Jaunty's update notifications

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at canonical.com
Fri Apr 24 08:59:08 UTC 2009

Hash: SHA1

Oli Warner wrote on 23/04/09 10:32:
> I'm running very much a non-standard install these days. I've tinkered
> with things. I say that because I want to make sure what I'm seeing
> (as a user) is by design and not by some random compound of mistakes.
> So please put me right if I'm describing something that isn't true of
> a fresh install.
>    - Apt is still scheduled to update at ~8am every day.

Daily, yes (I don't know the exact time).

>    - Update Manager will open if it has standard updates 7 days old or
>    security updates 2 days old

No, it's more about when you last installed updates than about the age
of the uninstalled updates.
<https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NotifyOSD#Update%20Manager> defines the exact

>    - This is done (and I paraquote) to tidy up the Notification Area


> So firstly there's the "random window" usability argument. New users,
> especially those who have migrated from an infected Windows computer
> suffering pop-up hell tend to be incredibly wary of things that just
> appear. If I arrive at my PC (with the aim of doing something
> specific) I'd probably ignore the update screen. I might not even know
> what it is and close it. Having it just spring up is setting a
> dangerous precedent for annoy-ware and might result people turning off
> the automatic updates to live an easier life.


> That paired with the time delay might lead to occasions where
> everybody has worked really hard to get a security update out and it
> isn't applied for days.

There is no time delay for presenting security updates.

> What is the default update procedure? Would a fresh install of Ubuntu
> install security updates without confirmation as soon as it gets them?


> If not, why on earth not?

That's something we need to discuss further. There are benefits to
installing security updates automatically, but there are also costs,
especially with updates to programs such as Firefox that malfunction if
you are running them while they are being updated.

> What I'm suggesting is we go all-out to ensure people know there are
> updates and they know what to do. Think an animated, spinning version
> of the update notification, balloon pop-ups explaining why installing
> the updates is a good idea and if they close that balloon, leave the
> icon in the notification area, spawning fresh balloons at increased
> frequency.
> You could argue that it's equally annoying as just spawning the update
> window and I'd probably agree, but I think it's that important to make sure
> users do their updates.

I don't understand why you think that would be better than opening the
updates window.

- --
Matthew Paul Thomas
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