It is unclear what sort of unread message is being indicated

Bug #1243240 reported by Avi Greenbury on 2013-10-22
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
indicator-messages (Ubuntu)
Matthew Paul Thomas

Bug Description

The envelope in my top bar thingy is grey when I have no unread messages and blue when I have some unread messages. There's no apparent way to discern between unread email messages and unread jabber messages without clicking on it and looking at the drop-down. There is also no apparent way to split these up into more than one indicator.

Even if we assume that this must also work on incredibly narrow monitors, there are surely enough monitors wide enough to accept more than one of these indicators that it would be worth having the option of doing so?

This is true of at least 13.04 and 13.10. Attached is a screenshot, showing either unread emails, unread IMs or both.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 13.10
Package: indicator-messages 13.10.1+13.10.20131011-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.11.0-12.19-generic 3.11.3
Uname: Linux 3.11.0-12-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.12.5-0ubuntu2
Architecture: amd64
Date: Tue Oct 22 15:34:47 2013
EcryptfsInUse: Yes
InstallationDate: Installed on 2013-10-21 (1 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 13.04 "Raring Ringtail" - Release amd64 (20130424)
MarkForUpload: True
SourcePackage: indicator-messages
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to saucy on 2013-10-21 (1 days ago)

Avi Greenbury (bigreds) wrote :
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in indicator-messages (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Lars Karlitski (larsu) wrote :

Thanks for reporting this bug. I don't think having a separate indicator for each application is something we want. It clutters the panel with colored icons and would lead to lots of menus with very few items.

Note that bug #906043 is similar to this one. It's about making it more obvious which application requested attention after opening the menu.

Changed in indicator-messages (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt)
status: Confirmed → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Avi Greenbury (bigreds) wrote :

Thanks; I don't think separate indicators are necessarily the right solution, but having one icon for all sorts of messages is unworkable for me; I respond differently to IMs than I do emails. I'm also not advocating this be a default, but it might be nice to configure it to have one icon per member of the menu, for example.

While noting that bug #906043 is similar, I don't think these share solutions - the bulk of the problem I have is that I need to open the menu to find out what the icon means, which I don't think should be necessary.

Avi Greenbury (bigreds) wrote :

A workaround is to use Empathy rather than Pidgin (which is now the default anyway) and to not autohide the thingy on the left with the icons in it. I then get an icon for each messaging app there, along with a number of unread emails.

That does cost more screen than the top bar does, though, and since I can't have the top one hiding I'd much rather put stuff there than give away more screen space to different bars.

Assuming, though, that the 'proper' way to do this is to have the bar at the top containing things that look like indicators but that are actually buttons for menus, and the bar on the left containing icons that are also indicators, I'm guessing this workaround from your perspective is less a bodge and more how i'm expected to be using this?

Lars Karlitski (larsu) wrote :

> [...] I'm guessing this workaround from your perspective is less a bodge and more how i'm expected to be using this?

I would say so, yes.

If having the messaging menu in addition bothers you, you can hide it by disabling it in every application that uses it right now.

Changed in indicator-messages (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Confirmed
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