[jdev] Do Not Disturb, Directed Presence, etc

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Tue Jul 1 09:52:37 CDT 2008

On Tue Jul  1 14:50:49 2008, Jonathan Dickinson wrote:
> I think the base problem here is that people don't read. I may set  
> my status to DND, but I promise you I will get some idiot contact  
> wanting to partake in some small talk.
You appreciate you're implying that you think at least some of your  
contacts are idiots? :-)

The thing is, "absolutely necessary" - as you describe it later -  
means different things to different people, and it seems pretty  
obvious to me that you wouldn't be in dnd mode if you weren't  
available to at least some degree. The problem is that it's difficult  
to know what degree that is.

> I think the solution, really, would be the flashing red lights and  
> 'do you feel lucky punk' as Pedro said. Ultimately this takes:
> 1. The client (program) who is in do not disturb mode to:
>    a. Provide non-intrusive and brief alerts.

This seems sensible - so you'd essentially tell your client not to  
disturb you.

>    b. Allow the user to respond with a predefined message by  
> interacting (a la attended predefined response, Nimbuzz has  
> something like these).

I hadn't a clue what Nimbuzz is. Still don't, actually, because  
apparently I need to use a "supported browser" - gosh, how '90's.  
Given that I do indeed use a supported browser, and they just haven't  
realised, I hereby pronounce them brain dead, and will ignore them  
forthwith. (I'd say they can just "Nimbuzz" off, but that's too  
obvious, so naturally I won't).

In any case, there's no real need for this - sticking yourself in dnd  
is not a one-bit datum, you can provide all sorts of information in  
the <status/>, or in various exciting PEP things, to provide useful  
information as to *why* you're "dnd", and avoid auto-replies of this  
nature entirely.

> 2. The client (program) who wants to contact the user in DND to:
>    a. "This user has asked not to be disturbed and should be  
> contacted only if absolutely nessecary" should be displayed at the  
> top of the chat window.
>    b. Possibly an annoying confirmation dialog on the first message  
> sent. "Are you sure you want to disturb this person?" Or even  
> requiring that the user press an annoying key sequence like  
> CTRL+Enter to send every message.
Ah, the "My users are idiots" style of UI design - a self-fulfilling  
marketing technique.

Both of these, of course, imply that dnd is a message to the contact  
- considering it as a directive to the client which in turn contacts  
might wish to consider when attempting to engage the user is an  
interesting concept.

Let me explain in a more clarificational manner by way of an  
expositional example:

Suppose I'm cheerfully typing rubbish, as is my wont, when the phone  
rings. I stick my client into dnd, with a status of "on the  

Now consider that Kev Smith has an urgent need to exchange vapid  
drivel with me. He may observe his client, which in turn informs him  
that I am "dnd", and moreover either on the phone, or possibly an  
elephant. However, his meaningless tomfoolery is, he feels, of  
dramatic importance to me, thus and so he sends it anyway.

My client, however, knows that I have asked it not to disturb me, so  
therefore it supresses its normal cacophony of bleeps, and merely  
displays Kev's claptrap in an unobtrusive manner, to await my return  
to the computer.

Now, although Kev never receives my blather and poppycock in return,  
he does not take offense, because he is fully cogniscent that I am  
not rude, but merely busy. (To be fair, he doesn't know I'm not being  
rude, but this at least need not be the reason for my lack of twaddle  
in return.)

When I do return the phone to its cradle, however, and return my  
client to its normal availability, it may notify me in a vibrant and  
exciting manner that Kev has sent me pending piffle, which I can then  
respond to with tommyrot and malarkey.

The alternative plan is that, whilst engaged upon the phone, I choose  
to repond to Kev, in which case, I can - and furthermore, I might  
instruct my client that, to Kev, I am no longer "dnd", in which case  
his balderdash will cause my client to plaintively ping, ding, and  
possibly even dong as is its wont. I would assume it would also send  
directed presence to Kev to inform him that - should I not respond in  
a timely manner with bunkum of my own, then I am in fact being rude.  
(Or, alternately, I'm making myself a cuppa.)

I hasten to add that I do not ever never spout nonsense, and any  
resemblance to any Kev Smiths, real or imaginary, is entirely  

Dave Cridland - mailto:dave at cridland.net - xmpp:dwd at dave.cridland.net
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