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

Aaron J. Seigo aseigo at
Fri Jun 26 11:16:47 PDT 2009

On Friday 26 June 2009, Christian Hammond wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 3:25 AM, Julien Danjou <julien at> wrote:
> > At 1246007841 time_t, Aaron J. Seigo wrote:
> > > i agree. that's why i started a git repo and working out the details. i
> > > communicated that a few times on this mailing list over the past few
> >
> > months as
> >
> > > well. you can find a link to the git repo both earlier in this thread
> > > as
> >
> > well
> >
> > > as at the end of this email..
> > >
> > > there are 5 personal repository clones of it on at this
> >
> > point.
> >
> > The thing is that starting to spread things over the internet on
> > gitorious, github, git.whatever is really a PITA for people trying to
> > implement spec (as me) to find where they're all. That's why I prefer to
> > use a centralized service so I know that « it's on fd.o, of course. ».
> >
> > For the record, even if it's a little topic, I had no idea until I read
> > this thread why the notification specs where hosted on Galago. So I've
> > started to implement this, believing it was a Freedesktop standard (i.e.,
> > one that was a consensus between all majors desktops), and now I
> > realize that I got fooled.
> It originally was hosted on A drive failure caused us to
> lose our repository and I believe much of our bug tracker, or something.
> It's been a while.. but that's why it's hosted off-site. I didn't trust
> to host it after losing all that data.
> So I know there's been a lot of negative opinions about the Galago project
> and our handling of the spec, but I want to state for the record that at
> the time, there was no attempt at a cross-desktop notification standard
> that went anywhere, and we did try hard to provide one that people were
> mostly in agreement with. You can never satisfy everyone, but we did
> incorporate what we could that people were asking for, tried to work with
> people, and had buy-in from most.

in fairness to reality, i don't think this reflects what really happened. 
telling the story accurately is important if we wish to make working 
solutions. now, input from KDE, who happens to be one of the two primary 
projects in fd.o today and one of the two founding organizations in the first 
place was completely disregarded. 

this has been documented already in this thread with links into the archives 
going back to 2004, and there was traffic last year and this on the topic as 
well. so while i respect that you tried to do good things, we should also 
respect the reality of how it actually went. this is not in the spirit of 
wanting to demonize you personally, but to throw light on the challenges we 
are facing here.

what's interesting to me is that you seem to not be aware of the feedback that 
is quite evidently there. that signals to me that the systems we currently 
have for providing feedback and generating and measuring consensus _does not 

now, i'm sorry you've become the object lesson in all this, but having raised 
this exact set of issues a few times this year alone on this very list and 
having received no interest and no support for the need for proper systems, i 
finally decided to dig in my heels.

if it's any consolation: i dug them in only after paving the way for the 
implementation of the galago spec in knotifyd and plasma. :)

> There was no official spec approval
> process at the time at, but we did make a real attempt
> here.

absolutely; no spec approval (and, i'd add to that: consensus building) 
process was exactly the problem here, isn't it?

> Given how many distros shipped it, how many apps used it and how many
> implementations were out there, I was under the opinion that we did some
> good here, but perhaps not.

i think you did some good. you also made some significant mistakes. it is 
possible to do both at the same time. ;) and i think that both the good and 
not-so-good were aided and abetted by the state of fd.o. there should have 
been effective checks and balances in place so that mistakes and accidents 
were identifiable and then fixable.

this was a systemic failure that requires a systemic response.

> So I'm sorry to everyone who's pissed at us for "screwing everyone over" as
> I believe someone else in this thread put it. Be sure that our intent was
> not to screw anyone over but to provide a good standard that could work as
> a basis for notifications.

intention vs results, i know they often don't align. and in this case, i feel 
that fd.o, with it's lack of structure and process, it's tendency towards 
closed behaviors rather than open participation did not help you in the 

as i said in an earlier email, there is enough shared culpability in fd.o for 
us all to share together. i don't want to point fingers at individuals, i want 
to improve the system with everyone here so that individuals are more likely 
to succeed.

success requires support and openness, and that, had it been part of fd.o 5 
years ago, would have avoided the galago situation from day 1.

> Sure, it's not perfect, but show me any spec
> that got everything right the first time.

nobody is asking for perfection in content, we're asking for openness and 
participation, we're asking for respect of the things we share (e.g. 
org.freedesktop) and we're asking for people to get together and finally fix 
the sorry state of fd.o.

> When we wrote this, there was
> little to base this on and really this is the first time in many years that
> I've seen *anybody* complain about this. 

well, i "complained" about it earlier this year. i "complained" about it last 
year, too. on this list. i wasn't the only one. 

now, when the original input 5 years ago was summarily dismissed, it's not 
surprising that people didn't keep pestering you for year after year on a 
monthly basis. at some point people go, "ok, they don't care about what i have 
to say. screw that, why should i participate at all?" 

the lack of input in years 2-3 (or whatever it was) is not a sign of people 
being complacent or of people not caring, it was a sign of fd.o having died as 
an effective collaboration zone. it was people _disconnecting_ due to the 
behaviours exhibited in year 1 and due to the lack of supporting process here 
in fd.o in general.

people told me i was silly and naive to try to bring this issue to a fruitful 
conclusion. they pointed at the past and said, "see, that's just how they 
work." it's hard to argue with that kind of track record, but i figured what 
it needed is some people to say, "screw it. i don't care if we all fucked up 
in the past. we need to start succeeding in the now."

what we need to do is to find ways to not repeat the past and start building 
trust and value in fd.o again instead of taking it for granted, misusing it 
and watching it circle the drain towards oblivion.

if you feel you tried your best and dislike the results in 2009, as you seem 
to feel, reflect upon it and think about helping fix fd.o. get involved with 
the specs system i proposed, or come up with another idea that we can 
entertain. but get involved. fix it. make sure nobody needs to write the email 
you just wrote to this list again.

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

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 197 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part.
Url : 

More information about the xdg mailing list