W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-notification@w3.org > October 2010

Re: Notification types

From: Drew Wilson <atwilson@google.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2010 10:11:19 -0700
Message-ID: <AANLkTinQzsyZP-28OVM11+Y9KwdrTpLeYthmgsSnrXbC@mail.gmail.com>
To: Simon Dittlmann <simon.dittlmann@googlemail.com>
Cc: veikko.punkka@nokia.com, johnnyg@google.com, public-web-notification@w3.org
On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 1:27 AM, Simon Dittlmann <
simon.dittlmann@googlemail.com> wrote:
> It seems for me to be a semantic related problem.
> Who should categorize the notifications? The programmer, the user or both?

Exactly. It's not clear to me that it's possible for programmers across
multiple apps to have a consistent idea of what an "urgent" or "low
priority" notification is. My IM program's idea of urgent is undoubtedly
different than my burglar alarm's idea of urgent, and conversely - gmail may
wish to categorize email notifications as low priority, but then who knows
how many useless notifications users would be subjected to from other
domains as a result of enabling low-priority notifications? Even within
gmail, it might categorize chat notifications as high priority and email
notifications as low priority, but as a user I might personally find email
notifications much more important, and want to filter out chat
notifications. So I'm not certain that universal cross-domain filtering by
priority is feasible.

FWIW, I don't think any of the common notification platforms (Growl and
NotifyOSD) support filtering by priority - they currently only allow
customizing the look (color) of the notification, probably for this exact

> If the user should categorize notifications, it would be necessary to
> register every web site which uses the notification interface with his
> domain name in the platform specific notification system.

As far as I can tell, NotifyOSD does not support any kind of filtering of
notifications. Growl supports per-app category filtering (using a
human-readable notification "name" parameter for each notification, as well
as a static list of notification categories that each app registers with
Growl at app startup) - I'm not certain how we could leverage this support
to enable per-domain category filtering, even assuming we had some a priori
way to get a list of domains and notification categories from each domain.

So: I don't think that cross-domain priority filtering is feasible because
applications don't have consistent agreement on priority types. And I don't
know that per-domain priority filtering is useful because applications may
not expose priorities for individual notifications that match the user's
desires (see my note above about chat vs email notifications). So we're left
with either having web apps expose their own per-app UI for filtering
notifications (this is what gmail does currently, for example, to enable the
user to determine whether to generate chat and/or email notifications, and
to specify which emails should generate a notification), or exposing some
kind of growl-like mechanism for notification categories. It's not clear to
me that the use case for this type of centralized filtering is strong enough
that we should complicate the API by trying to provide a way for domains to
pre-register and use human-readable category names.

Received on Friday, 29 October 2010 17:11:50 UTC

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