Desktop Icon Theme Unification

Daniel Taylor DanTaylor at
Wed Jun 2 17:15:49 EEST 2004

On Mon, 2004-05-31 at 14:00 -0400, Rodney Dawes wrote:
> On Hën , 2004-05-31 at 15:17 +0200, Daniel Taylor wrote:
> > On Sat, 2004-05-29 at 20:03 -0400, Rodney Dawes wrote:
> > The current "standard" my xml database has I just made up as an example,
> > so don't take it too seriously. Also, my script could easily be altered
> > for symlink creation which could help with what you stated above.
> Sure. I would probably want a version of the script in perl or something
> as well. I'd rather not add another dependency on a scripting language
> so that one may build gnome-icon-theme. We already require perl, so
> using that with XML::Parser would be fine, as intltool already requires
> this perl module as well (though, applications will be able to specify
> that they don't need the XML parsing aspects of intltool as soon as my
> patch gets accepted by Kenneth :).

Sounds reasonable, although I don't know any Perl :(

> > I think this is a basic problem between the seperation of GNOME and
> > GTK+, and I do agree that the icon theme spec needs to be fleshed out;
> > basically, I think it's way too broad, and I like your list of icons
> > that can be themed so far.
> Nah. I think it's more a problem of just fixing the spec to deal with
> the fallback and application installation cases. Adding the standardized
> naming scheme would help quite a bit, but we still need to solve the
> other issues with fallbacks and such.

I'm sorry I wasn't aware of those other issues.
> > Do you plan on having every possible application in the list, or would
> > it be handled similarly to how it is now?
> No. The main point of the apps/ bit is to standardize the naming scheme.
> Applications should be able to install any icons they want in a fallback
> theme anyway. The only thing that really needs to get installed to a
> central place, is the application icon itself, which should be named
> appropriately for the application, to avoid conflicts.

Ah, ok. Makes much more sense now ;)
> > Let me know if there is anything you'd like me to do to help.
> If you know perl and the XML::Parser module, porting your script(s) to
> that would be great. :) Suggestions, complaints, and other bits of
> information are certainly welcome as well. I just want to get some bit
> of agreement on the standardized names/schme and start migrating gnome
> to that, by way of installing symlinks with your script stuff as well.

Like I said above, I don't know Perl, so we should find someone that
does, or I can try to learn it.

As far as I understand, what you are trying to do is keep the theme spec
mostly the same, with slight changes to make it work better with names
and fallbacks and such, correct?

If we are going to be changing a theme spec anyway, why not make it so
that all applications that allow different icons can be themed by the
same themes? That's the purpose of my theme conversion utilities (well,
at some point in the future). The way I see it is this:
We have Desktops -> Applications -> Widgets that can be themed (speaking
only of icons at the moment). Now, your file lists many of the icons
that can be themed in most applications today. We basically have the
file manager and panel icons (launchers for apps and such), and then
icons for programs like instant messengers, mail apps, media apps,
etc... Behind all of this is of course the widget theme, and most of the
Actions in your file describe those icons.
Why are we still thinking about theming desktops differently? GNOME,
KDE, XFCE, etc... should all use a single location for themes, and a
single standard for those themes. All applications should use it as well
(and will of course through the widget set they use). It should be easy
enough to make a theme that (theoretically) works for any widget set,
for any panel, for any file manager.
I want to develop a single theme and have it work in any system that
implements this standard (which should be everyone once GNOME and KDE
use it). If I'm completely wrong in thinking this, please tell me why!
Daniel G. Taylor

Jabber ID: dan at

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