Message Tray Updates

Status: In progress


One of the prominent features of gnome-shell from the beginning was the message tray. To address some of the interaction drawbacks of the existing implementation / design, a few changes have been proposed. These are outlined in GnomeShell/Design/Guidelines/MessageTray.


Marina Zhurakhinskaya

Involved Parties

Ana Risteska (Outreach Program for Women intern)

Affected modules: gnome-shell

Current Status

Some patches are starting to land.

The planned changes are being tracked in following bugs:

  • (./) 677210 Don't show the message tray background when a banner pops up

  • (./) 677215 Trigger the tray with downward pressure, not hot corner

  • (./) 677213 Restyle the message tray

  • (./) 677216 Don't time out banners when the user is inactive

  • 657278 Remove chats after all read and inactive for a while

  • (./) 669508 online/away/offline/away/online is too much

  • 652752 don't pop up under the pointer

  • 657277 don't lose messages

  • (./) 679809 Close buttons on expanded notifications and bubbles

Maybe not this cycle:

  • 677217 Separate expanded notifications from the screen edge, queue new notifications beneath them

Ana recently posted an update about improved presence indication.

Most of the improvements are included in the 3.5.90 release.


Most of this feature has now landed. Here are related bugs:

High priority:

First tray item is always selected when opening with super+M, keynav is broken


Focusing the text entry doesn't force expanded chat banners to stay open


Legacy tray items don't have a context menu any more


On-screen keyboard notification doesn't work with new message tray

to do

Lower priority:

Super+M should close the tray as well as open it

to do

Focused window blinks when the pointer moves over a notification


Close buttons on tray bubbles shouldn't remove the message source

to do

Close button positioning - should be lower and to the left


We still don't have a solution for legacy tray icons

to do

Non-square tray items, insufficient horizontal padding


Pointer over notifications is not recognized when moving in sideways


Increase the opacity of the message tray lightbox


Close buttons overlap the screen edge


Make the message tray less prominent in the overview


Message badges need restyling


vmware icon appears to be stretched in new message tray

to do

How to Help

Contact Marina, Ana or Debarshi - or attach patches to any of the above bugs

ThreePointFive/Features/MessageTrayImprovements (last edited 2012-09-18 18:04:09 by MatthiasClasen)