Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

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Drugwash
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Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-09-29, 07:40

Earlier today I was typing a reply on GitHub focused on the keys rather than on screen. It took me a few seconds to realize the update dialog that had unexpectedly popped up, and due to my continuous typing had already started downloading the new version although I had not either acknowledged the message or willingly started the download.
The option in Preferences is set to "Check for update but let me choose [...]" and it would behave properly if the user had the chance to acknowledge the message in all possible situations.

Right after noticing the incident I paused the download and closed the dialog. However, in the Help submenu there is now only a Resume downloading [...] option, and no Abort download option. I have no idea of the implications of this after closing and reopening the current Pale Moon session, and it is very disconforting because - similarly to the OP who started this topic - I want to first read the release notes, download the new version manually, deploy it manually in whatever location I see fit, and so on. The new version notification in this case should solely act as a notification, and the download/update should never become accidental.

Considering the above I would request that the update popup be replaced with any possible non-intrusive alternative such as an in-page notification bar as suggested by Isengrim here or any OS-provided system-wide notification system when available.
I am using Linux Mint 19.2 (based off Ubuntu 18.04) which does provide a system-wide notification system.

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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-09-29, 10:38

Any sort of notification will inevitably change your focus to the notification. So in your situation it simply wouldn't help unless no notification is given at all, because any such notification should always have a control to immediately download the update.
So it's not that easy of a problem to tackle -- I'm open to suggestions, though.
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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-09-29, 11:13

As far as I recall in Windows there are window styles that can show new windows as inactive and therefore cannot take focus unless clicked (or maybe not even then). Such windows would not interfere with normal typing as they would not steal the focus.

In Linux - at least this Mint 19 I'm using daily but I'm sure other Mint/Ubuntu and maybe Debian versions as well - the system notifications are similar in that they do not capture the focus when being displayed. That system is used (through a plug-in) in Claws Mail, the e-mail application I'm using 24/7, and there are no problems with it. More specifically it's the passive toaster popup option as it's called there.
Screenshot from 2022-09-29 14-11-59.png
Haven't used a Mac so can't speak for that particular OS series but somebody familiar with that could chime in and confirm whether such notification system exists and if it can be used.

NoScript has a mechanism that displays a notification bar at the top of the current page in certain situations, and I believe it doesn't interfere with typing (I'm not 100% sure of that though).

Spawning a toolbar button when an update is available could be an alternative too; such button could provide a short menu containing the Download now and Ask later options.

Don't know if there are other alternatives, but either of these would be more acceptable than the popup IMHO. For now I just switched the notification to Never in order to prevent any future disruption but hopefully an acceptable solution will soon be found and implemented.

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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-09-29, 11:36

The only thing I think of that might work for your purposes is some kind of toast notification... the ones that, at least on Windows, appear in the bottom right corner of the screen and say something, but don't really steal focus or create a new window.

To my ears, it sounds like you're saying you want update notifications to appear as toasts or something rather than pop-up windows.
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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-09-29, 12:15

athenian200 wrote:
2022-09-29, 11:36
To my ears, it sounds like you're saying you want update notifications to appear as toasts or something rather than pop-up windows.
Precisely. There are toast systems that provide the ability of attaching active buttons, but simple persistent notifications would be just fine too, the actual update operation being then available from the main menu or any other handy location, at a time chosen by the user.

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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Michaell » 2022-09-29, 13:06

I just got used to setting it to Never for a different reason. I want to dismiss it for some updates and not be notified again for that particular update. Mostly because of monthly data limit but also some I just don't need.
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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by FranklinDM » 2022-09-30, 02:21

Drugwash wrote:
2022-09-29, 12:15
Precisely. There are toast systems that provide the ability of attaching active buttons, but simple persistent notifications would be just fine too, the actual update operation being then available from the main menu or any other handy location, at a time chosen by the user.
I'm not sure if I'm misremembering it, but I do recall that in early versions of Firefox (~FF3 or so, pre-Australis), updates were also shown as notifications that pop up on the side of the screen, which was the same if a download was complete. Only after clicking that notification would the update prompt show up.

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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-09-30, 06:44

FranklinDM wrote:
2022-09-30, 02:21
[...] in early versions of Firefox (~FF3 or so, pre-Australis), updates were also shown as notifications that pop up on the side of the screen [...] Only after clicking that notification would the update prompt show up.
I personally don't recall that, at the time I was most likely using SlimBrowser in Win98SE. It's possible that those notifications were part of the Firefox code, not the system-wide notifications. There is one issue here: when using the system-wide notification system it may not be possible to trigger the update on clicking a toaster button (if available) in case the Browser window has already been closed. But a permanent (not transient) notification would still be a reminder to the user, and the Help (?) menu in Pale Moon could still provide entries to launch the update or dismiss it (for the current update version, which apparently is what Michaell above would desire).

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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by back2themoon » 2022-09-30, 23:01

A workaround would be for Moonchild to create two additional Announcements sections:

1. Announcements (only for Pale Moon updates)
2. Announcements (excluding Pale Moon updates)

Announcements (including both above, already exists)

Anyone can have their pick, get alerted by email and disable the Pale Moon update checks if required. Personally, I dislike OS notifications because there's just too many of them. In fact, I've disabled the Windows Action Center so OS notifications only become available for x seconds, and then they're gone. Action Center or not, it is quite possible to miss some - including important Pale Moon updates.

Notifications are really a mobile thing, honestly.

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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by jobbautista9 » 2022-10-01, 03:23

Meh, I don't think separating the updates announcements from non-updates ones would be useful, as non-updates announcements are pretty uncommon.

But yeah, that's a clever workaround, using the forum's RSS to get updates notifications...
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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-10-01, 06:29

back2themoon wrote:
2022-09-30, 23:01
A workaround would be for Moonchild to create two additional Announcements sections:
jobbautista9 wrote:
2022-10-01, 03:23
yeah, that's a clever workaround, using the forum's RSS to get updates notifications.
That would be an option but only for Pale Moon users that are actually registered as forum members. Many may not be.
Also some may lose membership for whatever reason and as consequence will stop receiving notifications.
And then again some may choose to pause/stop using Pale Moon for whatever reason but before losing membership - if ever - they will continue to be notified despite not using the application anymore.

The more I think about it the more I find best the toolbar button method. If the button image could be animated until user acknowledged and reacted to it - that would be perfect. An option to dismiss for this session might be in order besides download/update and skip this version.

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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by jobbautista9 » 2022-10-01, 12:35

Drugwash wrote:
2022-10-01, 06:29
That would be an option but only for Pale Moon users that are actually registered as forum members.
An account is not needed for forum RSS. The Pale Moon homepage has a link to the RSS of the announcements feed for example. The "Pale Moon announcements" section of the startme page also depends on forum RSS.
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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-10-01, 12:53

jobbautista9 wrote:
2022-10-01, 12:35
An account is not needed for forum RSS.
OK, I stand corrected. Still, subscribing to RSS feeds might not be an easy task for some. I, for one, wouldn't even know how to begin doing that in these times - last time I ever used some form of RSS subscription was back in the mid 2000s while using Miranda IM with a bunch of plug-ins. It might also be similarly intrusive, depending on the software used for the feeds, and its settings.

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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-10-01, 13:59

Drugwash wrote:
2022-10-01, 12:53
Still, subscribing to RSS feeds might not be an easy task for some.
No, it isn't. Check the RSS icon in the Pale Moon address bar. Click it. Add it as a live bookmark and voila, done.
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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-10-01, 14:17

There is no RSS icon in my address bar, most likely because I have dismissed it long ago as I didn't need it and it was taking up space.
Bringing it back would cut on the already too scarce space (1366x768 laptop screen), and moving other toolbar buttons from their already established places would bring confusion to my already feeble mind. :oops:
There is a RSS subscription item in the main menu though containing five subitems. Which one should be the right one? No idea. Others may be similarly confused.

Is there any update check API to hook to from an extension? I figure, if one could build an update checker extension which provided a toolbar button the default check could remain disabled, and that button could be placed in either toolbar or statusbar as per user's convenience. Might be very similar to the RSS feed but it would allow the user to choose where to place the notification button/icon. Just an idea anyway.

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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by moonbat » 2022-10-01, 14:48

Drugwash wrote:
2022-10-01, 14:17
There is a RSS subscription item in the main menu though containing five subitems. Which one should be the right one? No idea. Others may be similarly confused.
Bookmarks -> Subscribe to this page submenu -> and then choose from the list of feeds discovered on the page, they are listed by name so should be obvious which one you want. You can copy the URL of the feed from the addressbar when you're on the page asking to subscribe, and then add that URL to your feed reader of choice.

If you want a dedicated feed reader, there's QuiteRSS. Or if you want a web based one with a mobile app that syncs across both, there's Feedly. If you use the former, you can configure Pale Moon to use it as the default feed reader instead of Live Bookmarks.
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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-10-01, 15:17

moonbat wrote:
2022-10-01, 14:48
add that URL to your feed reader of choice.
I have none. As mentioned above it's been almost 15 years since last dealing with RSS feeds.
Besides, yet another application solely to check for an update in Pale Moon? Sounds like overkill to me. The idea is to make things easier, not harder. :?

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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by moonbat » 2022-10-01, 15:29

SO what exactly is so rocket sciency about using the built in live bookmarks feature as Moonchild suggested initially?
Drugwash wrote:
2022-10-01, 15:17
The idea is to make things easier, not harder.
The spoon has been filled and shoved into your mouth and if you still won't chomp on it and swallow, that's on you. I mean it doesn't get any more comprehensive explaining all the different ways you can subscribe to a bloody RSS feed, a standard that has been around for more than 20 years now and used to be built into Firefox since long before Pale Moon existed; assuming Chrome wasn't the very first browser you ever used. (Why you would have bothered with Miranda IM when it used to be built into Firefox and even later IE7 and above is beyond me)
You deliberately got rid of the RSS icon because it really takes up such a huge amount of space (I have the same resolution display as you) and then can't be bothered to follow instructions when someone's trying to help you out.
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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by TheRealMaestro » 2022-10-01, 15:39

I also find RSS confusing. I understand. As you also use a Mint version, I would suggest Pusser’s repository. (I forget upon which Ubuntu version your Mint is based.) There is no notification at all, but Pale Moon upgrades appear in Mint’s native update manager and can be handled there, as would any other package. Your profile should be accessible by default, if I am not mistaken. If I am wrong and it is not, one can copy it into the right place (/home/—/.moonchild productions/pale moon/) easily. (Make sure the Pale Moon process is closed before moving it.)
Off-topic:
Mint’s upgrade manager has often been giving me the message ‘Cannot proceed: Another process is currently using the package management system, please wait for it to finish and then try again.’ when it runs at launch. It still installs upgrades, without needing my root password, but the error is awkward to see nearly daily. Would anyone know how to cure this?
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Re: Request: Replace update popup with non-intrusive alternative

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-10-01, 16:04

moonbat wrote:
2022-10-01, 15:29
The spoon has been filled and shoved into your mouth [...]
Sorry I asked. (I never learn)
TheRealMaestro wrote:
2022-10-01, 15:39
As you also use a Mint version, I would suggest Pusser’s repository.
I do have that one installed but I keep it a few versions behind as a backup and almost never use it. I prefer to use the portable versions of both Gtk2 and Gtk3.
Besides, I seldom fire up the Updater, seems that each update breaks something in a smooth but consistent way, so I'd miss a lot of PM updates.

Mint 19.x is based on Ubuntu 18.04.
Off-topic:
If you get such error from Updater you might wanna run the Startup Applications panel and add a significant delay to it. There's probably some other script or service (Snap? Flatpak?) that runs apt in the background and their operation seems to overlap.

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