Starting discussion on a new version of the notification spec

Aaron J. Seigo aseigo at
Wed Jun 17 11:28:17 PDT 2009

On Wednesday 17 June 2009, Dylan McCall wrote:
> Bottom line? We only need one system that says "notification," and the
> specification's features (as well as implementations) influence this
> directly. Discuss :)

most of what you outline falls into the realm of "visualization"; in KDE4 the 
visual notifications, job status and notification area are unified (though 
this can also be disabled). this is done by having the visualization handle 
all three systems (vis notification, jobs, systray icons).

moreover, we have defined a new d-bus based protocol for the system tray icons 
which will allow us to even more cleanly integrate them all in the future as 
the tray icons have gone from "those things we xembed, can only put in one 
place at a time, have no real control over and no idea wtf they are doing or 
mean" to descriptions of the what and why of the icon entry (to the point that 
they don't even have to be icons; they could be text entries in an ncurses app 
if you wanted ;)

this system ships with KDE 4.3, and we will be bringing it here for comment. a 
xdg style spec has already been started based on our implementation, and we're 
still flexible to change it upon conversation of it here. we simply wanted to 
prove it first in a release so we brought something closer to fully baked 
concept- and use-case-wise.

HOWEVER, i don't think, having gone through the whole "how to re-design the 
system tray area mechanism", that it's an overly natural fit for visual 
notifications. we could make it work if we crammed square pegs into round 
holes hard enough, but on the client side it's much more natural to have them 

the visualization can bring them together quite easily.

i also don't think it's wise to start defining "what the visualization should 
look like" from client-side API, as "what it should look like" will change 
between devices, between philosophies and between decades.

but yes, i agree with a lot of what you observe :)

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

KDE core developer sponsored by Qt Software

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