This page is mostly for an analysis of what status icons are used for.
Details of status icon usage and recommendations for app developers can be found on the status icon migration page.
Types of Status Icon Use
- Minimise to tray/run in the background. Status icons are used almost exclusively to enable applications to run in the background (meaning that they are running without having an open window or being present in a window list or dock). Some applications that use status icons also add themselves to the startup applications list (eg. Sparkleshare, Dropbox), so that they are always running in the background.
- Permanent status information. The status icon provides a way for a user to see the status of the application. Messaging applications use them to show the users chat status. Sync apps show whether they are actively syncing or not.
- Access to application actions. Status icons typically allow an app to present a menu of actions/options that can be accessed at any time.
- Primary application UI. For those applications that are primarily Nautilus extensions, the status icon provides the primary UI for the app. The Sparkleshare and Dropbox application launchers don't raise a window, but instead start the background service. The only way to interact with these applications is through Nautilus or the status icon.