Ayatana notifications for Plasma
aurelien.gateau at canonical.com
Wed Sep 23 16:48:00 CEST 2009
I would like to present to you some work I have been doing for Canonical
regarding notifications in Plasma.
Before going further, let me state that my goal with this mail is not to
get this work incorporated upstream, as I understand the Plasma project
have a different position than Canonical on the subject of notifications.
I decided to write this mail because I believe it is more correct to let
you know about it in a more "personal" way rather than you discovering
it in a blog post or a Kubuntu review.
This work provides an implementation of Ayatana notifications for Plasma
(Ayatana is the name of a Canonical project to improve user experience
on Ubuntu and derivatives). Ayatana notifications have the following
- Notifications are queued instead of stacked. This helps reduce the
- Notifications are passive: they do not feature actions or close
buttons. This is probably the most controversial bit.
- Since notifications are passive, they are click-through: when you move
the mouse over them, they fade away to become almost transparent and let
you click through them to reach any underlying window.
- Since they do not need any interactivity interface, they are drawn
using Plasma tooltip SVG.
Here are (slightly outdated) screenshots of what they look like:
An important point: While the patch is integrated in Kubuntu, the
default behavior is to use KDE notifications. The user can switch to
Ayatana notifications through an option of the system tray configuration
dialog (there are even preview buttons to help the user decide).
I attached a patch for you to test if you feel so inclined. I updated it
this morning to latest trunk. It is a single large patch because I
believe it is easier to try it this way, but if you are interested in
the incremental steps, you can find a patchset tarball here:
As I said I do not expect this to be merged but I would be very happy if
some of you just gave it a try for a few hours and maybe find some
interesting ideas in it. The queuing and click-through features in
particular could be interesting.
I was quite skeptic about the idea of passive notifications first, but
have since changed my mind after using them for a while. I believe this
new approach needs to be tried for one to make an informed opinion on
it. The feedback I got from Kubuntu Karmic users is varied: some like it
a lot, other don't.
Please let me know your opinion on this.
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