"(dash)-ing applet is an idea for a background activity applet similar to the notification area that

  • more than one application can use."

Possible uses

The idea is that any application that begins a background activity which, by definition, continues to run in the background while the user goes on with other things should show this information via the (dash)-ing applet and hide any window it may have rather than leave windows cluttered in the window task pane. Alternatively, some background activities may not have any representation on the desktop at the moment and -ing would give them some method of control.

Some possible uses:

  • playing (a song/music playlist)
  • compiling
  • rendering
  • downloading (browser download or BitTorrent download)

  • sharing
  • transcoding (a video)
  • ripping
  • updating (package updates)
  • printing
  • converting
  • formatting (a disk)
  • mastering (a recording)

As can be seen from the examples the name is inspired from the English present progressive verb tense characterized by verbs ending in -ing.

Some examples

Should make some screenshots using a mockup of what it could look like.

Playing Song Title [ ] Artist/Band 2:03 of 4:23 [Manage] [Backward] [Play] [Pause] [Stop] [Forward]

Compiling [Manage] [Pause/Resume] [Stop]

Rendering [Manage] [Pause/Resume] [Stop]

Downloading [Manage] [Pause/Resume] [Stop]

Sharing [Manage] [Pause] [Stop]

Transcoding [Manage] [Pause] [Stop]

Ripping [Manage] [Pause] [Stop]

Updating [Manage] [Cancel]

How it could work

  • Use a window hint to take the windows out of the Window task pane. Is hiding the window
    • better from a X11 resource point-of-view?
  • The application needs to supply (over d-bus?):
    • a verb inspired description (ie. Playing, Compiling, ...)
    • an icon
    • 1 or more background activities with
      • field descriptions (field=value)
      • progress monitoring. some combination of:
        • count (1 of 12)
        • time (1:10 of 2:48)
        • size (0.9GB of 3.2GB)
    • actions that can be taken on the background activity
  • The background-activity applet will reply with an action signal
    • when a particular action is pressed on a background activity
  • When a background-activity is finished, the background activity applet
    • could flash a message to the notification area to signal that the background activity has been completed.

Open questions

  • Is this a good idea?
  • What kind of icon representation would be appropriate to represent background activity
    • on the panel? And would it work to only have it appear if there is at least 1 background activity?
  • Does it make sense to have background activities like Sharing which are indefinite
    • activities or should they just be activities with finite times?
  • The background activity should continue running even if the application that started it
    • is closed. This may be problematic for some things like the FireFox download window. Ideally the background activity would be a separate process launched from the application that the application can reconnect to if it restarts.

  • If this is a good idea maybe it should be combined with the notification area? Having only 1 icon
    • appear in the notification area and a unified interface for all common background activities would be the main benefit.

Attic/DashingApplet (last edited 2013-11-22 22:51:46 by WilliamJonMcCann)