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Notifications

Sending Notification Bubbles with GLib.Notification
A notification bubble
By now you've probably already seen the notification bubbles that appear on the top right of the screen. Notifications are a way to provide updates about the state of your app. For example, they can inform you that a long running background process has been completed or a new message has arrived. In this section we are going to show you just how to get them to work in your app.

Making Preparations

Create a new Gtk.Application complete with a desktop launcher file, packaging, etc. You can review this in Our First App.
In your .desktop file, add the line X-GNOME-UsesNotifications=true to the end of the file. This is what will make your app appear in System Settings so that notification preferences can be set.
myapp.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Type=Application
[...]
X-GNOME-UsesNotifications=true

Sending Notifications

In your Application.vala file, in the activate () function, create a new Gtk.Button and add it to a Gtk.Box with some margins. Then set that box as the child widget for your app's main window.
A new Gtk.Application with a button that sends notifications
Finally, connect to the clicked () signal of that button, and create a new Notification with body text, and then send it with send_notification ().
Application.vala
protected override void activate () {
var notify_button = new Gtk.Button.with_label ("Notify");
var box = new Gtk.Box (Gtk.Orientation.VERTICAL, 12) {
margin_top = 12,
margin_end = 12,
margin_bottom = 12,
margin_start = 12
};
box.append (notify_button);
var headerbar = new Gtk.HeaderBar () {
show_title_buttons = true
};
var main_window = new Gtk.ApplicationWindow (this) {
child = box,
title = "MyApp",
titlebar = headerbar
};
main_window.present ();
notify_button.clicked.connect (() => {
var notification = new Notification ("Hello World");
notification.set_body ("This is my first notification!");
send_notification (null, notification);
});
}
Now build and run your app, and click the "Notify" button. Congratulations, you've learned how to send notifications!

Badge Icons

Notification with a badged icon
Notifications will automatically contain your app's icon, but you can add additional context by setting a badge icon. Right after the line containing var notification = New Notification, add:
notify_button.clicked.connect (() => {
var notification = new Notification ("Hello World");
notification.set_body ("This is my first notification!");
notification.set_icon (new ThemedIcon ("process-completed"));
send_notification (null, notification);
});
Build and run your app again, and press the "Notify" button. As you can see, the notification now has a smaller badged icon placed over your app's icon. Using this method, you can set the icon to any of the named icons shipped with elementary OS.
You can browse the full set of named icons using the Icon Browser app, available in AppCenter.

Buttons

Notification with an action button
You can also add buttons to notifications that will trigger actions defined in the app namespace. To add a button, first define an action in your Application class as we did in the actions section.
Application.vala
public override void startup () {
base.startup ();
var quit_action = new SimpleAction ("quit", null);
add_action (quit_action);
quit_action.activate.connect (quit);
}
Now, we can add a button to the notification with a label and the action ID.
notify_button.clicked.connect (() => {
var notification = new Notification ("Hello World");
notification.set_body ("This is my first notification!");
notification.add_button ("Quit", "app.quit");
send_notification (null, notification);
});
Build and run your app again, and press the "Notify" button. Notice that the notification now has a button with the label "Quit" and clicking it will close your app.
Remember that SimpleActions added in the Application class with add_action () are automatically added in the app namespace. Notifications can't trigger actions defined in other namespaces like win.

Priority

Notifications also have priority. When a notification is set as URGENT it will stay on the screen until either you interact with it, or your application withdraws it. To make an urgent notification, use the set_priority () function
notify_button.clicked.connect (() => {
var notification = new Notification ("Hello World");
notification.set_body ("This is my first notification!");
notification.set_priority (NotificationPriority.URGENT);
send_notification (null, notification);
});
URGENT notifications should really only be used on the most extreme cases. There are also other notification priorities.

Replace

We now know how to send a notification, but what if you need to update it with new information? Thanks to the id argument of the send_notification () function, we can replace a notification with a matching ID. This ID can be anything you like.
Make a new button with the label "Replace" that sends a new notification, this time with an ID. This button will replace a notification with a matching ID when clicked, instead of sending a new notification.
protected override void activate () {
var notify_button = new Gtk.Button.with_label ("Notify");
var replace_button = new Gtk.Button.with_label ("Replace");
var box = new Gtk.Box (Gtk.Orientation.VERTICAL, 12) {
margin_top = 12,
margin_end = 12,
margin_bottom = 12,
margin_start = 12
};
box.append (notify_button);
box.append (replace_button);
[...]
replace_button.clicked.connect (() => {
var notification = new Notification ("Hello Again");
notification.set_body ("This is my second Notification!");
send_notification ("update", notification);
});
}
Build and run your app again. Click on the buttons, first on "Notify", then "Replace". See how the "Notify" button sends a new notification each time it's clicked, but the "Replace" button replaces the contents of the same notification when it's clicked.

Review

Let's review what all we've learned:
If you're having trouble, you can view the full example code here on GitHub. You can learn more from GLib.Notification reference documentation.