Fwd: Re: tigert's mockups and HTML

Mike Hearn m.hearn at signal.QinetiQ.com
Wed Sep 22 16:03:59 EEST 2004

>  Alternative though: If this is moved so far, with almost everything done in 
> the client, why not simply do it completely in the client? Then there's no 
> need to have any server, case closed, issue solved.
>  Not that I'm really suggesting this, but seriously, if the server would be 
> just showing app something XEMBED-ed, what would be really its purpose?

Indeed. If presentation kept being done client side (to look fashionable 
or whatever) then all the server would do is allocate screen real estate 
to clients, and you might as well just extend EWMH and the window 
managers to do that. Allowing it means that everybody will just assume 
MSN style poptarts are being used, when currently you could have quite a 
few types of presentation, like this :


The "bezel" feature is one I've seen in other Mac apps, maybe there's an 
API for it. Anyway, you get the idea.

I think people are losing sight of what the goal of the spec is: to 
present passive user notifications of interesting events.

Its goal is not to act as some kind of generic information presentation 
system, nor to act as a central integration UI.

A passive notification by its nature should not be jam packed with 
content as the whole point is that the user can glance at it, get the 
idea, and go back to work. If the app sending the notification required 
immediate attention it should be using a popup dialog box.

As an experiment I just set my display to 800x600, which according to 
OneStat is used by 25% of the web browsing population. The mockup from 
Tuomas filled nearly half my screen, which isn't very passive. I'm not 
criticising the mockup, it's got a nice design, but it just makes me 
believe even more that there's too much in there. A passive notification 
isn't supposed to be too fancy, if you want advanced stuff IMHO it makes 
more sense to have a dedicated dashboard/jumpoff window where you can 
pack as much as you like (and use HTML if you so wish).

On CSS for theming: the use of widget toolkits already gets you that to 
some extent. If you want fancier presentations then you're probably 
better off by writing some kind of plugin that can do kewl stuff with 
Cairo/X directly.

thanks -mike

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