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Re: Announcing apt-watch: a Gnome 2 panel applet to check for upgrades


On Wed, Dec 18, 2002 at 11:33:19AM -0500, Matthew McGuire wrote:

> > On Wed, Dec 18, 2002 at 04:41:28PM +0100, Emile van Bergen <emile-deb@evbergen.xs4all.nl> was heard to say:
> > > On Wed, Dec 18, 2002 at 10:24:17AM -0500, Daniel Burrows wrote:
> > > 
> > > Whatever you do, don't do the flashing. Flashing and animating draw
> > > far too much attention; effectively this puts psychological pressure on
> > > people to update immediately, as soon as there's a release. That's
> > > uncalled for. It makes you feel you're neglecting something if you don't
> > > obey the exclamation mark immediately and update.
> > 
> >   If people have only security.debian.org and the stable release (by
> > name) in their sources.list, putting some pressure on them to upgrade
> > is IMO a good thing.
> > 
> >   I didn't mention this, but one long-term idea I wrote down for the
> > applet was to check whether any of the updates were security updates,
> > and only do the flashing/whatever in that case.  Unfortunately, I don't
> > think this is possible -- you could check whether the source for the
> > update is security.d.o, but that's probably not sufficient.

Well, if you can do that somehow, flashing would be less objectionable.
Let's say show an empty box if everyting's up to date, a steady green dot
if there are any updates at all, and a (flashing, if you must) red one
if there were hits from security.d.o.

> Whenever I run and apt-get update it only grabs the package files that 
> have been updated. (The Hit or Get thing in it I think.) If there is a 
> way to get a list of what was updated, you could then search for 'security'
> in the URL of the files grabbed. If you find it, then alert the user with 
> the appropriate icon or dialog. I don't see any reason why a dialog would be
> inappropriate here. Security updates are pretty important and the dialog
> could allow the user to background an apt-get upgrade process if needed.

The dialog doesn't allow me anything, the dialog *forces me* to take my
attention from whatever I'm doing and respond to the computer's command.

The computer should respond to *my* actions, not the other way around.
Basic human interface issue. Robots are *our* slaves. Dialogs should
not popup other than as a result of an action from our side or when the
whole system /really/ is in such a bad state that it cannot do anything
at all without guidance from us.

Visible indications are fine, but let the user choose what he wants to
do. A small flashing red arrow is about the maximum amount of indication
you can give without being obnoxious. 

Needless to say, I hate obnoxious slaves. ;-)

> From an administration standpoint this is a great idea. Sure blows 
> Windows Update out of the water. :)

I'd say security.d.o is what does that, not the dialog. If you could
click on the arrow to launch dselect, that'd be fine and more than
enough 'help'.



E-Advies / Emile van Bergen   |   emile@e-advies.info
tel. +31 (0)70 3906153        |   http://www.e-advies.info

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