Ayatana Indicators

Speaker: Mike Gabriel

Track: No Track

Type: Talk (20 mins)


Room: Rex

Time: Aug 08 (Tue), 11:00

Duration: 0:20

In the near future various upstream projects related to the Ubuntu desktop experience as we have known it so far may become only sporadically maintained or even fully unmaintained. Ubuntu will switch to the Gnome desktop environment with 18.04 LTS as its default desktop. The Application Indicators [1] brought into being by Canonical Ltd. will not be needed in Gnome (AFAIK) any more. We can expect the Application Indicator related projects become unmaintained upstream. (In fact I have recently been offered continuation of upstream maintenance of libdbusmenu).

While looking into the Unity Greeter code over the past years and actually forking Unity Greeter as Arctica Greeter [2] in September 2015, I also started looking into the Application Indicators concept. And I must say, the more I have been looking into it the more I have started liking the concept behind Application Indicators. The basic idea is awesome. However, lately all indicators became more and more Ubuntu-centric and IMHO too polluted by code related to the just declared dead Ubuntu phablet project.

Saying all this, I recently forked Application Indicators as Ayatana Indicators. At the moment I represent upstream and Debian package maintainer in one person. The goal is to provide Ayatana Indicators to all desktop environments that want to use them, either as default or optionally. Release-wise, the idea is to strictly differentiate between upstream and Debian downstream in the release cycles of the various related components.

The Ayatana Indicators upstream projects are currently hosted on Github under the umbrellas of the Arctica Project. Regarding Debian, first uploads have recently been accepted to Debian experimental. The Debian packages are maintained under the umbrella of the revived Ayatana Packagers team.

In this talk I will give a quick overview on the current status of above named efforts and reasonings behind my commitment to the work. Most of the time during this BoF I would like to get into discussion with desktop maintainers, possibly upstream developers, Ubuntu developers, etc. Anyone who sees an asset in the Indicators approach is welcome to share and contribute.

  • [1] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DesktopExperienceTeam/ApplicationIndicators
  • [2] https://github.com/ArcticaProject/arctica-greeter