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Re: Notifications

From: イアンフェッティ <ifette@google.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2010 11:20:13 -0800
Message-ID: <bbeaa26f1002231120v33ba0e69ufa909a039c93e66@mail.gmail.com>
To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Cc: John Gregg <johnnyg@google.com>, Drew Wilson <atwilson@google.com>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, public-webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>, Matthew Paul Thomas <mpt@myrealbox.com>, Jeremy Orlow <jorlow@chromium.org>
Doug -

I did not mean to be HTML centric, apologies. I'm currently going through a
debate in my mind (scary thing) about whether allowing an arbitrary mime
type and content would be good or bad. My gut sense here is that if the UA
is capable of displaying it, we should allow it, and it will be used or not
used (with fallbacks provided) based on the support of UAs, with more UAs
evolving to support it as user demand grows. Ideally we would provide
multiple fallbacks, e.g. allow someone to specify an ordered list in order
of preference, e.g. text/html representation followed by image/svg+xml
followed by text/plain (although perhaps text/plain is better left broken
out, so that it's more visible and people actually fill it in, as opposed to
being some option in a list of things you can provide).


CreateInteractiveNotification(in DOMString text-fallback, [Optional] in
DOMString MimeType1, [Optional] in DOMString NotificationFormat1, [Optional]
in DOMString MimeType2, [Optional] NotificationFormat2, ...)

forgive my broken IDL, I'm sure there's a better way to express it, but you
get the idea.

At any rate, I'm not opposed to what you propose, just trying to think out
loud of how to best do that while still ensuring that a text fallback is
still reasonably simple (and obvious) to specify.


Am 23. Februar 2010 10:24 schrieb Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>:

> Hi, Ian-
> I generally agree with you, and certainly with your sentiment.  Not to go
> all SVG on you, but why "*HTMLNotification"?  I understand that HTML is
> really common, and that increasingly SVG can be used as part of HTML, but
> there are lots of devices out there (TVs, mobiles, set-top boxes) that use
> SVG rather than HTML, which would benefit from these interactive
> notifications... shouldn't we define a more generic "CreateWebNotification"
> and pass an optional MIME Type parameter that defaults to "text/html" (or
> some similar mechanism)?
> I strongly agree with the sentiment that we should design for the future,
> in any case, and not limit ourselves to simple text notifications.
> Regards-
> -Doug Schepers
> W3C Team Contact, SVG and WebApps WGs
> Ian Fette (イアンフェッティ) wrote (on 2/23/10 1:06 PM):
>> This thread seems to have languished, and I'm trying to figure out how
>> to move forward here.
>> My understanding, grossly simplified, of the current state of the world
>> is this:
>> 1. Some people have a desire to show HTML / interactive notifications,
>> to support use cases like "remind me of this calendar event again in 5
>> minutes" or "Answer this call / hang up this call."
>> 2. Some people have a concern that the proposed way to achieve 1, namely
>> allowing HTML, will result in certain platform notification systems
>> (Growl, NotifyOSD etc) not to be used.
>> I will disclose my biases up front and say that I do believe the use
>> cases that 1) tries to support are important. (I want to be able to
>> interact with a calendar notification to say "remind me again" or "take
>> me to the full details of the event," for instance). I also am of the
>> belief regarding #2, being unable to find any actual data on how many
>> users have and use growl, that the user base falls into roughly two
>> camps. There's the people who have gone out and downloaded Growl (or
>> another notification service) because they want everything coalesced,
>> and then there's the people who don't really care, and if mail.app wants
>> to tell them something vs their browser wants to tell them something,
>> they don't really think much of it.
>> I think that initially, we can do a lot more for this second group in
>> terms of functionality that we can provide, and would find it
>> unfortunate if we held up forward progress because of a current
>> implementation detail. If that functionality proves to be useful and
>> desired by a number of users, I believe that platforms like Growl and
>> NotifyOSD will find a way to make it work. In the meantime though, I
>> think there are relatively simple things we can do to not leave these
>> users in the dark.
>> 1, for the CreateHTMLNotification call, we could still allow a text
>> version of the notification to be provided. If there's a significant
>> number of users whose platforms don't support HTML Notifications, I
>> think there's a reasonable chance that would be filled out. If 20% of
>> users didn't see images, alt= text would be more prevalent.
>> 2. For the case where there is no text alternative provided by the
>> website for the HTML notification, the UA can make a best effort at
>> transforming the HTML notification to a text notification, optionally
>> with whatever markup the UA provides for text notifications (bold,
>> links, etc). Obviously things may not be perfect and it would be
>> preferable if the author of the page provided a notification, but the
>> world is not perfect.
>> 3. Let the user decide which notification mechanism they prefer. If the
>> user prefers HTML notifications, then they get whatever the UA
>> implements. If the user has an alternate notification provider they
>> prefer, then they live with the constraints of that notification system,
>> but either way it's a tradeoff that the user can make. And yes, in the
>> near term some of this may be prohibitive on mobile devices, but so are
>> many things (try as they might, mobile browsers still aren't a pleasure
>> to work with when it comes to viewing large complex sites or sites that
>> use flash, etc).
>> I strongly believe that web applications are increasing in number, in
>> scope, and are becoming an integral part of people's lives. As web
>> applications expand, I don't think it is unreasonable to believe that
>> support for HTML in the platform (e.g. HTML in notification providers)
>> will happen some day. It's not going to be immediate, and so I have
>> outlined some ideas that I hope may get us moving in the meanwhile, but
>> I don't want us to fall victim to the argument of "well, right now it's
>> hard so let's not do it."
>> My $0.02.
>> Am 12. Februar 2010 12:50 schrieb John Gregg <johnnyg@google.com
>> <mailto:johnnyg@google.com>>:
>>    On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 10:14 AM, Drew Wilson <atwilson@google.com
>>    <mailto:atwilson@google.com>> wrote:
>>        On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 5:06 AM, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi
>>        <mailto:hsivonen@iki.fi>> wrote:
>>            On Feb 11, 2010, at 16:07, Jeremy Orlow wrote:
>>            >  As has been brought up repeatedly, growl and the other
>>            notification engines are used by a SMALL FRACTION of all web
>>            users.  I suspect a fraction of a percent.  Why are we
>>            bending over backwards to make this system work on those
>>            platforms?
>>            More seriously though: Virtually every user of an up-to-date
>>            Ubuntu installation has the notification engine installed.
>>            As for Growl, the kind of users who install Growl are
>>            presumably the kind of users who care about notifications of
>>            multiple concurrent things the most. Furthermore, it seems
>>            that notifications are becoming more a part of operating
>>            system platfroms. For example, it looks like Windows 7 has a
>>            system API for displaying notifications:
>> http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee330740%28VS.85%29.aspx
>>        This is a useful data point. It does seem like the major
>>        platforms are conforming to a simple icon + title + text
>>        interface for ambient notifications. The microsoft API seems
>>        more aligned with NotifyOSD (non-interactable notifications with
>>        a transient status tray icon provided to allow the user to
>>        click). I suspect a UA on those platforms (NotifyOSD and
>>        Microsoft) would display an icon with each notification to give
>>        the user the ability to register a click on and/or dismiss the
>>        notification.
>>            >  Are there other examples where we've dumbed down an API to
>>            the least common denominator for a small fraction of users?
>>              Especially when there's no technical reason why these
>>            providers could not be made more advanced (for example,
>>            embed webkit to display fully functional notifications)?
>>            It's not a given that it's an advancement in user experience
>>            terms not to force all ambient notifications into a
>>            consistent form.
>>        I think this is a reasonable point also. I also want to
>>        reiterate that your distinction between ambient and interactive
>>        notifications is an interesting one - most of the system
>>        notification frameworks are geared towards ambient notifications
>>        (it's why NotifyOSD does not support the DBUS "actions" array,
>>        I'm assuming). Their core use cases are things like "your
>>        printer is out of paper", not "You have an incoming voice call
>>        from Bob. Answer the call? Yes/No".
>>        I think the challenge here is framing our API in a way to allow
>>        developers to specify their intent (interactive vs ambient),
>>        with more restrictions on ambient content. The current spec
>>        makes one cut at this via "createNotification" vs
>>        "createHTMLNotification", but it's not at all clear that HTML
>>        notifications are intended to be interactive rather than just
>>        pretty versions of ambient notifications (hence, Jonas' concern
>>        that developers will just create HTML notifications when what
>>        they really want is an ambient notification).
>>    In terms of how I wrote the current draft, HTML vs Text+Icon has
>>    nothing to do with notifications being ambient or persistent.  It is
>>    really just about the content of the notification.  It would
>>    completely acceptable to me to have HTML notifications which are
>>    always ambient: they show up for a few seconds, then they go away,
>>    but if the user wants to interact with the dynamic content during
>>    those seconds it's possible.
>>    The problem is that none of the popular ambient notification
>>    providers support HTML, so the assumption is that HTML = another new
>>    window or HTML = mandatory acknowledgement.  However that's not
>>    necessarily true.
>>        One solution is only to support ambient notifications (which is
>>        essentially the thrust of the "no HTML" argument), but I'd be
>>        opposed to any API that does not allow for interactive
>>        notifications. I suppose that's a discussion for the
>>        requirements thread, though :)
>>    Nothing in the current draft spec requires a UA to make Web
>>    Notifications of either type persistent - a UA which only supports
>>    ambient (self-closing) notifications could already be conforming, as
>>    long as clicks that do happen are passed back to the web page.
>>      -John
> --
Received on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 19:20:47 UTC

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