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Wingpanel and Indicators, future?


i had a chat with Lars Uebernickel who is the current maintainer of the
indicators in Ubuntu and below is the gist of what I learnt.

The indicators have gone through lots of changes in the recent two cycles
of Ubuntu and they have abandoned the '.so' file plugins for indicators,
the indicators run as services and send the UI data through dbus to the
panel and the panel draws them, all the communication is done over dbus. We
could in theory extend lib-ido (the library which help add extra widgets)
to make indicators like
these<http://elementary-art.deviantart.com/gallery/37819115>but the
API can be broken at any time.

Also as most of you will be aware that Ubuntu is leaving Gtk in favor of Qt
so the panel implementation will abandoned and we can either make our own
or fork the existing panel libraries and maintain them. The time frame of
Qt panel is not known.

I went through the
libindicator and they have a good idea, indicator services are same
phone, greeter and desktop just the UI is different which can be sent over
different dbus addresses.

The *main problem* is that from 14.04 the indicators will use *upstart* and
if we use upstart then the Pantheon Shell will rendered *Ubuntu Only* and
most other distributions (like arch) won't be able to use the desktop shell.

This is a major problem, on one hand we can become Ubuntu only but since
Ubuntu is switching to Qt and we are Gtk only, the advantages of using
Ubuntu will be reduced with each cycle or we could switch to some other
distribution for the base.

I'd love to hear what the community has to say in this matter and how do we
proceed from here.

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