Status Icon Migration

For GNOME 3.26, we are planning not to show status icons in GNOME Shell by default. This page provides general information about the change, issue tracking and guidelines for application developers.

Background information can also be found in a blog post on the subject.

Issue Tracking

This section is intended to track any issues that might result from status icons not being displayed.

Application

Status icon usage

Status

Cryptkeeper

Simple applet for adding/removing/mounting/unmounting ErcFS filesystems.

It's an applet only so requires a status icon to do anything.

Deluge

Status icon shown by default. Left click minimizes and restores the app from the tray. Right click shows a menu with actions. Closing the app window quits rather than running in the background.

The app can only be minimized to the tray from the status icon, so no major issue using it without status icons.

Dropbox

Status icon shows when syncing, provides the only access to settings and quit.

Application can be used without the status icon. However, the status icon is the only way to quit and access settings. The aim is to use libcloudprovider for GNOME 3.28.

firewall-applet

Shows status of firewall and zone changes. Provides quick access to emergency switches.

It's an applet which provides functionality that's already provided by firewall-config.

GEncfsM Manager

Manager for EncFS filesystems. From the screenshots, it looks like the status icon menu allows quickly mounting/unmounting filesystems.

It looks as though anything that can be done through the status icon can also be done through the app window. The app allows the status icon to be enabled/disabled.

Google Music Manager

Status icon is the primary UI for the app. Status icon menu shows upload/download status, provides access to the app window, help, quit, pause.

Google Play Music for Chrome seems to be recommended instead of Google Music Manager. Main window is raised when the app is launched and allows controlling all functionality - so the app can be used without a status icon.

HexChat

Icon blinks to notify for various events. Menu includes preferences and quit.

Status icon can be disabled from the settings but appears to be on by default. When the window is closed an option to minimize to tray is offered, even if the status icon is disabled (issue). When minimized launching the app launches an additional instance (this is a bug).

ownCloud/Nextcloud desktop client

Status icon shown by default and indicates sync status. App continues running after its window has been closed and the status icon is the only way to quit.

Standard behavior is fine without the status icon, since the window can be accessed via the launcher. Integration via libcloudprovider is also planned for GNOME 3.26, and this should provide access to the window. However, there is a downstream issue in Fedora (ownCloud bug, Nextcloud bug).

Pidgin

Status icon shown by default. Shows chat status, messages. Menu provides access to a range of actions. The app continues to run after its windows are closed, and the icon shows that it's running.

The app window is always raised when it's launched and clicking on a notification also raises it, so there's no major impediment without a status icon.

Redshift

Status icon shows whether the app is active, allows it to be turned on/off, quit, and various other things.

The app itself doesn't have a window, and the status icon provides the only controls. However, GNOME has a built-in Night Light feature now.

Remmina

From the screenshots, it looks like the status icon is primarily there for the menu only.

All functionality can be accessed from the app window, so changes shouldn't be required.

Revolt

Icon indicates when you have missed messages (it even flashes). Left-click shows the window. Menu on right-click. The app exits when its window is closed - there's no run in the background behaviour.

The only thing you miss is the extra reminder of unread messages. Old issue about not using a status icon.

Rocket.Chat

Virtually the same as Slack.

Same as Slack.

Seafile desktop client

Status icon shows when syncing, connection status to the server(s), provides the only access to settings, quit and other options.

App does have a main window that is shown when it is launched. Unclear whether you can get to some of the options from the main window though.

setroubleshoot

Notifications tell you to click the status icon. Clicking the icon raises the window. The utility of the window itself is dubious though.

The experience isn't great without a status icon, but it's not great with it either. We should at least make sure that notifications don't refer to status icons though (issue).

Shutter

Status icon provides access to a menu for quick access to actions.

The app window is shown every time it is launched and provides access to all functionality. There's also an option not to show the status icon when the main window is closed.

Skype

Status icon is shown by default. Shows chat status, missed chats/calls. Menu allows status to be changed, raise the window, quit the app. The app continues to run after its window is closed, and the status icon indicates that it is still running.

The app continues to run after it has been closed, but it can be quit from the app window.

Slack

Status icon is shown by default and indicates missed messages. The app continues to run after its window is closed, and the icon indicates that it is still running. Left click restores the window. Right click shows a minimal menu which includes quit.

App can be used without the status icon.

Steam

App continues to run after the window is closed. Status icon allows the window to be restored. The menu also includes quit.

It is possible to quit the app from its window, so the only thing you lose without the status icon is an indication that it's still running.

Sparkleshare

Status icon is the primary UI for the app - allows viewing status, opening synced folders, opening the recent window, quit.

Not really usable without the status icon. The developer is working on a new UI which will work well - issue.

Telegram

Unclear whether the status icon is shown when using the binary from the Telegram website...

The app window is always raised when it's launched and clicking on a notification also raises it, so there's no major impediment without a status icon (although it would be nice if it used native notifications by default).

Tomboy

Status icon is shown by default. Left-click menu lists recent notes, "Start Here", "Search All Notes", "Notebooks", and "Create New Note". Right click shows a menu of "Preferences", "Help", "About Tomboy", "Quit".

App window is raised when it is launched and you can do everything from there - it's fine to use without a status icon. (Old GNOME bug.)

Transmission

Status icon is off by default, but can be turned on from the app settings. (Old Trac ticket).

Variety

Status icon is purely there to provide access to the menu - it doesn't indicate status at all.

It's not clear how maintained the app is - the integrated VRTY.com service has been shut down and there are broken links on the website. The app seems closely tied to Ubuntu. The app has a preferences window which is shown when the launcher is activated each time. However, the menu provides the only access to next/previous controls, information about the current wallpaper, a wallpaper selector UI, etc.

Vino

Presumably shows a status icon when a remote connection is active.

Lack of status icon is probably an issue for Vino users, but then Vino doesn't work on Wayland. Ideally Vino would have integration with the shell's system status area (see bug 745760), however at this point an alternative solution is probably a higher priority.

Wavebox

The status icon shows the number of new messages and provides a menu with items for composing new messages.

The app window is shown whenever the launcher is activated, and all functionality can be accessed from the window.

Wire

Status icon provides a way to restore the window when it has been closed. Both left and right click display a menu with only two items - "Open Wire" and "Quit".

If you launch the app when it is running and the window has been closed, nothing happens - the only way to restore the window is through the status icon. The Linux version seems a bit unstable so it might be worth testing this behaviour on other platforms.

xchat

Status icon is configurable from the application preferences and is off by default. Icon shows notifications. Left click minimizes and restores the app to the tray. Right click shows a menu with a few options and quit.

When the app window is closed it simply quits rather than running in the background, so there's no major issue using it without status icons. Bug requesting that tray options be hidden/removed.

The old Message Tray compatibility page contains a more extensive but also outdated list of applications and issues.

Comments

Initiatives/StatusIconMigration (last edited 2017-09-20 14:17:18 by AllanDay)