elgg notify, live notifications

http://community.elgg.org/plugins/509213/0.5/elgg-notify

http://community.elgg.org/plugins/722478/1.4/live-notifications

trying to update one of these and kind of have it working, but having problems with the actual notifications part.  If anybody has used either of these in the past, you might understand my problem.  Trying to add plugins to them but being a noob to elgg and programming dont really understand how the notifications work.  Everything that i have read about either of these plugins is all about elgg 1.7.  Can anybody give me some idea of how the notifications work in laymans terms to help me understand this?