Desktop Icon Theme Unification

Rodney Dawes dobey at
Mon May 31 20:37:29 EEST 2004

On Hën , 2004-05-31 at 08:15 +0200, Alexander Larsson wrote:
> On Sun, 2004-05-30 at 02:03, Rodney Dawes wrote:
> > On Sht , 2004-05-22 at 17:03 +0200, Daniel Taylor wrote:
> > > I don't really follow, but it sounds interesting.
> > 
> > The Icon Theme Spec was basically designed for theming the icons in the
> > "Programs" or "Applications" menus, and not so much really for theming
> > everything else. Or at least, this is what I got out of it when I read
> > it through.
> How do you mean? Its based on the KDE icon themes, and that is used for
> all sorts of icons in KDE. The primary need to standardize them is
> application icons (since they are visible in the common desktop file
> spec), but thats by no means the only use.

The bits about having other people install random files into the hicolor
theme, and expecting "hicolor" to be a reasonable fallback for
everything, having it be the root node of the theme tree. This will also
become much more of a problem once we can start getting things moved to
using a standardized set of icon names. Having random themes and apps,
from multiple desktop environments, with conflicting default styles, is
just asking to have a big mess on our hands. As more and more
applications get written, and need more icons, and want to use the icon
theme spec to handle their icons, the risk of file conflicts, and over-
writing icons from other applications, and desktops, increases greatly.

Standardizing on icon names, cleaning up the spec to remove the
dependency on a central fallback location, and requiring the
implementations to provide API to add fallbacks to the tree, would
help tremendously with the potential problems we currently have, I
think. Then, apps like evolution, for example, can install a theme like
"evolution-fallback" that is hidden, and tell the theme API to fallback
to that. And, the various desktops and toolkits can provide their own
fallback themes that get inserted appropriately in the tree, and avoid
possibly conflicting with the themes of other desktops. Doing things
like this just seems The Right Way (TM) to me, but I am open to more
discussion and suggestions for what to do here.

-- dobey

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