Desktop Notifications Spec 0.3

Rodrigo Moya rodrigo at
Tue Sep 21 19:19:13 EEST 2004

On Thu, 2004-09-16 at 17:06 -0700, Christian Hammond wrote:
> > Perhaps I don't understand it fully, but I don't see the clear idea
> > behind Notification Types maybe you could clear this up for me.  I see
> > that it is in reference to allowing groupings of notification types,
> > what is the end user visible goal of the groupings of notifications via
> > type?  Are you expecting lots of notifications from different
> > applications of the same type at the same time? (i.e. running
> > thunderbird and evolution at the same time and coalescing the new
> > message notifications into single popups?)  I'm not sure about this idea
> > yet so I'd appreciate some clarification of how you think this is going
> > to help users.
> Notification types would conceivably let some notification service
> display notifications of some types in a specific way. Whether that's
> a rendering thing (displaying a new mail notification with an
> envelope background) or grouping notifications together. The reason I
> wanted to see notifications grouped were for things like "So and so
> has signed on." I don't want a thousand of those appearing, but if
> they were stacked or grouped in some way, that would be better, imho.
right, the same happens for 'system errors'. Imagine having a disk
causing a lot of warning messages in the system log, and some HAL-based
program listening to those. Instead of showing 1000s of those, you could
group them in a single notification.

> > Urgency Levels is the section that is the most concerning from my point
> > of view.  What do Low, Medium, High, and Critical mean to the end user?
> > I can see how there is the critical "Your computer is on fire!", and low
> > "Joe Bob signed on", however I don't see where the others can fit into
> > place.  I've been working for a while to compile all the information on
> > status notifications in order to write a decent HIG recommendation on
> > notifications and so far what I've come up with is that there are two
> > types of this style notifications.
> I see your problem with the urgency levels, and I've wondered myself
> about them. The reason I wanted urgency levels was so that
> higher-urgency notifications would always get a higher stacking order,
> if too many notifications were on the screen. Also, things like "So
> and so has signed on" would be marked as Low urgency, and get the
> lowest display priority. Possibly grouping, again, depending on the
> implementation.
> Medium would be normal notifications. High, I don't know.
> The whole urgency thing could be re-thought, I suppose.
> >     1) Requires Interaction from the user
> >     2) Has the possibility for interaction from the user
> > 
in any case, have urgency levels as you initially thought seems a good
idea. If the above case where a disk is failing, it is indeed wise to be
sure to show that notification before any other one to the user.

I would separate that from the 'user interaction level' (or whatever you
call it) you describe here, which is also useful, but serves a different
purpose IMO.
Rodrigo Moya <rodrigo at>

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