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Daniel Eran

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The Apple Wishlist: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
2. Process control and notification services: Idea 2, 3 & 4

Idea 2: Expanded feedback services
A complementary idea to Launch Control is the introduction of an expanded user feedback and notification system. Apple already has a minimal feedback system, "BezelUIServer," that passively communicates information by presenting translucent, bezeled icons.

I'd like to see Apple expand upon the idea by allowing applications to present passive notifications via translucent overlays, audio alerts, and other notification triggers as a built in part of the operating system.

This would make for a consistent, simple, and powerful method to tailor feedback appropriate to the user's needs and preferences. For example, the feedback system would also be integrated with VoiceOver, so that notifications that usually present visual feedback could be designated to provide audio feedback instead.

Notification services should also be tightly integrated with Launch Control; a notification event trigger could schedule a process or script to run at a later date.

Idea 3: Remote notification services
In addition to local notifications, Leopard should also provide services to send remote alert messages (email, pager, IM, etc.) and log events to a syslog server (a system dedicated to recording events). Mac OS X has some facility to log events now, but it needs a central, extensible system that provides a flexible array of remote notification services.

Idea 4: Integrated monitoring and performance logging
I'd also like to see system monitoring and performance logging built into Leopard. You can currently view a graph of CPU performance information using Activity Monitor, but there is no performance monitoring tools akin to Windows' Performance Logs.

Apple's Server Monitor in the Mac OS X Server Admin Tools only works with Xserve hardware; I'd like see expanded features added directly to Mac OS X, providing the ability to monitor network activity, disk, memory, CPU, and the fan speed and CPU temperature sensors in modern Macs. It should use notification services to provide performance log reports, local notifications and remote alerts.

In addition to monitoring hardware systems, Leopard should also be able to monitor software processes and services, and similarly report problems through notification services. The CrashReporter service could use notifications to send alerts to an IT group as well as the application developer, for example. Users would also benefit from knowing if their webserver was down, or if a scheduled event was unable to complete.

With these reporting and notification services built into the operating system, application developers could expose reportable events everywhere. Imagine starting a long printing or imaging task and simply checking a box to have the system send an email or SMS notification when complete.

Looking for inspiration


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