Desktop Icon Theme Unification

Rodney Dawes dobey at
Wed Jun 9 16:22:52 EEST 2004

On Mër , 2004-06-02 at 16:15 +0200, Daniel Taylor wrote:
> 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 :(

OK. I'll try to find time and write it then.

> > > 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.

It's ok. The naming standardization needs to happen regardless of
them. :)

> > > 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?

That is one thing I'm trying to do, yes. It is, however, separate from
standardizing on the names of icons. The theme implementations should
already be able to support an icon of any filename.

> 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.

Because nobody has agreed on standardized naming yet. That is exactly
what I am trying to accomplish here with the list of proposed icon
names that I sent.

> 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!

Right. So do the artists. Trying to maintain the same icons with all
kinds of different names is a painful task at best. I just want the
appropriate discussion and acceptance from other desktops before I go
through and start changing Gnome to use it. I already certainly have
the appropriate backing and acceptance there. :)

-- dobey

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