Update: fixed a minor glitch in the how-to, added a troubleshooting section.
Update2: added new dependency to the instructions. Also note that to update your existing version you need to go into its directory, type “bzr pull”, sudo apt-get install libwnck-dev, and recompile.
Since the tutorial got some minor detail wrong, I am going post a better version here and take the chance to comment a little bit the new notification system.
Will this mess the system ?
No way, what you’re going to do will just download the source code and start it in place of the existing notification system. Interrupting the program with Ctrl+C, kill, or system restart will bring your beloved old notification system back.
How to install it ?
cd ~ sudo apt-get install bzr gnome-common automake libwnck-dev bzr branch lp:notify-osd cd notify-osd ./autogen.sh make
Now you can start it:
killall notification-daemon ; /home/[username]/notify-osd/src/notify-osd
..where [username] is your username.
You can interrupt the new notifications system by hitting ctrl+C. That will automatically bring back the old ones.
[the full credit of this tutorial goes to Alex]
If anyone of you figures out a tutorial to make them working on non-debian distributions, let me know, I’ll publish it or link it from here happily.
How to test it ?
A test script is included, which will show a bunch of fake notifications. To test it, open a new terminal window and type:
Now a the test notifications should show. On the right upper corner of the window.
How to make it default ?
A simple way may be:
Then paste there this:
#!/bin/bash killall notification-daemon ; /home/[username]/notify-osd/src/notify-osd
Then save, exit from gedit and..
chmod +x ~/.new-notifications.sh
Then go in System->Preferences->Sessions and add a new item with /home/[username]/.new-notifications.sh as the launching command.
UPDATE: further troubleshooting
Thanks for everyone’s signalations. If you still experience issues, try the following:
- If you’re running a non-Gnome environment (such as KDE), and the thing doesn’t compile, you may need additional dependencies. Try:
sudo apt-get install gnome-common automake libdbus-glib-1-dev libgtk2.0-0 libgtk2.0-dev libgtk2.0-common libgconf2-dev libx11-dev libnotify-dev libnotify1 libnotify-bin
- If you run the program from terminal and you see assertion coming up complaining about icons try this tip from MadsRH.
- If some notification come out as an alert-box instead of a notification, it probably means it’s a notification that requires user interaction. Those will come as messagebox. That’s a design choice from canonical.So not a bug, a feature (?!?).
My test and thoughts:
I tried the new notifications using a little python script I developed time ago, which uses libnotify to notify the user about available text snippets to replace what he’s currently typing.
It worked without any change, and quite nicely, I say:
The result is pretty nice. One difference you hardly notice in this pictures, is the position of the dialog box. While my script asks libnotify do display the notification in the right bottom corner of the screen, the new notifications completely ignore that setting.
The second test I did is try changing sound volume, but Gnome kept using the usual way to notify me of the change.
The third test I did is activating the notifications on Banshee.
The results leave much to be desidered. The new notifications don’t support action buttons in the bubbles by choice. That’s not bad, but instead of suppressing the buttons they just fallback to normal dialogs.
Plainly said, this sucks. In such cases you’ll get a foreground message box while you’re typing:
Further more, if you don’t close manually all those dialogs, they won’t time out as the old libnotify bubbles:
Needless to say, I find this choice quite obnoxious. They should have fell back to old notifications, or find some kind of trick (right button or something else) to manage the action bubbles.
This is just going to put pressure on upstreams for nothing, and make ubuntu packages more patchy than ever.
I won’t discuss the choice of not supporting user interaction on the bubbles, but the workaround is sucky at the least.
Is this gonna change radically the way users interact with the desktop ? No. It’s just a small step, and surely not the most needed right now. Just a testing the ground one, as in “Hello upstreams, I’m Canonical, you don’t mind if I mess with your stuff, right ?“. A clever move, from a certain point of view, I say.
As for me, I am going to leave the new notifications as default, since I don’t really use any software that implements the action bubbles and/or doesn’t allow disabling. But if I find any, that will wipe out the new style bubbles in a second.
Need some more desktop eye candy ?
- Hide gnome panel to get the most
- Get a snow-white theme
- Get a MacOSX like bar with docky
- Hide/Show desktop’s icons with a click
.. or maybe Ear Candy ?