Desktop Notifications Spec 0.3

Bryan Clark bclark at
Thu Sep 30 00:46:37 EEST 2004

On Wed, 2004-09-29 at 14:24 -0700, Christian Hammond wrote:
> I think we're still going overboard. Why should the protocol care how
> it's layed out? Shouldn't that be the particular UI impementation's
> job? They are just standard dialogs, so we don't need anything besides
> text, really. An image, or bold, sure, we can throw that in with
> virtually no additional overhead. If we required registration of XML
> files, we would once again limit our uses. A small shell script that
> someone downloads would suddenly have to register an XML file in order
> to display anything. Instead of just adding notifications to your
> program, you'd have to make sure they were also in sync with the XML
> files. Or am I misunderstanding?

Either this shell script would register the XML file or it would have to
encode the file inside itself.  I don't see the latter as better.  Sure
we could create a couple of 'standard' dialogs if we wanted to solve
this problem, but those types of dialogs are usually akin to "Your
script X has finished" [OK].  These types of dialogs are really bad in
terms of good UI design, but perhaps it would be good to include a
couple of dialogs along the lines of what zenity includes.

> I don't see a need for any kind of layout representation in the
> protocol, especially since notifications can pass hints and stuff. The
> UI can render specific hints how it chooses, if it chooses to even
> render them differently, and if you want XML-controlled layouts, you
> could perhaps have the UI look for an XML based off the hint. I don't
> know.
> Anyhow, I'd rather not see this any more complicated or UI-specific
> than it has to be. I don't want full XML or HTML in the notifications.
> I would specifically limit it to very tiny things like <b> or <i> that
> can be filtered out through one tiny loop and wouldn't prevent
> information loss or distort the information. Going the XML/HTML in the
> body route is definitely the wrong way to do things.

Agreed, removing the UI-specific elements is what I'm trying to get at.
The protocol would do best to pass *only* messages.  Those messages
could have hints for dialog types, use hints like
org.freedesktop.Notification.Alert  or something like that.  Have other
applications register the notifications they would like to use in a
similar fashion.

~ Bryan

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