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Notify-osd in Karmic
Proposal to change the default notification server to notify-osd in Karmic and adapt a few applications
Launchpad entry: xubuntu-karmic-notify-osd
Release target: Karmic
Field of the spec: 'Desktop Experience'
The purpose is to replace notification-daemon by notify-osd as a notification server for Karmic, and to ensure the Xubuntu applications are compliant with notify-osd.
Now using notify-osd for notifications. Improved compatibility of the Xubuntu applications with notify-osd, and improved volume / battery state notifications.
- notification-daemon doesn't support transparency and synchronous notifications, it lets app developers add actions to notifications and set no-timeout notifications, which I think to be an heresy
- notify-osd completely separates the content of the notifications from their rendering, making it easier to have unified (and æsthetical) notifications
- notify-osd is maintained upstream by Canonical
- Alice is bored of notifications using actions and no-timeout to force her to click on them, because of their tiny close button.
- Bob is flooded by notifications, and the whole right side of his screen can't be used because notifications stack.
- Charles would like his battery state / volume / brightness / keyboard brightness notifications to all have an unified look.
- And so on... what benefits to Ubuntu should also benefit to Xubuntu.
Done : Replacement of notification-daemon by notify-osd
- Fix of a few bugs (lack of server caps checking) in XFCE apps
Done : Implementation of a daemon for volume notifications
- Improvement of battery state notifications
Notes on the implementation
Inclusion of notify-osd
Status : done, bug fixes needed Notify-Osd is now used by default, but there are some issues to be fixed, see below.
Xfce4-Volumed does two things :
- make the XF86AudioRaiseVolume, XF86AudioLowerVolume and XF86AudioMute keys work out of the box if there is a sound card
- show synchronous volume notifications if there is Notify-Osd
It also uses new xfconf keys that can be used by the mixer and panel plugin for choosing which track's volume should be controlled. The necessary changes to the mixer still have to be done, though (probably by Jannis).
The daemon weights 2.8MB on a 64bit swapless install, mostly Gstreamer. It is apparently free of memory leaks.
Battery state notifications
Status : done The original idea is to use the different icons as a way to indicate the current remaining power percentage, and put minimalistic text info in the bubble to avoid the current mess (as below).
The changes to do have been documented in Ayatana and a draft is available here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkdaiXXcv8w
The first step, getting icons included in NotifyOsd, is done. Gnome Power Manager upstream implemented my draft, and it should land in Ubuntu + GNOME. Since we switched to Xfce4 Power Manager, I had to make sure it uses notify-osd and our notification icons correctly, which is now the case. Xfce4 Power Manager doesn't implement the Battery Status keyboard shortcut yet, this is something we need to do for Karmic +1.
Extra maintenance work after the spec
It may be merged in the mixer for XFCE 4.8, so probably nothing to do.
Battery state notifications
A little patch to maintain.
Issues that need solving
Upstream (notify-osd: Canonical)
Done: Notifications popup even with fullscreen apps (being worked on) (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/notify-osd/+bug/372789)
Done:Notifications lack icons if the icon theme doesn't inherit Human (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/notify-osd/+bug/360083)
In progress:Notifications usability issues due to lack of theming support (https://bugs.launchpad.net/notify-osd/+bug/331949)
By the Xubuntu team
Done:thunar-volman sends notifications a non-proper way (http://bugzilla.xfce.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5408)
thunar-volman feature request for notifications when mounting devices, instead of opening apps (http://bugzilla.xfce.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5273). Comments appreciated on this
By the developer implementing the spec
- None yet