systray specification...

Aaron J. Seigo aseigo at
Thu Feb 2 20:28:54 EET 2006

(sorry to break the thread, but after a recent email change i managed to get 
unsub'd from this list and never re-sub'd. bad aaron, bad aaron! ;)

what rasterman is suggesting is essentially what i suggested a year or more 
ago, so i'm certainly in favour. a few other twists:

text along with the icon should be mandatory for accessibility purposes (it's 
hard for screenreaders to read a status icon unless there's text with it 
too ;)

autohiding: we have hiding in the KDE systray applet, but it's pretty 
rudimentary because we have no way of querying the app as to its status (or 
the status of its icon). a status (normal, interesting, urgent, dormant) was 
already discussed, and they may well be enough.

multiple trays: it should be possible to represent the systray in more than 
one location (think: multi-screen setups). so any proposed spec should not 
have built in limitations (as the current one does) as to having one and only 
one systray consuming the systray data.

systray and x11 windows: it would also be very nice if the systray didn't 
require any UI elements in the source app either. this would allow daemons to 
utilize the systray without gratuitous UIs having to be developed on top of 
them. this is why i suggested using IPC versus XAtoms. though even just 
getting rid of the "systray by embedding x11 windows" concept is a great step 

as for standardized menus, i'd say don't bother. i looked into it and came up 
with a similar scheme as to what was suggested but then i looked at the menus 
people were actually showing and decided it wasn't worth while. just let them 
show their menus at a screen coordinate and be done with it. why?

menu items may update while the menu is being shown; some menus show things 
other than just text; etc... i don't see the overwhelming benefit of doing 
the menus in the systray process compared to the effort required to get it 

Aaron J. Seigo
GPG Fingerprint: 8B8B 2209 0C6F 7C47 B1EA  EE75 D6B7 2EB1 A7F1 DB43

Full time KDE developer sponsored by Trolltech (
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : 

More information about the xdg mailing list