GNOME developers are making some very important changes that will come into effect with the release of the 3.14 branch, and it looks like the notification system will also get an overhaul.
The current notification system that is being used in GNOME is not all that bad, but it could be better. In fact, there are quite a few extensions that change the way notifications are handled in GNOME, so it stands to reason that the developers can make some improvements.
The GNOME 3.14 branch is being updated as we speak, and numerous new features are implemented with each new version. If all goes well and if all the proposed modifications are put in place, 3.14 should prove to be even more interesting than the previous release.
There is a series of problems with the current implementation of the notification tray. For starters, it opens very slowly and it's somewhat buggy. The developers have already drawn a plan for what kind of modifications they want to have ready until the 3.14 release.
“The goal of this feature is to resolve some long-standing design issues with the current implementation of notifications in gnome-shell, particularly with regards to the Message Tray. The plan is to give the Message Tray a new, more effective, layout, and to make it easier to access,” reads the proposal for the Notifications.
According to the GNOME blueprint, the developers need to simplify the code, to ensure maintainability and lower the number of bugs, to provide an easily accessible way to check how many items are in the tray, to make it easier to open the tray, to make notifications banners more noticeable, and to make it easier to target notification buttons with a pointer.
The guys from worldofgnome have also shown some of the early work that is being done and you can try it for yourself, although it would be a good idea not to do this on your regular system. The code is still in development and there is no way to predict how it will affect the system.
This is the second good news for GNOME 3.14. Just a couple of days ago we noticed that they planned to improve the default icon theme and they are already making great progress.
The release date for GNOME 3.14 hasn’t been settled yet, but the final freeze should arrive in September, so we should get the new desktop environment by the end of the year.