The MessagingMenu was added to the panel in the Jaunty release cycle. It has gotten a whole heap of reviews and community comments which have resulted in many ideas for its evolution. This spec is to track that evolution in Karmic.

Release Note

  • Messaging menu updated with new applications and the ability to show and activate applications that are not currently running.


Issues in v1

  • Used 'Get' to find indicators (auth.log errors)
    • Fixed in trunk to use DBus introspection -- slower, but more 'correct'
  • API too narrow -- required apps to 'lie' to MI in order to get an effect
    • See below
  • Code quality, no real test suite.
    • Partially fixed in trunk
    • dbus-test-runner
  • E-mail and instant message are treated as the same priority
  • Application support limited need:
    • Thunderbird
    • xchat-gnome
  • Evolution plug-in issues:
    • Can't go right to the messages that are interesting
    • Perhaps go to unread messages in the inbox if you select the inbox
  • No C# bindings for C# applications
  • No information on when the item appeared on the menu. For example: I just got a notification, where is it? Results in an increased search time.

v2 properties

  • New props:
    • label -- Text shown in the menu item. Typically this should be the person sending the message or the mailbox. May contain a count.

    • icon -- The icon shown in the menu item. Typically this should be the user icon of the person sending the message.

    • time -- The time that is associated with this time. This should be the most recent message or the time the IM was sent. If a time is not provided, the time will be assumed to be the time the indicator was sent.

    • display_time -- Controls whether or not the time is displayed in the right hand column of the menu.

    • draw_attention -- This item should signal the user that it has been placed in the menu. Currently this is "show the green dot."

    • count -- Number of entries of a particular topic. Should be an integer that by default is zero and not shown. Only non-zero counts are shown.

  • No more than 7 items should be shown for any application.
    • Should it be dynamic? Perhaps there are differing constraints that make sense
    • Does this lead to a fuzzy spec?
  • Migration would include using the "subtype" to migrate the old properties to the new properties.

v2 Features

  • Visibility of applications not running
    • Allow applications to put desktop file in somewhere (/etc/indicators/messaging ?)
    • Desktop files would provide "On" and "Off" strings (e.g. "Start monitoring Instant Messages" to "Show Buddy List")
    • Provides a more central place for messaging
  • Clean up the APIs and make it so there are less "magic numbers" -- important for other folks looking at

v2 Issues

  • Launching Applications:
    • Every application thinks they're important, which ones should we include?
    • Users should be able to block
    • Does this include an unwieldy preference dialog that isn't truly useful for most users?
    • How do users control the entries in the menu?
  • No other issues, everyone thinks everything is perfect.

Test/Demo Plan

  • Future work

Unresolved issues

  • How applications should specify they appear in the Messaging Menu
  • How this should be integrated with the packaging


MessagingMenu/UDSKarmic (last edited 2009-06-26 05:06:00 by pool-71-96-223-196)