Indicator plugin help wanted#

Chris Green cl at
Sun Mar 12 22:28:16 CET 2017

On Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 05:27:50PM +0000, Andrzej wrote:
> On 12/03/17 15:28, Chris Green wrote:
> > I have never really understood the indicator plugin and just now I
> > wanted to change something and found it very confusing.
> Indicators are not native Xfce4 panel plugins (they come from Ubuntu and are
> designed to work with Ubuntu Unity) so some confusion or incompatibilities
> are unavoidable. Still better than nothing, as some Unity indicators are
> genuinely useful.
> Think of the indicator plugin as a wrapper/container for displaying Ubuntu
> indicators in Xfce panel.
Ah, thank you, at least that explains some of its idiosyncracies!  :-)

> >    So, a few
> > questions:-
> > 
> > What are 'Known Indicators'?  They don't seem to correspond to what's
> > displayed in any sensible way.  In the list under 'Known Indicators' I
> > have:-
> "Known indicators" is a list of:
> a) well known indicators shipped with Ubuntu (even if they have never been
> displayed),
> b) any third-party indicators ever displayed in the indicator plugin since
> it was added to the panel.
> So, any indicator you are currently seeing in the indicator plugin are
> already in that list.
That doesn't seem to be true for me.  I have an Owncloud indicator and
a Unifying Receiver one which are both in the Indicator Plugin but
aren't in the "Known Indicators" list.

> The list allows you to filter out some unwanted indicators or arrange their
> order in the panel.
> >      Application Indicators - what's this do?
> It is sort of a "systray" for Ubuntu Unity. It display icons of any
> applications that want to show their icons (+ context menus) in the panel.
> Technically it is not compatible with the conventional systray, applications
> have to explicitly support one of (or both) solutions.
> > How do you set/clear the 'Hidden' box?  You can't click in it.
> Seems like a bug. This used to work. Thanks for reporting.
OK, at least it's not me misunderstanding something!  :-)

> > What does the 'Clear know indicators' button do?  Does it actually
> > remove them all from the panel?
> No, it will just reset the list of indicators to (a) + currently running
> indicators.

> > What do the up and down arrow buttons do, they don't appear to do
> > anything.
> They are supposed to change the order of indicators (probably the same bug
> as with the "Hidden" box)

> > How does one do anything with things that (apparently) *aren't* 'Known
> > Indicators'?  I have a couple, one of which (the Owncloud one) causes
> > a nasty 'flicker' and I'd be happier without it but I can't see any
> > obvious way to turn it off.
> Owncloud is most likely an application indicator. You can switch (all)
> application indicators on/off but you cannot do that for each app indicator
> icon separately. The issues withj flicker etc you are seeing are often
> caused by code not in our control (indicators themselves, libappindicator,
> libindicator) or are caused by inherent incompatibilities between Unity and
> Xfce panel. Since indicators are written for and tested only with Unity
> don't expect radical improvements.
I'm actually thinking of giving up on much of Owncloud and the
indicator can certainly go which will fix this problem for me.

> > ... and finally it says "Please restart the panel for visibility
> > changes to take effect" but offers no way to actually do this.  As far
> > as I know there's isn't a way to restart the panel except by rebooting
> > or drastic means like killing it.
> xfce4-panel -r
Excellent, thank you.  Plus thank you for the full and helpful
explanation of everything else above.

Chris Green

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