Re: GNOME 2.26 module inclusion discussion heats up

On Mon, 2009-01-12 at 14:21 +0000, Bastien Nocera wrote:
> The answer to your question is that a microphone icon will show up in
> the notification area when an application uses it, and only for that
> microphone. So you don't need 2 applets to change the volume for your
> webcam's microphone and the system microphone separately.

The problem with this is that while both systray icons and applets both
do suck, the systray is a much less useful place to put this kind of

For starters, the icon can appear in a new place every time it is
displayed, making it hard to quickly mouse to. This is made worse by the
shear number of icons now starting to show up. I usually have anywhere
from 7 to 10 at the moment.

If an app only opens a stream when it needs do, then the sound icon(s)
will be showing up and disappearing all the time. If a long running app
opens a stream as soon as it starts, you'll get the sound icon(s)
showing up most of the time, making the proliferation of tray icons
worse. Both make the problem above worse.

Being able to adjust the volume before starting to play/talk is very
useful. If an app works such that it causes the volume/mic icon to
appear as soon as it opens, this becomes possible, but only by accident
and again at the cost of icon proliferation.

So it seems like when using a tray icon for volume and mic levels, you
either have them showing up and disappearing quite a lot, possibly
changing position as other icons come and go, and not really being able
to change levels in advance. This is pretty sucky for the user. Else the
icon is usually always present if your long running app keeps a stream
open, so you may as well us an applet.

Worse, this all depends on application behaviour, so whether or not you
have a visible volume icon depends on what apps are running, which
version of the apps are installed (their behaviour might change between
releases) and what state they are in (epy playing a flash video or not).
All of which is completely non-obvious to a user.

Applets suck, gnome-shell might be fixing this, but please don't make
using audio suck even more in the mean time.


⎊ Michael Gratton. "Mea navis aëricumbens anguillis abundat."
⎈ <>

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