Back in June, I started to hack on xfce4-notifyd to implement a smart notification placement. In the current stable version, if more two notifications are triggered at the same time, the new ones overlap with the old ones which makes them unreadable. My goal was to shift the notifications so that they would be all visible at the same time.

This turned out to be far more complicated than I had first thought, particularly because of multiple monitors support, but this has finally been committed to the master branch of xfce4-notifyd. I would like to thank Brian who took a lot of time to review my patch and gave me a lot of kicks advises on how to make things work or improve them.

Today, Brian also implemented a cool feature: it is now possible to display gauges (progress bars) or only an icon in a notification, as with notify-osd. Steve Dodier already took advantage of that in xfce4-volumed, which allows you to change the volume using the volume keys of your keyboard and displays beautiful notifications.

Xfce4 Volumed

The following screen cast shows how things look currently:

New features of xfce4-notifyd (Jérôme Guelfucci) from Xfce on Vimeo.

As you can see notifications are displayed using columns. If a side of the screen is reached, another column is started. That way, you never get two overlapping notifications (well, in fact this can happen if the screen is full of notifications, but that shouldn't happen very often!). If you have several monitors, notifications are displayed on the active one. If a monitor is unplugged, notifications are moved to the other one.