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I use several applications with non-appindicator indicators. This means the UI for them is inconsistent (on Ubuntu at least, if not elsewhere). I'd like to suggest they switch to using application indicators in a friendly, helpful way. What would do the trick?

Please add new answers below or add comments, especially regarding anything anything incorrect or missing. (Would it make more sense for this be a community wiki?)

A lot of this content came from an AU answer. How do I credit it properly?

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2 Answers

Thanks for going to the effort of asking developers to make their applications work better with Ubuntu!

Application indicators work not just “starting with Ubuntu 11.04”, but starting with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

I suggest not referring to “the Ayatana design team” — developers are unlikely to know what that is, and it isn’t relevant to your point. Just say “Ubuntu”.

If a program has a “system tray indicator”, then it’s already doing the right thing and you’re using Gnome 2. I think you mean “notification area item”.

“with application indicators they can be addressed” … Well, are they? This could be much shorter if you just said “More accessible — works better with screenreaders”, or something like that.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DesktopExperienceTeam/ApplicationIndicators includes a lot of information that is interesting only to developers of Ubuntu itself. I suggest leaving it out, especially since it’s already linked to from the unity.ubuntu.com page anyway. And the “What do I need to tell a developer” page doesn’t contain relevant information (and reads more like campaign organization than documentation), so you could leave that out too.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I currently have [YourAppName] installed on Ubuntu [version]. Starting with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, Ubuntu has introduced a replacement for notification area items called application indicators (or appindicators). This is a cross-distro, cross-desktop mechanism to standardize the system tray interface. I'd like to suggest that [YourAppName] updates its indicator to an application indicator.

Application indicators have the following benefits:

  1. Support for KDE, Gnome 2, Gnome Shell (Gnome 3) and Unity. This means that you only have to do the work once. Which is rather nice.
  2. Accessibility and usability. Screenreaders can read application indicators (not true with all notification area items). Application indicators also provide a consistent user interface (same behaviour on left-click, scrubbing, etc).
  3. System integration/reduce clutter. You can reduce clutter and integrate your application indicator with system indicators (where applicable). For example, email, IRC and instant messaging applications can integrate with the messaging menu.

For details on implementing application indicators, see:

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