The video he links to in his blog is a mockup of the interaction. Is there any existing codebase for any of this work? It looks pretty similar to the mumbles project which already has packages out for Ubuntu users to play with. Has anyone in Canonical's User Experience Design or Desktop Experience teams talked with the mumbles project? I'd hate to think that Canonical was unnecessarily doing in-house, closed-door work that was already being done by the wider Ubuntu community in an open development manner.
While its surprising that Canonical was out of touch with the community initiatives already going out out there and wasn't aware of the mumbles project, I'm sure it was just an oversight on their part. Basic background research into existing projects is an easy thing to skip doing. I'm sure they weren't planning on doing something like forking the mumbles project codebase and enhancing it without communicating with the mumbles developers about their plans. Canonical would never do that sort of patching and enhancing on an existing project without informing upstream developers first about what they were doing. Would they?
But man mumbles existing implementation looks so much like that Canonical mock up. Maybe they really did just develop it with inspiration from the OSX growl application like the mumbles developer did. Except Shuttleworth doesn't mention growl either as an inspirational comparison.
Shuttleworth also mentions something at the end of his blog about putting binaries out for testing in conjunction with an OEM partner shipping a product with this notification feature. Hmm, I'm pretty sure the Ubuntu Code of Conduct mentions something about being collaborative and sharing your code publicly before you release it in a product. From my reading of the very Code of Conduct that Shuttleworth would hold the external Ubuntu community to, I would have thought waiting on an OEM partner's product release to put things out for testing would be discouraged under the Code of Conduct as written.
I hope the last paragraph in Shuttleworth's blog is some sort of misstatement and that Canonical is planning on living up to its own community's Code of Conduct concerning collaboration by releasing the notification daemon codebase for testing well before it shows up in any OEM product offering.