Notifications as instant messages?

Charlie Kravetz cjk at
Mon Mar 30 12:38:09 UTC 2009

On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 12:44:39 +0200
Vincenzo Ciancia <ciancia at> wrote:

> 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

While I think this might have great merit, I have to question what
happens to those who do not run any type of IM? I have, I think,
started pidgin one time on my system, to test it. However, I do run any
instant messengers. Please do not draw up a plan requiring another
application be learned and run full time. My old computers have enough
running already.

Charlie Kravetz 
Linux Registered User Number 425914          []
Never let anyone steal your DREAM.           []

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