Ayatana notifications for Plasma

Marco Martin notmart at gmail.com
Wed Sep 23 19:54:58 CEST 2009

On Wednesday 23 September 2009, Aurélien Gâteau wrote:
> Hi,
> 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
> characteristics:

every other consideration aside, i feel that it would have been -far- easier 
to mantain if the systray patch just consisted in notifications disabling and 
provide a totally separate daemon for that kind of notifications

> - Notifications are queued instead of stacked. This helps reduce the
> "spamming" feeling.
> - 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 Here are (slightly outdated) screenshots of what they look like:
> http://people.canonical.com/~agateau/plasma-ayatana-notifications/powerdevi
> http://people.canonical.com/~agateau/plasma-ayatana-notifications/kopete.pn
> 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).
> http://people.canonical.com/~agateau/plasma-ayatana-notifications/configura
> 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:
> http://people.canonical.com/~agateau/plasma-ayatana-notifications/
> 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.
> Regards,
> Aurélien

Marco Martin

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