Status Icon Migration FAQ

Frequently asked questions about status icon support in GNOME 3.26 and later.

What are status icons?

These are the small icons that are shown by some applications. In GNOME 3.24 they are displayed in the bottom-left of the screen. Status icons are sometimes known as the system tray or notification area.

What is changing exactly?

GNOME 3.26 will no longer display status icons by default. However, it will still be possible to view these icons by installing the TopIcons GNOME Shell extension.

When will this change appear in distributions?

The change will appear in GNOME 3.26, which is scheduled for release in September 2017. It is recommended to check your distribution's release schedule to find out when this GNOME version will be included and what level of status icon support they plan to provide.

Is there a migration plan for application developers?

In many cases, applications don't need to do anything differently, so they don't need to take any steps to migrate. For those cases where some migration is required, the guidelines provide simple steps for application developers. We are also tracking which applications might have issues and are working directly with their developers.

Are the solutions you propose available for any Linux desktop?

While application developers can choose to show status icons and these will show up on other desktops, our recommendations will work on any desktop. This includes cases where the application chooses to continue to use a status icons or our preferred solution, which involves no status icon usage at all.

I'm unable to use one of my applications because I can't see its status icon. What can I do?

We are working hard to ensure that this situation doesn't happen and are sorry that you've found yourself in this situation. As a temporary solution, it is possible to use the GNOME Shell TopIcons extension to view the application's status icon.

We also encourage you to check the migration tracking page to see if your application is included and to let us know if it is missing, so that we can follow up with the application's developer.

I still have apps that use status icons. Are you working on tracking them?

Yes, we are. The tracking page contains details of the applications that we're aware of, and you can follow it to see how the migration is progressing. Please let us know if you are aware of an application that uses a status icon and which isn't covered.

What is your plan to convince application developers who are currently using status icons?

A lot of progress has already been made migrating applications away from status icons - many applications that used to show a status icon no longer do so. One key element to this is to help developers understand how they can design their applications without the need for a status icon. This is something that we are working on, through our guidelines as well as our conversations with application developers.

We'll also be posting some detailed background information on why we think that applications are better off without status icons. We hope that those affected will take the time to read this and consider it with an open mind. However, we also recognise that not everyone will agree with us. This is completely fine and to be expected. Those application developers who are not convinced can continue to provide a status icon. Provided that they follow the guidelines, their users can continue to successfully use their application, whether its status icon is visible or not.

I have a question or feedback, where can I provide it and eventually be included here?

Contact us in irc at at #gnome-design . Feel free to make any questions not answered here to Allan Day or Carlos Soriano.

Initiatives/StatusIconMigration/FAQ (last edited 2017-08-31 20:16:31 by jbicha)