Comment 179 for bug 332945

Having read the whole thread I am adding my voice to do this. I believe that the decision to remove the notification icon was a mistake. Here are my arguments.

1) System tray is a guarantee of authenticity
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If you're trying to solve bug #1, then you should pay attention to the fact that Windows users expect system notifications to come from the system tray----not some window that is in their user stack and is decorated the same way as their users windows. In fact, Windows users have come to distrust such windows.

Believe it or not, even the "It Just Works" user attaches a degree of flakiness to windows that automatically open. This is why there are pop-up blockers in every single web browser. For whatever reason, users, not just power users but "It Just Works" users too, consider pop-ups are a bad thing (TM). Many now almost instinctively close windows they did not specifically request to be opened. I am talking about Windows users here---Mac users are probably used to the Software Update automatic pop-up. And I don't think the self-minimizing window fully addresses this point.

This is not to say that users are idiots and won't understand the Ubuntu system, which is more like Mac OS. But if you're trying to draw users away from Windows, the system tray as an authoritative source of updates is one thing that they have down.

2) Lack of persistence.
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Under the new system, if I cannot update right away, and the window disappears for whatever reason---I click on "X" to make it go away without reading it, or I have to reboot---then I have to wait to apply the updates. I would say that especially if there is a critical security flaw, the system ought to have a way to persistently communicate the immediate availability of a fix to the user. The old notification icon did that, but the new system does not allow for persistence in the same way.

3) Futility
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I understand the desire to lead by example. But looking at my notification area right now, all I see is network manager and my "battery is charging" notifier. No crowding---just useful notifications that ought to be there.

The real crowding problem is from user apps, not the system---amaroK, the old transmission, whatever else---that abuse the notification area. Are you going to block all those applications from using the area? I didn't think so. The end result is that the notification area's crowdedness will vary depending on the applications a user chooses.

So your solution is to effectively ditch the notification area---since so many applications *might* be using it, then I'll just give up on it altogether. First of all, how do you know this is not a power user problem? My suspicion would be that the "It Just Works" user doesn't have that many icons in the area. Second, why throw out the baby with the bathwater? Literally the most useful icon the area---the one that tells me if there is an *immedate fix* to something that could break my computer---is now gone.

4) Choose your battles
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We all have gotten used to the update icon. We look for it, we use it, we rely on it.

Yes, change is necessary. Yes, change is hard on the existing user base. But you have limited capital here. Too many changes, and you will alienate too many users. You have to pick which battles to fight. Is this one really so important that *this* is where you wish to expend so much capital, in the face of so much resistance from you base? How about something different, like a global hotkey system that actually works?