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Re: [GNUnet-developers] Re: GNUnet: adding libnotify support for gnunet-

From: Benjamin Paul Kay
Subject: Re: [GNUnet-developers] Re: GNUnet: adding libnotify support for gnunet-gtk.
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 12:48:04 -0500
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On Sunday 02 April 2006 12:27, Christian Grothoff wrote:
> Hi all!
> Nicklas send me the attached patch and e-mails, and I wonder adding
> libnotify support to gnunet-gtk is the right thing to do.  There are two
> points to this:
> a) is it really a useful feature? would you want pop-ups that tell you that
> a download has finished? What if there are dozens of such notifications in
> a matter of minutes? What should we notify for (just downloads? uploads?
> search results!??)
> b) is libnotify the right way to do it?  or maybe the extra dependency is
> not worth it?  make it an optional feature if libnotify is present
> (complicating configure and build and source code)? are there other ways to
> do it (I mean, we can certainly open pop-up windows using GTK directly) --
> so what is the distinct advantage of doing notifications with libnotify in
> this context?
> Let me know what you think.  I've attached Nicklas' patch.

I think the Best Way (TM) to notify users of events is to have a comprehensive 
GUI that keeps track of all these events. For example, to keep track of 
downloads I would want the GUI to have a "downloads" pane that lets me see 
queued, current, failed, and completed downloads. I should be able to sort 
this information by starting/ending date, file size, file name, GNUnet 
keywords, etc.

So basically, I think improving the GUI would be time better spent than adding 
notification popups. That said, Nicklas has already made a patch and 
notification popups do look cool (as long as the user has the option of 
disabling them). And as long as the notification popups are for aesthetic 
purposes, we should use the more aesthetically pleasing libnotify rather than 
calling GTK directly.

I think libnotify would be useful for notifying on completion or failure of 
insertions/indexings and downloads. Mind you, the mechanism has to be 
intelligent. If I'm inserting a directory of one-thousand small files (a 
photo album, for example), I want to know when the directory is finished but 
not when each individual file is finished. Also, notification popups should 
have a reasonable lifetime (like the Mozilla Firefox "Downloads Complete" 
notification) so that the user doesn't have to manually close them.

Just my $0.02 USD.
Benjamin Kay

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