Icon theme specification: Standardizing icon names

Frans Englich frans.englich at telia.com
Wed Oct 13 19:41:27 EEST 2004

On Tuesday 12 October 2004 09:35, Alexander Larsson wrote:
> On Sat, 2004-10-09 at 21:50 +0000, Frans Englich wrote:
> > Hello everyone,
> >
> > Attached is a patch which standardizes 1048 icon names, compiled from the
> > ~2050 icons which KDE and GNOME in all houses. While that sounds like a
> > lot, and bizarre for that matter too, the important question is where
> > this is heading, what we want to achieve, and why.
> >
> > Is an icon theme of interest? Is it important?
> Its great that someone is working on this. It is really needed.
> Unfortunately I'm constantly busy with a million other things, so I
> don't have much time for working on icon theming. So its great that
> we're getting some new blood here.
> I just glanced over your proposal, and here are a few comments:
> I like the fact that you've waited with standardizing mimetypes. This
> requires some more thinking so that we can get generic icons for
> categories of file types. It also one of the hardest things to change in
> the currently deployed systems, since it affects a lot of core
> behaviour.

Yeah, I thought it could be a good idea to separate the two, and that it's 
possible to do. However, we should keep an eye after if the two topics 
interfere. For example, perhaps an icon index can help the mime problems.

> Maybe you should separate the actual list of icon names to a separate
> file and reference that from the spec. That makes it easier to read the
> spec, and to update the list.

Yes, Rodney sings along those lines too. Surely is it unpractical to read, but 
I think it would be semantically wrong to start a new specification for the 
names(if anyone suggests that). However, what we can do is to turn on chunked 
output in the transformation, which will result in sections on their own 
pages(there's tons of different options to how that's done). I think it's a 
good idea. I don't know how/where/when the Docbook XSLs are invoked though. 
Any admin lurking?

> Don't add the flags to the spec. Flags are a very complicated political
> area. The very existance of some flag can cause a whole country to ban
> your software. Gnome has decided to never ship flags. Everyone doesn't
> have to follow this, but can we please not standardize on them at least.

The spec doesn't specify how flags should look -- it only pick names directly 
derived from a standard by a formal standardization body. "This is what ISO 
says, and we only provide a mechanism for standardized graphical 
representation" -- that's one way to swear us free from the responsibility. 
Also, since it is a formal body, that gives it legitimacy. 

The design of flags, and shipping of flags is an implementation issue, AFAICT. 
If someone don't want flags, they can skip implementations that shows them, 
use blanc icons for the flags, or simply violate the specification.

We've had similar cultural issues in KDE; country/region about China/Tibet, 
for example. However, to _my_ knowledge, we haven't had trouble with merely 
shipping the flags.

Could you elaborate on what trouble Gnome have had? And more exactly what the 
result is(examples)?

Currently, I think it can be solved by practical means, and firm policy.



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