Comment 340 for bug 332945


I believe there that main use of the notification area is to keep "minimized applications" that may allow some kind of interaction without opening a full blown window: a media player that allows you to skip the current music or pause, network manager that allow you to turn off the network, bring up an interface or change the wi-fi spot, and so on. In this sense the name "notification area" is not really good. In your reasoning you forgot this use of the application area, and in my current system all applications I have there allow me to take such simple actions directly from the embed icons.

However notifications are not something that you want interact with. They are just something that you should be aware of. However, some notifications are necessarily transient (the screen brightness was changed to save energy, or the network is up). They can be shown using the new, and beautiful, notification bubbles. Other notifications may be queued to dispatch further action (such as reading emails, reading RSS feeds, or updating the system). In this case the action is simple: open the full blown application. For emails, open the MUA window, for RSS feeds open liferea (or you preferred feed reader), for IM messages open the chat application, for upgrades open update-manager. You should keep such notifications somewhere, in this case I believe the right place is the indicator-applet, that allow you to see them and quickly open the right application.

I do believe that the icon for the indicator-applet should change from the envelope to something more neutral (like the i letter in the official icon). It would also be nice to have different icons for different cases (for example no notification in the queue, some notifications in the queue, and urgent notifications - like system upgrades - in the queue).