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tktray(n) tktray tktray(n)

tktray - System Tray Icon Support for Tk on X11

package require Tcl 8.4
package require tktray ?1.0?
tktray::icon pathName ?options?
pathName balloon message ?msec_timeout?
pathName cancel message_handle
pathName bbox
pathName cget option
pathName configure ?options?
pathName docked
pathName orientation


Tktray is an extension that is able to create system tray icons. It follows specifications when looking up the system tray manager. This protocol is supported by modern versions of KDE and Gnome panels, and by some other panel-like application.

tktray::icon pathName ?options?
Create a new icon for the system tray. The application managing the system tray is notified about the new icon. It normally results in the icon being added to the tray. If there is no system tray at the icon creation time, the icon will be invisible. When a new system tray appears, the icon will be added to it. Since tktray 1.3, if the tray crashes and destroys your icon, it will be recreated on a new system tray when it's available.
WM_CLASS attribute for icon window. Tray manager may use class name to remember icon position or other attributes. This name may be used for event binding as well. For now, real icon window is distinct from the user-specified widget: it may be recreated and destroyed several times during icon lifetime, when a system tray crashes, terminates, disappears or appears. However, tktray tries to forward click and motion events from this inner window to user widget, so event bindings on widget name should work as they used to. This option applies to a real icon window, not to a user-visible widget, so don't rely on it to set widget defaults from an option database: the standard "TrayIcon" class name is used for it.
boolean indicating whether the real icon window should be embedded into a tray when it exists. Think of it as a heavier version of -visible option: there is a guarantee that no place for icon will be reserved on any tray.
image to show in the system tray. Since tktray 1.3, image type "photo" is not mandatory anymore. Icon will be automatically redrawn on any image modifications. For Tk, deleting an image and creating an image with the same name later is a kind of image modification, and tktray follows this convention. Photo image operations that modify existing image content are another example of events triggering redisplay. Requested size for icon is set according to the image's width and height, but obeying (or disobeying) this request is left for the tray.
used to put a nonrectangular shape on an icon window. Ignored for compatibility.
boolean value indicating whether the icon must be visible. The system tray manager continues to manage the icon whether it is visible or not. Thus when invisible icon becomes visible, its position on the system tray is likely to remain the same. Tktray currently tries to find a tray and embed into it as soon as possible, whether -visible is true or not. _XEMBED_INFO property is set for embedded window: a tray should show or hide an icon depending on this property. There may be, and indeed are, incomplete tray implementations ignoring _XEMBED_INFO (ex. docker). Gnome-panel "unmaps" an icon by making it one pixel wide, that might to be what you expect. For those implementations, the place for an icon will be reserved but no image will be displayed: tktray takes care of it. Tktray also blocks mouse event forwarding for invisible icons, so you may be confident that no <Button> bindings will be invoked at this time.
pathName balloon message ?msec_timeout?
Post a message that any decent tray implementation would show alongside the icon (or a place allocated for it). The message will disappear automatically after $msec_timeout milliseconds. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way to know if the tray supports this feature, so don't rely on it for any critical information to be delivered. When no timeout or zero timeout is given, the message should not be hidden without user action (usually a mouse click). The return value is an integer, a message handle that may be used for cancelling the message before timeout expiration, or zero if there is currently no system tray to handle the request.
pathName cancel message_handle
Cancel an earlier-posted balloon message. Zero message_handle is silently ignored. If there is no message with this handle, or its timeout has expired, or it was posted to another system tray and is unknow to the current one, nothing bad should happen (but it depends on the tray implementation).
pathName bbox
Get the list of left, top, right and bottom coordinates of the icon relative to the root window of the icon's screen. This command should be used in preference to winfo rootx and winfo rooty to get icon location, though the latter may seem to work on your system. Bounding box information is updated asynchronously. Don't rely on its correctness on script startup, just after icon creation. This command is for event handlers: on <ButtonPress-3> you'd like to have a popup menu, but where it should be posted? Use %W bbox to determine it right at the moment when a click happened.
pathName cget option
Retrieve current option value as set by the caller.
pathName configure ?options?
Modify icon's options after it was created.
pathName docked
Query icon if it's currently embedded into some system tray. Invisible icons may be docked too (and tktray strives for it). If this method returns false, the icon is not visible to anyone, and no chance to get balloon messages displayed.
pathName orientation
Query orientation of a system tray that is currently embedding the icon.

Current implementation of tktray is designed to present an interface of a usual toplevel window, but there are some important differences (some of them may come up later). System Tray specification is based on XEMBED protocol, and the later has a problem: when the embedder crashes, nothing can prevent embedded windows from destruction. Since tktray 1.3, no explicit icon recreation code is required on Tcl level. The widget was split in two: one represented by a caller-specified name, and another (currently $path.inner) that exists only when a tray is available (and dies and comes back and so on). This solution has some disadvantages as well. User-created widget is not mapped at all, thus it can't be used any more as a parent for other widgets, showing them instead of an image. A temporal inner window, however, may contain widgets.
This version introduces three virtual events: <<IconCreate>> <<IconConfigure>> and <<IconDestroy>>. <<IconCreate>> is generated when docking is requesting for an icon. <<IconConfigure>> is generated when an icon window is resized or changed in some other way. <<IconDestroy>> is generated when an icon is destroyed due to panel crash or undocked with unsetting -docked option.

Anton Kovalenko See

icons, system tray, taskbar

Copyright (c) 2005, Anton Kovalenko
1.0 tktray

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