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Revision as of 12:08, 30 December 2016

Email notifications are a bit hard to manage, they're really designed for non-realtime messaging when you're ready to read which means that email notifications tend to get grouped together and ignored, spam gets them lost, and non-reliable transport makes them hit-or-miss. Instant messaging is a better solution to this problem.

The Options

Obviously email is there. But email is tricky to set up, many command line solutions need a full server and a bit of lax security turns that simple notification system into a mass spam source getting your home IP address blacklisted. Email isn't going anywhere, but it really does need to die...

Of course you've got the venerable text message. Most of the time you can access this via an email, exposing all the problems above. There are some sites that offer a web API for sending texts, but again these are often abused as mobile spam grows so I don't deem them to be reliable.

GroupMe is an excellent solution for this with a API, but it means installing Yet Another Messaging App (YAMA) and my GroupMe notifications are low priority because they're all chatty personal groups. Besides, if there's a published API what's the fun in using it?

Slack could be another good solution, but my experience with it is limited and it's YAMA.

Hangouts is my go-to messaging app, text and IM with a mix of conversations with notifications and muted conversations. It's an ideal app for me to piggyback notifications onto.

Installation

First we need to install pip:

sudo apt-get install python3-pip
pip3 install hangups

https://hibern8.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/send-hangouts-message-from-command-line-on-debian/