unified notifications in xubuntu

Simon Steinbeiß simon.steinbeiss at elfenbeinturm.at
Tue Apr 21 00:43:58 BST 2009


hi everyone,
since xubuntu jaunty includes xfce4-notifyd and makes notifications (for the first time
since i've been using xubuntu) visually appealing i wanted to bring up the issue of
unifiying the notifications in xubuntu (i assume we're talking karmic here).
so, the point i'm trying to make is quite simple. imho xubuntu should display *all*
notifications using the same daemon (i would assume this will be xfce4-notifyd not
notify-osd for now, but that's a different discussion anyway). for now there are
different problems with this on different levels.

there are (of what i can think of now):
a) functions that have to implemented to use xfce4-notifyd by default (like *some*
multimedia keys, brightness etc)
b) xubuntu's default applications that need to be (and can be) modified to use
notifications in a sensible manner
c) third-party applications that can be modified to use xfce4-notifyd (like skype)

for now i have been privately working around these issues.
regarding the volume-changes i have written a short script
(http://pastebin.com/m5319cb2d) that handles my audio volume and gives me notify-send
output using the icons included in xubuntu's standard icon theme
(gnome-brave/scalable/notifications). i'm doing the same for gmusicbrowser and
claws-mail (agreed, both not xubuntu-standard, but still apps one can easily modify and
that could - or should? - be standard).
i mentioned skype as a third-party app because i figured out how to send its
notifications through notify-send (e.g. setting in skype's options -> notifications ->
advanced view -> execute the following script: "notify-send "%sname:" "%smessage" -i
skype-chat"; this obviously implies you have some icon named "skype-chat").

so with all the modifications i have made to my system (xubuntu jaunty) i have quite a
unified notifications experience (and i assume my friends, whom i support with their
linux-usage will enjoy the same) and i think this would be quite worth pursuing.

i'm very aware that my "solutions" are not applicable in this manner to xubuntu, as they
involve *dirty* scripting. but maybe this can be a nice starting point for a discussion
about something ubuntu tried to implement with jaunty (difficult to judge for me now
whether they succeeded).

anyways thanks for your attention,
simon



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