Geary status and notifications (desktop integration)

After some discussion with Canonical and GNOME folks at GUADEC 2012, we have tentatively decided to proceed with the following plan to integrate Geary status and mail notifications with Unity and the GNOME Shell.

Geary defines a "new message" as it's defined by this Ubuntu Messaging Menu entry. Specifically, a new message is only new if it's in the Inbox; we have no current plans for notifying of new messages in other folders (which may occur with server filtering).

Both shells

  • Geary will use libnotify to give the user popup notifications of new mail. If it's a single mail message, the user will get details of the sender, subject, and their avatar (if available). Otherwise, the notification will be a summary of how many new messages have been received. This has been completed with bug #714173 (commit:2c0a2106).

  • In addition to the "new message" definition above, Geary will clear its count of new messages when the user (a) gives Geary focus, (b) views the Inbox, and (c) scrolls the conversation list to the top (where new messages would typically be displayed, although that's not guaranteed depending on their Date: field). No notification bubble will appear indicating the messages are no longer new (obviously) but any displayed counters in the HUD will be cleared. This is ticketed in bug #714365.

  • Geary will not display a notification bubble if (a) Geary has focus, (b) the user is viewing the Inbox, and (c) the conversation list is scrolled to the top (where new messages are displayed, but see above proviso). This is ticketed in bug #714404.


  • Geary will contact the messaging menu to notify it of new messages only. This is ticketed in bug #714378.

  • It will also set the flag that this notification is important (i.e. set the icon blue to call for the user’s attention). This is also ticketed in bug #714378.

  • Geary will use some scheme (probably a ./configure switch) to compile against libindicate for Precise and libmessagingmenu for Quantal. This is ticketed in bug #714403.

  • For the launcher, Geary will display new messages as an emblem/badge over its icon. We agreed this made more sense than display the total number of unread messages in the Inbox, as the different numbers in the messaging menu and the launcher may cause confusion for the user. This is also ticketed for bug #714379.


  • GNOME Shell has only one notification system, which we implemented in bug #714173 (commit:2c0a2106).

  • It's possible that future work on the shell will include support for badges/emblems over the application icon. As above, we plan on displaying the number of unread messages.

Apps/Geary/StatusAndNotifications (last edited 2013-11-22 23:14:14 by CharlesLindsay)