Ubuntu Open Week - An introduction to the messaging indicator - KenVanDine - Wed, Apr 29th, 2009

UTC -4

(11:03:21 AM) kenvandine_wk: ok, this is an introduction to the messaging indicator in ubuntu
(11:03:51 AM) kenvandine_wk: this is some of the new work that has come out of the desktop experience team, now called Ayatana
(11:04:17 AM) kenvandine_wk: The messaging indicator, also known as the indicator-applet, is a central place to keep track of messages that you might need to be concerned about.
(11:04:39 AM) kenvandine_wk: If you are running Jaunty, you should see the applet in your panel
(11:04:48 AM) kenvandine_wk: next to the notification area, a little envelope
(11:05:18 AM) kenvandine_wk: The focus is on human-to-human messaging, for example; instant messaging, e-mail, social networking, etc.
(11:06:01 AM) artir_ is now known as Artir
(11:06:27 AM) kenvandine_wk: By tracking these in a single applet, instead of displaying separate icons in the notification area or on the panel, we save a considerable amount of realestate and cut down on the clutter.
(11:07:22 AM) kenvandine_wk: We also get the benefit of a single place in the panel to find messages waiting review/attention.
(11:08:07 AM) kenvandine_wk: Current applications that take advantage of the messaging indicator include:  pidgin, evolution, gajim, and gwibber
(11:08:22 AM) kenvandine_wk: at least that I know of... I hope more will soon
(11:08:58 AM) kenvandine_wk: ok, that is the intro... now lets get to some questions
(11:09:06 AM) kenvandine_wk: Ireyon: QUESTION: does it affect the gnome desktop only? or has kubuntu a similar feature?
(11:09:19 AM) kenvandine_wk: currently gnome only, there isn't an applet for kde yet
(11:09:28 AM) kenvandine_wk: however I hope that changes in the karmic cycle
(11:10:11 AM) kenvandine_wk: tgm4883: QUESTION:  Whats the use case between this and the popup notifier?  As a developer, why should I use one over the other?
(11:10:22 AM) kenvandine_wk: they aren't really related at all
(11:10:52 AM) kenvandine_wk: the popup notifier (notifications) are only displayed for a few seconds
(11:11:03 AM) kenvandine_wk: we will talk a little more about that in a few
(11:11:18 AM) kenvandine_wk: the messaging indicator is a list of messages you might need to act on
(11:11:32 AM) kenvandine_wk: and IM from your friend jane for example
(11:11:39 AM) kenvandine_wk: or that you have 23 unread emails
(11:11:50 AM) kenvandine_wk: or someone replied to a comment you made on gwibber
(11:12:00 AM) kenvandine_wk: they show up in the list of messages in the indicator applet
(11:12:09 AM) kenvandine_wk: and you can click on them to act
(11:12:20 AM) kenvandine_wk: they persist there until you act on them
(11:12:37 AM) yusuf_ is now known as yusuf
(11:12:38 AM) kenvandine_wk: notifications just show for a few seconds and go away, to draw your attention to them briefly
(11:13:08 AM) kenvandine_wk: khensthoth: QUESTION: It's true that it saves space and prevents clutter. However, for someone who has, say a 19" screen, screen real estate is not a really problem. The problem is now one has more clicks before getting to what he wants, and hence lower efficiency. How is the applet beneficial then?
(11:13:51 AM) kenvandine_wk: it is true that with the pidgin icon in the notification area, a single click would take you to a message
(11:13:59 AM) kenvandine_wk: but what if you had messages from 6 people?
(11:14:10 AM) kenvandine_wk: it only takes you to the latest, so extra clicks there
(11:14:26 AM) kenvandine_wk: the real benefit is a single place for the user to look
(11:15:00 AM) kenvandine_wk: LjL: QUESTION: but libnotify/notification-daemon supports interactive notifications, in principle (and in practice, in the reference implementation). why develop a separate API instead of employing the existing and previously used one?
(11:15:18 AM) kenvandine_wk: the indicator isn't related to libnotify or notification-daemon
(11:15:46 AM) kenvandine_wk: it is a new way to track messages and act on them, they aren't notifications that are passing
(11:16:01 AM) kenvandine_wk: i will do a quick Q & A on the notification changes as well when we finish the indicator Q & A
(11:16:04 AM) LjL: yes, that's what i'm saying - it's not related, when to my understanding it could easily be, since the libnotify API itself supports sticky, interactive notifications
(11:17:30 AM) kenvandine_wk: garethj: QUESTION: I had a quick look at implementing something that used the indicator applet in Python but struggled to find any documentation and the samples were for quite specific purposes. Is there some detailed developer documentation that I missed (API rather than conceptual) somewhere or are there plans to produce some?
(11:18:00 AM) kenvandine_wk: Yes, there isn't much documentation yet
(11:18:28 AM) kenvandine_wk: there is an article on using the indicator in your application in the next GNOME Journal, keep an eye on
(11:18:43 AM) kenvandine_wk: there are also a couple examples in the python-indicate source
(11:19:21 AM) kenvandine_wk:  JPohlmann: QUESTION: Are there any plans on a message indication specification (thinking here)? What are your thoughts on creating a library for the messaging plugins and communication between the indicator/applications that could be used outside the message indicator you guys wrote (e.g. in KDE or Xfce)?
(11:19:48 AM) kenvandine_wk: sorry, I am am not really sure if they are working on proposing a spec for that, but it would be a good idea imho
(11:20:10 AM) kenvandine_wk:  guillom: QUESTION: the indicator applet now notifies about things that were filtered (and hidden) before (e.g. the getting-online notifications from pidgin when in silent mode); this looks like a regression, since now one is overwhelmed by useless notifications ; is this behaviour a bug, a feature or a matter of configuration?.
(11:20:22 AM) kenvandine_wk: yes and no
(11:21:00 AM) kenvandine_wk: for example, if your friend Jorge shows up online, yes it adds an indicator for that even so you can quickly IM him if you want to harrass him :)
(11:21:02 AM) kenvandine_wk: but
(11:21:18 AM) kenvandine_wk: since jorge didn't IM you, it goes away after some time limit without acting on it
(11:21:25 AM) kenvandine_wk: i think it is like 30 seconds, but not sure
(11:21:50 AM) kenvandine_wk: Artir: QUESTION: ayatana is composed right now of notify-osd and notiticator-applet. What's next?
(11:22:26 AM) kenvandine_wk: Keep an eye on what is going on at UDS next month, there should be lots of discussion there
(11:23:17 AM) kenvandine_wk: ^arky^: QUESTION: libnotify does work quite well with orca screen reader. Will you continue to work closely with orca and gnome a11y team in future also
(11:23:41 AM) kenvandine_wk: i think there are open bugs about that and some discussion on the mailing list, not sure what the current plans are
(11:23:59 AM) kenvandine_wk:  jtholmes: QUESTION: i know zip about IM'ing but do know that some IM's can talk to others etc.  where is the list of what IM's can talk to what IM's
(11:24:15 AM) kenvandine_wk: not sure what you mean there, you mean multiple protocols?
(11:24:30 AM) kenvandine_wk: the indicator is more event based, it doesn't care what creates it
(11:24:40 AM) jtholmes: no what can pidgin talk to etc.
(11:24:51 AM) kenvandine_wk: pidgin talks to pidgin
(11:25:02 AM) kenvandine_wk: as far as the indicator is concerned
(11:25:16 AM) kenvandine_wk: pidgin tells the indicator when there is an event you should be concerned about
(11:25:41 AM) kenvandine_wk: ok, any more questions before we talk about notify-osd?
(11:26:02 AM) kenvandine_wk: ok, moving on
(11:26:18 AM) kenvandine_wk: i want to touch on the notification changes as well and answer questions people might have
(11:26:36 AM) kenvandine_wk: in Jaunty, notification-daemon was replaced by notifiy-osd
(11:27:06 AM) kenvandine_wk: To improve the user experience for notifications in Ubuntu, the Desktop Notifications Specification should be implemented in a consistent way, with non-interactive, non-directional, non-overlapping notification bubbles that can be clicked through and look beautiful.
(11:27:29 AM) kenvandine_wk: Visual confirmation of hotkey changes to volume, screen brightness, and backlight brightness should also be presented in bubbles the same way as notifications.
(11:27:53 AM) kenvandine_wk: following the old specification, created a rather tortured workflow imho
(11:28:22 AM) kenvandine_wk: so not only do the notifications look nicer now
(11:28:32 AM) kenvandine_wk: they are more consistent
(11:28:36 AM) kenvandine_wk: they always appear in the same place
(11:28:48 AM) kenvandine_wk: they don't stack... you see them in the order they are recieved
(11:29:02 AM) kenvandine_wk: and they never required interaction
(11:29:30 AM) kenvandine_wk: if an application needs you to do something, it should raise an alert box (unfocused)
(11:30:55 AM) kenvandine_wk: BugeyeD: QUESTION: in the screen-profiles session, we learned that items were available/present for most status/notification items right in the screen profile. does the messaging indicator also have a tie-in to screen?
(11:31:22 AM) kenvandine_wk: no... but that sure would be cool
(11:32:04 AM) kenvandine_wk: LjL: QUESTION: you said you are currently not planning a freedesktop spec. notify-osd, on the other hand, follows an existing proposed freedesktop spec. that spec provides actions, as well as notifications that don't expire after few seconds (according to it's just that notify-osd dropped support for those features, which are however pr
(11:32:27 AM) kenvandine_wk: i didn't actually say that, i don't know if there is for the messaging indicator
(11:32:42 AM) kenvandine_wk: notification are different than the indicator
(11:32:52 AM) kenvandine_wk: we are proposing 1.0 of that notification spec
(11:33:00 AM) kenvandine_wk: which doesn't allow for actions
(11:33:17 AM) kenvandine_wk: for more information
(11:33:36 AM) kenvandine_wk: Ireyon: QUESTION: why not use interactive notifications such as in kde? a singe button labled "update" or so does not disturb, does it?
(11:33:50 AM) kenvandine_wk: i think the answer to that is also explained pretty well on that wiki page
(11:34:06 AM) kenvandine_wk: but, the general idea is a notification is just that
(11:34:09 AM) kenvandine_wk: a notification
(11:34:26 AM) kenvandine_wk: not something to act on
(11:35:13 AM) LjL: doesn't click-through also have to do with that?
(11:35:15 AM) kenvandine_wk:  _marx_: QUESTION: Can Thunderbird communicate with message notifier?
(11:35:21 AM) kenvandine_wk: it could
(11:35:30 AM) kenvandine_wk: but it doesn't yet
(11:35:42 AM) kenvandine_wk: someone needs to add indicator support to TB, not sure if anyone is working on that though
(11:36:22 AM) kenvandine_wk: any more questions?
(11:37:50 AM) kenvandine_wk: if anyone has a application that you really think could benefit from the messaging indicator
(11:38:00 AM) kenvandine_wk: please file bugs
(11:38:15 AM) kenvandine_wk: let us (or upstream) know you use it
(11:38:40 AM) kenvandine_wk: and developers keep an eye out for the next edition of the GNOME Journal for a tutorial
(11:38:57 AM) kenvandine_wk: i guess that's it... thanks for your time
(11:39:07 AM) kenvandine_wk: and i hope the indicator improves your user experience!
(11:39:32 AM) arkarin: just take a short look at for TB-support
(11:40:00 AM) kenvandine_wk: arkarin: thx!

MeetingLogs/openweekJaunty/MsgIndicator (last edited 2009-04-29 18:13:32 by pool-70-16-48-183)