I just love the indicator-applet and other parts of the Ayatana-project and think Ubuntu has done an awesome job there. And as the question about applet compatibility seem to be answered as a 'no' I'd like to take the question to the next level - the 'why' and 'why not'.

How come these Ayatana-applets today work in gnome-panel but gnome applets won't work in the Unity panel?

And - as it's connected - why not make them compatible? Isn't it all about usability?

1 Answer 1


Many of the gnome-applets you are familiar with use old technologies like Bonobo, etc. To bring them up to a modern standard, they would need to be rethought/rewritten/etc from scratch using newer technologies such as D-BUS.

Making the applets compatible will not improve usability but just backwards compatibility. Furthermore, "Ayatana-applets" as you call them, are not "applets" in the sense you might be thinking, but are indicators (see here). With the amount of work that would be required for bringing the old applets into new technology would be rather pointless (to quote the Bible indirectly, it's like putting new wine in old wine skins), since GNOME 3 will be basically make these obsolete.

It would also be of note that GNOME Shell will not support these old applets either.

  • Hmm, then is GNOME 3 going to use the same architecture as Unity's panel?
    – Oxwivi
    Feb 25, 2011 at 19:30
  • No, for some reason, the (arrogant) GNOME developers rejected indicator applets, then proceeded to practically remake the technology in gnome shell -_
    – RolandiXor
    Feb 25, 2011 at 19:38

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