Notifications: uselessness of

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Tue Mar 3 11:19:37 GMT 2009

On Tue, 3 Mar 2009 11:02:54 +0200 Marius Gedminas <marius at> wrote:
>On Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 07:17:35PM +0000, Max Bowsher wrote:
>> Marius Gedminas wrote:
>> > The flashing button in the window list tends to attract attention.
>> A flashing button in the window list says "deal with me NOW NOW NOW!".
>Well, no.  A system-modal popup dialog says "NOW NOW NOW".  A flashing
>button says "please deal with me in a couple of minutes, ok?  how about
>now?  how about now?  please?  c'mon, do it!"
>> The previous update-notifier orange rosette / red arrow was is easily
>> noticeable, but not intrusive.
>I gather that was the problem: lack of intrusiveness.  Non-advanced
>users did not notice it and did not install important security updates.

IIRC it has been claimed that this is a problem, but I don't recall any 
evidence being presented for it nor any evidence that this new system will 
cause more updates to be installed.  Personally, I think that generally 
users that care about updates know about them and install them already and 
ones that don't care still won't install them.

I was involved in a long IRC discussion yesterday with some of the 
designers of this change (on #dx) and my understanding of this discussion 
is that it is a "feature" of this change that non-security updates are 
hidden from the user for up to a week because users think there are too 
many updates.  If this is the case, and I personally doubt it as I 
routinely field complaints about stuff not being fixed and have yet to get 
one about an update, I think it should be solved through SRU policy changes 
and not by hiding available updates from the user.

In short, I think this changes solves no actual significant problem yet 
intoduces many.  I've seen many specific complaints from quite a number of 
users of the development release and I don't see anything other than 
armwaving and "trust us, we're U/I experts" in response.

I know that sounds harsh, but that's how I see it.

Scott K

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