is different - when the computer needs
> to tell me something, I probably shouldn't ignore it. Think firealarm.
>
Yes, that's true. But there are some apps that have fire alarms too -
imagine, for example, an app which monitors your RAID array and alerts
you to failures and issues.

My point is that we should have clear guidelines about what constitutes
each mode of operation, and we should follow those as rigorously with
the OS as we would hope apps do, as well. As soon as we make exceptions
for ourself we are weakening our argument, a bit like politicians who
give themselves raises and take their expenses out of the public eye at
the same time as they are ridiculing bankers for their pay.

I *think* we're in agreement here :-)

Mark

Revision history for this message
Thomas Heidrich (gnuheidix) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

What can _we_ do to get an acceptable system behavior?
It was really hard for me to tell my mother that the update icon won't appear anymore. She really got used to it. Big pop-ups would seriously confuse her.
I agree with Mark that the notification area is used by too many applications. Why not trying to create two notification areas. One for the system (volume control, network manager, update manager, trash bin) and one for user applications (pidgin, evolution, rhythmbox).
Please don't do it like M$ who make the users deal with at least 5 pop-ups per hour.

Revision history for this message
Vincenzo Ciancia (vincenzo-ml) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Il giorno gio, 09/04/2009 alle 07.38 +0000, Mark Shuttleworth ha
scritto:
>
>
> My point is that we should have clear guidelines about what
> constitutes
> each mode of operation, and we should follow those as rigorously with
> the OS as we would hope apps do, as well.

I dreamed of clear guidelines for the notification area for a long time.
I have strong arguments in favour of modification to the behaviour
chosen for jaunty; anyway I appreciate the fact that the window will be
minimised.

I would be happy if a bit more discussion, with use cases, and maybe
numbers, would be done for jaunty+1, including the community. Not all of
us have the time to try to become a developer, but all of us are very
fond of our distribution and would like to see it in perfect shape.

What would be the place to participate in the design of the
notification-area related changes?

Vincenzo

Revision history for this message
Torben (smith0815) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

'Ello, I wish to register a complaint!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6Lq771TVm4

That is exactly how I feel, you are trying to sell me some stone dead parrot. We are trading our notification icon in the well known notification area for some flashing button in the window list at the other side of the screen. I really appreciate all the love and work Mark Shuttleworth and the Developers put into Ubuntu, so please don't get me wrong but this design initiative looks like another Monty Python skit on it's own.

Revision history for this message
Peter Whittaker (pwwnow) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Thu, 2009-04-09 at 08:38 +0100, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
> Peter Whittaker wrote:
> > The OS is different - when the computer needs
> > to tell me something, I probably shouldn't ignore it. Think firealarm.
> >
> Yes, that's true. But there are some apps that have fire alarms too -
> imagine, for example, an app which monitors your RAID array and
> alerts you to failures and issues.

Ah! Now you are thinking like a technologist and not a user,
differentiating between the OS and applications based on whether they
are kernel or user space, as opposed to what they actually do!

>From the perspective of many - I would think most - users, something
that monitors RAID - or monitors anything about the state of the
computer for that matter - is not "an application", it's part of the
computer. In that view, "applications" are things users start to get the
computer to do what they want to do: email, IM, edit video, etc.

> My point is that we should have clear guidelines about what
> constitutes each mode of operation, and we should follow those as
> rigorously with the OS as we would hope apps do, as well.

If you read my comments on the wiki page, you'll see I make clear
distinctions between system and user notifications: Let's apply that
distinction consistently. A user notification is a doorbell, it appears
in the user notification area, near where the user keeps their stuff. A
system notification is a firealarm and appears in the system
notification area, where other "systemy" things are.

Both use the same underlying technologies - API calls that bring up
bubbles - but the presentation is different: firealarms and doorbells
are presented differently and both are different from normal apps.

> As soon as we make exceptions for ourself we are weakening our
> argument

And foolish consistency makes a poorer system. Think back to the lack of
PageUp/PageDown under OpenStep on the Next boxes, because Steve Jobs
held the view it was a screen, not a page. So arrow keys giving you a
line at a time were the only way to scroll.

Jobs was being 100% consistent in his view, and missing the point that
ScreenUp/ScreenDown would have been handy.

> I *think* we're in agreement here :-)

Actually, not so much. Hence all of the on-going debate on this. It's
one thing to see a design, another to see the implementation. Some of us
saw the design and said "cool". Many of us saw the implementation and
said "Whoa, not cool".

Revision history for this message
Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Vincenzo Ciancia wrote:
> What would be the place to participate in the design of the
> notification-area related changes?
>
Join the Ayatana team mailing list on Launchpad!

Mark

Revision history for this message
Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Peter Whittaker wrote:
> If you read my comments on the wiki page, you'll see I make clear
> distinctions between system and user notifications: Let's apply that
> distinction consistently. A user notification is a doorbell, it appears
> in the user notification area, near where the user keeps their stuff. A
> system notification is a firealarm and appears in the system
> notification area, where other "systemy" things are.
>

So, a user notification is something like "John emailed you", and a
system notification is something like "Your network disappeared"?

Mark

Revision history for this message
Pausanias (pausanias) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (3.7 KiB)

Having read the whole thread I am adding my voice to do this. I believe that the decision to remove the notification icon was a mistake. Here are my arguments.

1) System tray is a guarantee of authenticity
----------------------------------------------------------------------
If you're trying to solve bug #1, then you should pay attention to the fact that Windows users expect system notifications to come from the system tray----not some window that is in their user stack and is decorated the same way as their users windows. In fact, Windows users have come to distrust such windows.

Believe it or not, even the "It Just Works" user attaches a degree of flakiness to windows that automatically open. This is why there are pop-up blockers in every single web browser. For whatever reason, users, not just power users but "It Just Works" users too, consider pop-ups are a bad thing (TM). Many now almost instinctively close windows they did not specifically request to be opened. I am talking about Windows users here---Mac users are probably used to the Software Update automatic pop-up. And I don't think the self-minimizing window fully addresses this point.

This is not to say that users are idiots and won't understand the Ubuntu system, which is more like Mac OS. But if you're trying to draw users away from Windows, the system tray as an authoritative source of updates is one thing that they have down.

2) Lack of persistence.
-----------------------------------
Under the new system, if I cannot update right away, and the window disappears for whatever reason---I click on "X" to make it go away without reading it, or I have to reboot---then I have to wait to apply the updates. I would say that especially if there is a critical security flaw, the system ought to have a way to persistently communicate the immediate availability of a fix to the user. The old notification icon did that, but the new system does not allow for persistence in the same way.

3) Futility
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I understand the desire to lead by example. But looking at my notification area right now, all I see is network manager and my "battery is charging" notifier. No crowding---just useful notifications that ought to be there.

The real crowding problem is from user apps, not the system---amaroK, the old transmission, whatever else---that abuse the notification area. Are you going to block all those applications from using the area? I didn't think so. The end result is that the notification area's crowdedness will vary depending on the applications a user chooses.

So your solution is to effectively ditch the notification area---since so many applications *might* be using it, then I'll just give up on it altogether. First of all, how do you know this is not a power user problem? My suspicion would be that the "It Just Works" user doesn't have that many icons in the area. Second, why throw out the baby with the bathwater? Literally the most useful icon the area---the one that tells me if there is an *immedate fix* to something that could break my computer---is now gone.

4) Choose your battles
-----------------------...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Pausanias, the notification area is not a "guarantee of authenticity" in either Windows or Ubuntu. In both OSes it can be used by third-party applications, including malware. And in both OSes the vendor is clamping down on third-party use, though in different ways. We're at an advantage, because most Ubuntu applications are Free Software, so we can patch them and send those patches upstream. Microsoft has to resort to more code and interface bloat: a dialog listing all notification icons past and present, with options to prevent them appearing in future. <http://howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/clean-up-past-notification-icons-in-windows-vista/>

We did not make this change with the idea that it would be a "battle", but in the knowledge that it's better done sooner than later.

Revision history for this message
Peter Whittaker (pwwnow) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
Download full text (5.6 KiB)

On Thu, 2009-04-09 at 11:41 +0100, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
> Peter Whittaker wrote:
> > If you read my comments on the wiki page, you'll see I make clear
> > distinctions between system and user notifications: Let's apply that
> > distinction consistently. A user notification is a doorbell, it appears
> > in the user notification area, near where the user keeps their stuff. A
> > system notification is a firealarm and appears in the system
> > notification area, where other "systemy" things are.

> So, a user notification is something like "John emailed you", and a
> system notification is something like "Your network disappeared"?

Yes, exactly. They are different events, different types of events, and
need to be handled differently. If I ignore the doorbell, chances are
I've missed a friend or a chance to donate to a worthy cause; chances
are I'll have another chance at either/both.

If I ignore a firealarm, well, it's not the sort of thing you do more
than once, is it?

So "John emailed you" appears ephemerally in the user notification area
(mentally, I'm viewing this as bottom-right, where the bubble fades up
from the bottom, stopping with its bottom edge attached to the bottom
bar).

"Your network disappeared" appears in the system notification area,
using the same mechanism (my little mental picture is bubble fading down
from the top right, stopping with its bottom edge attached to the top
bar). If necessary, they can decorated with something akin to traffic
signals (yellow triangles for suspicious conditions, red octagons for
serious conditions, etc., though I would like this to be configurable).

Generally, user notifications are ephemeral, allowing us to ignore them;
the one obvious exception is a user-triggered reminder, that is, a
reminder of a ToDo, meeting, etc., entered by the user. (Preference
allows the user to make buddy or email notifications, etc., persistent
if they want, and all user notifications are user configurable.)

System notifications fall into three classes: The always ephemeral, the
always persistent, and the ephemeral-but-may-signal-a-problem. "Your
battery is about to die, save your work" is persistent (using the model
I described previously - appear, then sink beneath the focused window,
reappearing as focus rises). "Important updates are available" is also
persistent.

Always ephemeral would include "Your battery is fully charged", "you are
now connected to network N", etc.

Trickier are "ephemeral-but-may-signal-a-problem": "You are now
disconnected from the network" may or may not be a problem. Chances are,
you undocked your laptop. But if you aren't on a laptop, chances are
this is a problem.

I'm of at least two minds as to how to resolve this. My first - and
distinctly inelegant - inclination is to periodically remind the user
("You've been disconnected for 90 minutes, is everything OK"), perhaps
even making the notification persistent after a time, but this would be
disturbing to the laptop user who has deliberately gone off-line.

My second - and preferred - inclination is an ephemeral bubble to draw
attention coupled with a persistent NetworkManager icon showing current
network state. I say prefer...

Read more...

Revision history for this message
Jan Claeys (janc) wrote :

Op donderdag 09-04-2009 om 14:16 uur [tijdzone +0000], schreef Matthew
Paul Thomas:
> Pausanias, the notification area is not a "guarantee of authenticity"
> in either Windows or Ubuntu. In both OSes it can be used by
> third-party applications, including malware.

Once there is malware on your PC then obviously nothing can be
considered "authentic" anymore. But I think what Pausanias means is
that you can't put an icon there from outside your PC, e.g. using some
JavaScript on a web page, while websites opening a window is quite
common...

--
Jan Claeys

Revision history for this message
Vish (vish) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

@Mathew:
PLS , could u just answer one question...

when i'm working i get a notification to update > so i update thinking its would just work in the background > but after the update it asks for a restart > i choose to "restart later" > i'd be reminded again after 1 day to restart, when of course it would be the same time i'm working > so i choose *again* to "restart later" > next day ,
and so happens for every day for a few days , i dont restart[i usually set the system to hibernate/suspend]
but i keep getting this reminder at the most awkward time while i'm working,
*so now would i get any other updates* ? what if these NEW updates are supposed to patch up the previous update for which i havent restarted yet? *would the update install properly and not break the system /cause a crash*???

wouldnt this problem be avoided if there was a reminder, which reminded me after my work was over, to restart?

there is a huge defect in this method that devs have overlooked... there are several users who dont shutdown the system often but keep it running, often bragging that they didnt restart for nearly 45days...!

i do understand that u are the aesthetics side of this and not from the technical aspect , and u cannot guarantee, the technical problems here, but *what have u planned for such a scenario*?
because when we spread the word to other new users, to try out ubuntu, we should know the defects in it too , to warn them.... either that they should remember the notification or to not close the dialogue window...!

Revision history for this message
Peter Whittaker (pwwnow) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Thu, 2009-04-09 at 16:55 +0000, mac_v wrote:
> wouldnt this problem be avoided if there was a reminder, which reminded
> me after my work was over, to restart?

I thought of this as well, and included a mechanism in my comments on
the wiki page - when you click on a system notification, you are
presented with three options:

 * Cancel (addresses the I'm about to reboot and I know about problem,
           I'll deal with it on my own cases)

 * Do now

 * Do later (with an option to specify when)

pww

Revision history for this message
Fernando Miguel (fernandomiguel) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

Olá ktp420 e a todos.

On Thursday 09 April 2009 03:50:12 ktp420 wrote:
> Can please provide studies which show and helped in your conclusion that
> "system tray is heavily overused".

Here is one

--
Hi, I'm BUGabundo, and I am Ubuntu (whyubuntu.com)
(``-_-´´) http://LinuxNoDEI.BUGabundo.net && Ubuntu LoCoTeam Portugal http://ubuntu-pt.org
Linux user #443786 GPG key 1024D/A1784EBB

Revision history for this message
ktp420 (ktp420) wrote : RE: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

> Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 14:16:00 +0000
> From: <email address hidden>
> To: <email address hidden>
> Subject: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
>
> Pausanias, the notification area is not a "guarantee of authenticity" in
> either Windows or Ubuntu. In both OSes it can be used by third-party
> applications, including malware. And in both OSes the vendor is clamping
> down on third-party use, though in different ways. We're at an
> advantage, because most Ubuntu applications are Free Software, so we can
> patch them and send those patches upstream. Microsoft has to resort to
> more code and interface bloat: a dialog listing all notification icons
> past and present, with options to prevent them appearing in future.
> <http://howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/clean-up-past-notification-
> icons-in-windows-vista/>
>

At least the user still has control over his/her system. Hack why don't you do something like windows, hide the least used. I still don't understand why does the user who wants it will have to leave without it.

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Revision history for this message
ktp420 (ktp420) wrote :

> Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 00:10:08 +0000
> From: <email address hidden>
> To: <email address hidden>
> Subject: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information
>
> Olá ktp420 e a todos.
>
> On Thursday 09 April 2009 03:50:12 ktp420 wrote:
> > Can please provide studies which show and helped in your conclusion that
> > "system tray is heavily overused".
>
> Here is one
>
> --
> Hi, I'm BUGabundo, and I am Ubuntu (whyubuntu.com)
> (``-_-´´) http://LinuxNoDEI.BUGabundo.net && Ubuntu LoCoTeam Portugal http://ubuntu-pt.org
> Linux user #443786 GPG key 1024D/A1784EBB
    Send
>
>
> ** Attachment added: "tray.png"
> http://launchpadlibrarian.net/25172816/tray.png
>

Thanks for the screen shot. But remember since someone can make the area look like that does not mean that is problem. I am sure most of those are there because user has chose to display them there.

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Vish (vish) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

@BUGabundo:

do u realize the difference between notification icons and applets?

ur panel is filled up with > nearly 26 icons

of which only * 8 * come under the category of notification icons ,

* any almost the icons displayed come with the default setting of no icon in the notification icon *

and to have such a panel u have set manually to have the icons displayed > this is not a case of the applications missusing the notification area , BUT rather the user misusing the notification area ...

even if such a highly iconized setting does really exist , its only since the user has chosen to have all those icons displayed...
so what happens to such an icon crazy user?

the screenshot u "made" actually makes no point...

Revision history for this message
Moritz Baumann (mo42) wrote :

@Peter:

I love your idea, but regarding your last comment: I'd rather provide a checkbox (un-checked by default) for the »remind me again later« option since users are used to getting two options (OK and Cancel). A dialogue offering three options is rather confusing and unusual in the first place and could lead to fast clicks on the wrong button.

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ami_nakata (ami-nakata) wrote :
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@Matthew (MPT):

Matthew, I'd like to highlight some of the things you've written about user-interface design that directly inform this controversy:

You wrote above:

> Brian, whether an automatically-opening window is
> from a newly-running application or an already-running
> application is, ideally, an implementation detail.

It surprises me that anyone with experience or training in user-interface design would write that. The first is a distraction away from one's current intention, and the second is an assist in accomplishing one's current intention. In terms of the user's subjective experience they're opposites. The difference is so great that, far from being 'an implementation detail', as you put it, this surely needs to be a *policy* matter.

Consonant with the belief you assert above, you say at https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2005-August/009960.html,

(Matthew writes:)

> ... even with optimally usable software you'll still need
> a help function. Just-in-time proactive advice would work
> better than passive help, and that's true for all kinds of
> help, not just security. (“Using a table works better than
> lining up text with spaces. To make a table, choose 'Table'
> from the 'Insert' menu.” )

'Just-in-time proactive advice' is a good thing? Was there *anyone* who didn't disable that annoying-as-hell “proactive” talking paper-clip help feature that was included in Word a few years back? And are there more than three people that can type who don't find the autosuggest word-completion 'feature' many word-processing programs employ distracting and annoying?

I bring up the reference to point out that your user-interface design philosophy favors lots of active intervention that I think belongs more appropriately in a user-initiated interactive tutorial. You just don't seem to understand how much users hate being distracted from their work, how greatly we resent having our attention forcibly and repeatedly re-directed by programmers.

Further, you referred me to https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-February/027568.html where you,

( Matthew wrote: )

> If your hard disk starts to fail, the system needs ...
> If someone is trying to call you over IM, the system needs ...
> If you're on the Internet and there's a software update to fix a
> security vulnerability, the system needs ...
> If three months ago you set a calendar alarm for today, the system needs ...

I imagine you might dismiss what I'm about to say as a nicety of semantics, but it's relevant here to observe that 'the system' does not 'need' anything at all. Software and hardware don't have needs; *people* have needs. ( But I think the term 'wants' would be more helpful than 'needs' here. )

Your statement about what should happen when there's a software update available, then, comes down to two things:

(1) What the person who wrote the “listening for updates” program wants, and
(2) What the user wants.

And that, in my opinion, is the root of the conflict over this issue.

I wrote earlier that developers should at least include a 'Don't show this message again' check box in the window you want to initiate when updates are avail...

Read more...

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Fernando Miguel (fernandomiguel) wrote :

why not shove that into the indicator applet (messaging menu) ?

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Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

A few suggestions i'd like to add,
-maybe they should popunder, then if the X is clicked push it to the
messaging menu
-the user then controls priority (its popped under as a high priority
item), then if nothings done (an X (close) is clicked) it lowers in
priority to the messaging menu
-maybe high priority items that get closed (or not acted upon), can
request a different color dot on the indicator applet, (or at least a
more noticable change to the icon)

Just a few suggestions that takes into account both sides of this
issue, please disect this as you see fit.

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cement_head (andorjkiss) wrote : Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

man, I really liked the notification icon - it should be put back (or the option to do so)

- CH

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Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Jan Claeys: Google wanted Web apps to be able to put icons in the notification area in HTML 5. <http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-March/018722.html> That request has been turned down for now, but it's possible they'll attempt the same thing with browser extensions.

mac_v: People who prioritize keeping their system running as long as possible over installing restart-required updates will have that issue regardless of how Ubuntu asks them to restart.

ami_nakata: Not only is it an implementation detail whether an automatically-opening window is from a newly-running application or an already-running application, it's an implementation detail whether *any* window is from a newly-running application or an already-running application. Automatic window example: You and the other complainants in this bug report would be no happier about the updates-available window opening automatically if it was part of Nautilus (which was already running) than part of Update Manager (which was not). Manual window example: The "Settings" button in Update Manager opens a window that's powered by a separate application (Software Sources), but people don't care or need to care. For references on why just-in-time proactive help is better than passive help, see <http://mail.gnome.org/archives/usability/2006-March/msg00248.html>. (Clippy was just a spectacularly poor implementation.) If it helps you understand the use cases for automatically opening windows, mentally replace the shorthand "the system needs to" with "people will benefit most if the system will". And we take the user's attention allocation very seriously; that was one of the themes of my presentation on the new notification system at UDS.

BUGabundo and Brian Curtis: The messaging menu is intended for messages from external agents, mainly humans. Using it for system stuff would confuse its meaning.

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Brian J. Murrell (brian-interlinx) wrote : Re: [Bug 332945] Re: [Jaunty] Update Notifier icon would provide useful status information

On Tue, 2009-04-14 at 09:26 +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
>
> ami_nakata: Not only is it an implementation detail whether an
> automatically-opening window is from a newly-running application or an
> already-running application, it's an implementation detail whether *any*
> window is from a newly-running application or an already-running
> application.

I think the point here is not to try to draw lines in the sand about
who/what is opening windows but why they are being opened. A window
that opens because I did something or because it's relevant to an
application I am using is expected and non-intrusive.

A window that opens that has nothing to do with what I am doing at the
moment presumes that what it wants done is more important than what I am
doing because it feels like it can interrupt *my* time to deal with it.

That's just rude.

To analogize to a real life situation... I may be with a group of people
discussing something and it's perfectly fine for any one of those people
to start talking and offer opinion on the conversation -- that is not
interruption, but it is absolutely not alright for somebody to come
interrupt the group to tell us about his family vacation last summer.

It would be alright for somebody to come interrupt us to tell us the
building we are in is on fire, but IMHO, update notification is not
analogous to the building is burning down. That's why it belongs off to
the side, as an unobtrusive icon I can notice and take action, when it's
convenient for me.