generic notification system for GNOME ?

So, yesterday I found out that my harddisk is about to crash. That's probably the reason why I couldn't get my bazaar-ng autocommit script to work like it should (it kept complaining about IO and CRC errors)

To avoid problems like this on my laptop, I want to be informed of any event that interests me. Something that would watch logfiles and pop up a notification when something interesting happens, would be very welcome.

At work I was running KDE before a Debian upgrade decided that KDE was not good enough for me and installed GNOME over it. Under KDE, I found an applet called MetaMonitor which watches any file for changes, and then pops up a notification. I used it for some time but never tried to found out how to start it when KDE starts. So eventually, after some reboot, it didn't come back and I didn't notice.

Even before I found MetaMonitor, I was playing around with perl scripts that use QT bindings, and even the DCOP protocol. The DCOP protocol allows you to interact with the desktop environment through the commandline. You can pop up messages and all that, it's really something.

But since I now use GNOME, I would love to find a similar functionality. As far as I know, GNOME doesn't have something like DCOP. In fact, Ubuntu repositories (universe and multiverse) don't have a GNOME panel that can watch a syslog file. This is really a shame.

I found a program called "Band Saw" which sits in the taskbar and reports interesting syslog events. Unfortunately, it doesn't come in an Ubuntu package. But I guess that's ok, I can learn how to make those (and I assume it's not much different than building Debian packages).

Band Saw is written in Python, which is also a good thing, since I wanted to learn python anyway ;)
Who knows, maybe I'll make some contributions to this project.

The Debian Administration website has an article about desktop notifications, which may give some pointers. I'll read it later