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Notification Changes For Karmic Koala

Jaunty’s sexy new notifications are loved by some and hated by others but nonetheless will continue to be part of Ubuntu for the foreseeable future.

Mark Shuttleworth (Ubuntu founder) kicked off a discussion on the Ayatana mailinglist on how to improve the little application alerts for the next Ubuntu release due in October. 

A preliminary blueprint has been published detailing the plan for the next version of the notifications. The key areas that developers are looking at improving over the next six months are: -

* experimenting with better positioning for the notification bubbles
* improving the appearance and behavior (making composited bubbles more obviously unclickable, and non-composited bubbles classier)
* implementing the duration rules, so that notifications with longer text are shown for longer
* better handling of long backlogs of notifications
* investigating whether we can use non-critical priorities for anything useful
* helping to get the FreeDesktop.org notifications specification to 1.0
* a Qt implementation
* investigating a “do-not-disturb” mode
* accessibility, e.g. sound theme compliance and maybe alt text for icons
* media key confirmation bubbles (Play, Pause, Previous, Next)
* suppressing bubbles when any window is full-screen
* a test suite for the rendering layer.

Sounds pretty sweet to me!

I like the idea of being able to position notifications in other places. Growl on OS X lets you do this and i always choose to have my alerts appear at the bottom. No rational justification, just i like them there! Likewise the idea of being able to enter a ‘do not disturb’ mode to quiten any the popups would be a good step; when viewing a video fullscreen, i can always tell if an alert is being displayed in the background because the screen will flicker – being able to queue or cancel notifications during moments where i wouldn’t see them anyway would be welcome.

What do you think? What features would you like to see implimented in the notification framework? Let me know below (and be sure to join the mailing list above to let the developers know too!)