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Messaging Menu MeMenu

According to a recent update to the Ubuntu Wiki Messaging Menu page, the MeMenu will be integrated into the Messaging Menu. Further more, the MeMenu Ubuntu wiki page now says it's obsolete and will be replaced "by an IM status section in the messaging menu", which makes it pretty clear that the MeMenu and Messaging Menu unification is about to happen.

What's MeMenu / Messaging Menu?

The MeMenu is the applet next to the session menu which you can use to set your status or post an update via Gwibber:

Messaging Menu

The Messaging Menu is the enveloper icon next to the clock and it lets you know when you get a new notification in the applications that use it (by default: Empathy, Evolution and Gwibber):

Ubuntu Messaging Menu

Unified MeMenu / Messaging Menu

The idea of an unified Messaging Menu / MeMenu is not new and in fact we've posted some mockups a while back, but now it seems like this is really going to happen and we finally have some initial specifications.

Here's how the Messaging Menu + MeMenu envelope icon will work:

- no messages / no status: Messaging Menu

- new messages / no status: Messaging Menu

- new messages / the user has a status set: Messaging Menu

In this last case, the status should will also be appended in brackets to the accessible name, e.g. New Messages (Busy)".

The new Messaging Menu

The new Messaging Menu will have the following sections:
  • Chat section (Empathy)
  • Mail section
  • all other applications "that are registered and not blacklisted"
  • Ubuntu One will be removed from the Messaging Menu

Notice how the wiki mentions "not blacklisted" which means some apps will probably be blacklisted and won't be allowed to use the Messaging Menu. Or maybe this refers to something else but blacklisting applications does make sense because if you get a huge list of applications using the Messaging Menu, it's going to be a mess (but obvious, there should be an easy way to blacklist/whilelist applications).

I've always said Ubuntu One has really nothing to do with the Messaging Menu so I'm glad to see it will be removed. Especially since it's available on the Unity launcher anyway.

The specifications on the Wiki page also mention that when launched directly from the menu, Empathy should use the contact list and not hide in the Messaging Menu. Also, contacts who just come online should appear in the Messaging Menu for 30 seconds and should then be removed:

Empathy messaging menu

The Messaging Menu will have a "Clear" item which will remove all notifications as well as a "Hide this menu" item which opens an dialog box that allows you to remove it but it also explains the purpose of the menu and how to get it back in case you change your mind:

Remove Messaging Menu

The Wiki page is old, that's why Evolution still shows up in some mockups, but the Messaging Menu / MeMenu unification as well as most of the stuff in this post was recently added to the page by Matthew Paul Thomas (a few days ago) so there's still work to do (the page doesn't mention if this will be available in Oneiric or Oneiric+1).

What do you think?

Thanks to paglias.net for the heads up!