Canonical, the parent company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux system, wants to implement a new (and vaguely Mac-ish) method of user notification in Ubuntu's next release. You can check out a demonstration of the new notifications in action at Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth's blog post. As noted by Ars, the goal is to provide a more user-friendly experience for anyone jumping onto Linux, and give the desktop's pings and blips a uniform look and feel, as opposed to the multitude of notification apps and tools that use the free D-Bus protocol in a variety of ways.
That's potentially a really good thing for dedicated Ubuntu users. But, as Ars Technica points out, it also means generally forcing users into using a 3D compositing system like Compiz, which often means (at least for NVIDIA video cards) enabling non-open-source drivers. As always, things can easily change between now and Ubuntu 9.04 (due out April 2009), but it's an intriguing discussion going on.