Re: Notification Area and applets

Sean Middleditch wrote:

I think this would be great.  Granted, I hate almost all applets and
plug status docklets every chance I get, but... it's for a good reason. ~,^ notification area makes much much more sense for applets that don't
really "extend" or interact with the panel directly (i.e., just about
everything that isn't adding a missing feature).

/me wonders how much hate mail he'll get for making this comment, again
From my understanding, the way to decide whether something should be a status docklet or applet is to think about who should be in control.

If you want the control to be a permanent fixture on the panel, with its lifecycle controlled by the panel (ie. it starts with the panel, and closes with the panel), then an applet is the right choice. The panel clock is an example of this.

If the control is associated with another app, and its functionality only makes sense while the app is running, then it should probably be a status docklet. Examples of this would be a new mail notification icon for evolution or mozilla, or an icon for an IM program, etc. These controls are created when the application starts, and removed when the application exits. The lifecycle of the application that created the status docklet is not related to the panel (in fact, for most uses of docklets, the app will run fine if there is no status dock to display the docklet).

In gnome-1.4, there were some applications that created applets, and this caused lifecycle problems. For example, xchat had a way to create an applet (from memory, it couldbe used to get notification of new messages, and use it to open new windows). If you right clicked on the applet and chose the "remove from panel" menu item, it would kill your xchat session with it. If you left xchat open when logging out, the panel would try and start the xchat. This behaviour was clearly not what the user would expect: the lifecycle of the applet should have been controlled by the application rather than the panel.

At least, this is my understanding of the distinction :)


Email: james daa com au              |
WWW: | Jan 22-25 Perth, Western Australia.

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