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Panic! 13 seconds to shutdown! - Technical Blog of Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes
Date: 2007-11-22 13:17
Subject: Panic! 13 seconds to shutdown!
Security: Public

This morning, PackageKit checked for updates automatically, and then began to download and install them like I had configured. Half way through, I get this dialog:

Panic ensues. I close down all my half-finished code changes, save my drafts in evolution and work out how much stuff I have open on other workspaces that needs to be closed before the shutdown commences.

Of course, dialog was invalid, only the session sealert daemon restarted - but I was left wondering why it had notified me with the countdown with such ambigous wording. I don't even use SELinux on this machine, so what was sealert doing?

If it needs to reload, why do I get a countdown and dialog box? Just do it in the background without notifying me. Not cool.

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User: thumperward
Date: 2007-11-22 13:44 (UTC)
Subject: User as debugger
It's just bad UI. At best it's the equivalent of a debugging printf left in the release by mistake. At worst it's the kind of look-how-much-work-I'm-doing showboating which used to plague free software apps.

I'd wager that if you explained this to whoever wrote that dialogue, two weeks later the thing would instead have a notification balloon in the status panel. Which would also be pointless, confusing and annoying.

- Chris
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User: davidz25
Date: 2007-11-22 15:05 (UTC)
Subject: This is what happens...
... when you let software developers do UI design. Please file a bug in RH Bugzilla, Cc me and make it block F9Blocker. Thanks.
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User: ex_cgwalter
Date: 2007-11-22 20:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Most of the cause of panic I would actually consider bugs in other software applications. No application should be waiting on you to hit the save button to have your work stored persistently.

For example, I believe Evolution does save drafts automatically - if it doesn't or that stopped working, it's a serious bug.

If your editor isn't automatically saving your work in a lookaside file, it's a bug.

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User: timada
Date: 2007-12-23 04:10 (UTC)
Subject: Evolution
When it comes to Evolution the cause may be a bug. the latest stable code as far as I know is evolution-1-0-branch.
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