Notification spec issue: Ability to assign an icon *and* an image to a notification

Aurélien Gâteau aurelien.gateau at
Thu Jun 25 02:20:03 PDT 2009

Aaron J. Seigo wrote:
> On Wednesday 24 June 2009, you wrote:
>> Aaron J. Seigo wrote:
>>> the correctness issue:
>>> these are not notifications, they are a subset of notifications. what do
>>> we call a spec that actually does notifications? FullNotifications? there
>>> is no point in collaborating if there is no collaboration, and in this
>>> case it's pretty evident that the service is incorrectly named which will
>>> lead to a pretty jangled system later on.
>> In fact I just realized the name can be considered correct. After all,
>> this spec defines a notification as composed of an icon, an image, a
>> title, a summary and a sound. Sure the icon and the image are only
>> visual, but nothing prevents someone from implementing a text-to-speech
>> server which would play the summary, title and sound.
> please see knotify for a full treatment of notifications as a system. sure, we 
> can play semantic games if we wish, but let's not.

I am not playing games here. Sure knotify can do things the notification
spec cannot, for example allowing the user to configure how each
notification should be presented. But the fact remains that there is
nothing in the notification spec which prevents anyone from creating a
non-visual implementation.

> we can certainly push org.freedesktop.Notifications through if that's the will 
> of this body. it gets the user what they need/want in the shortest route 
> possible. 
> however, it means supporting and condoning behavior that is not collaborative, 
> shared or trustable. _must_ be trustable as a collaboration 
> facilitator, and not the "first come, first serve, what's the will of the 
> hegemony" political pot it has become. we had the opportunity in this last 
> year or two to move beyond that, but as is becoming more and more apparent, 
> it's not going to happen.

Revision 0.3 of the notification spec has been written in September
2004. That's almost five years ago. And there are now several working
implementations of this spec. I think we should let go on this, while
loudly stating that this should be an exception and is not the accepted
way future org.freedesktop interfaces should be allocated.

I was not involved when this spec was created, but I find it plausible
that the authors had nothing wrong in mind when they created it. Rather
the opposite: I can imagine them thinking, "let's create a notification
spec others could use". While you can see from reading the spec they
were GTK+ developers (the image format is a direct dump of the GdkPixbuf
structure), no GTK or GLib specific code has been enforced in it.

> Aurelien: i know this is not a situation you created and you are simply trying 
> to make good things happen for the user. i respect that and appreciate your 
> efforts. i mean: patches, who can ask for anything more, right? it sucks that 
> you get to stand in the middle of it at the moment, and i certainly do not 
> think you are responsible in the least for this situation. ... just so that's 
> clear :)

Hehe, thanks for this :)


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