Monday, November 03, 2008

Growl, Snarl, Mumbles ...

People may think I'm upset... but the title of the post is just reflecting a few of the notification tools that are available throughout the various operating system platforms. Bear with me on this one as I want to get this posted before I get to bed... so... some of these sentences may be a bit rambling/run-on. I'm sorry. Here are the various tools that I've found on the different operating systems:
  • Growl - originally designed as a hack for the MacOS to get desktop notification of application events raised for user viewing without stealing applicaiton focus (The OS was MacOS 10 ... Tiger specifically... Growl... get it?). Growl was then expanded to allow for network messages to be received via UDP packets (from things like web servers and... well... you get the idea).
  • Mumbles - a Linux version of a Growl client to receive Growl messages (Mumbles also includes mumbles-send to send Growl notifications too).
  • Snarl - a Growl like application for Windows. Originally didn't take on Growl messages... but has since begun to do so with a Growl plugin. Notifications
  • Growl-for-Windows - a Growl port to Windows. This is only a few months along and is subject to wild changes as the developer works out a few problems with a short set of talent in the bullpen. Hopefully he'll be able to find some folks that are versed in .NET and webkit shortly to work out some initial problems with webkit rendering (which, if resolved, would allow Growl notification templates that are used on OSX to be used under G4W too).
So... you're saying... so what? My IM client does this! My email client does this! My... music player does this! Simple fact of the matter is that while each of these does this... there are often (1) problems with each of them or (2) the combination of them or (3) you have an application that doesn't have desktop notifications or (4) you want to be able to style your notifications or (5) you want to get notificiations from one computer to another. For any of these reasons, you may choose to use Growl for application messaging. The Growl design allows for an open exchange of messages or to close off messages behind a simple password. It really is quite neat for somebody who is consistently at their computer and working... but needs to be periodically informed about the ongoing events of various items to decide if they need to fully divert their attention or leave their attention on the task at hand.


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