Desktop Notifications Spec 0.3

Christian Hammond chipx86 at
Thu Sep 30 03:48:16 EEST 2004

Ah, good, then we agree :) I was afraid you were leaning a completely
different direction.

The protocol passes simple messages, urgency levels, and type hints,
and that's pretty much it. I don't want it to do any layout, or
require an XML or SGML parser, and the 0.4 spec (which I'll mail out
tonight) specifically says that.

Hopefully this next round will be a bit better.


On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 17:46:37 -0400, Bryan Clark <bclark at> wrote:
> 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.
> Cheers,
> ~ Bryan

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