Comments on Tray Icon spec improvements

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at
Mon Mar 2 06:01:04 PST 2009

Hash: SHA1

Gustavo Sverzut Barbieri wrote on 02/03/09 10:59:
> On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 9:16 AM, Vincent Untz <vuntz at> wrote:
> Out of curiosity, since we have libnotify and now the ubuntu
> extension, is the message stuff still required/useful?

The Ubuntu notification module (Notify OSD) does not extend libnotify in
any way relevant to the system tray.

libnotify lets an application request a bubble pointing at a particular
widget -- such as a panel icon -- and translates that into the Desktop
Notification Specification's "x" and "y" coordinate hints. But because
of this translation, if the panel or other items inside it appear or
disappear while the bubble is open, the bubble unavoidably ends up
pointing at the wrong thing. And if two bubbles point at panel icons at
the same time, they often end up overlapping each other. Notify OSD
avoids this problem, as allowed by the spec, by ignoring the "x" and "y"

If pointing notifications at panel icons was a good idea at all,
specifying it in the system tray spec might be a more robust method,
because the panel could keep track of whether an icon had moved and move
its balloon accordingly.

However, Canonical's POV is that pointing a message at (or otherwise
associating it with) a tiny icon in a panel is not a polite way of
notifying people of things, regardless of what spec it's using.

- --
Matthew Paul Thomas
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