Icon theme specification: Standardizing icon names

Frans Englich frans.englich at telia.com
Wed Oct 20 19:02:42 EEST 2004

On Tuesday 19 October 2004 08:25, Alexander Larsson wrote:
> On Wed, 2004-10-13 at 16:41 +0000, Frans Englich wrote:
> > On Tuesday 12 October 2004 09:35, Alexander Larsson wrote:
> > > 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.
> Its not about naming, or the exact design. Its about politics. E.G. If
> you ship a taiwanese flag, your software will not be allowed to be sold
> in mainland china. If the spec requires that icon themes have some flag,
> there is a high probablility that some contry/etnicity/whatever takes
> that as a political statement. The fact that some formal body was
> involve does not change this.
> We have had huge flame wars on gnome lists about flags, and I'm not
> interested in bringing them here. If you want to read flames, try
> searching for the flags thread on desktop-devel-list at gnome.org.
> It suffices to say:
> Gnome will never ship any flags, nor depend on any software or standard
> that mandates the existance of flags. The same goes for Red Hat.

But you do ship browsers which allows the selection of character encodings? As 
said, you don't have to ship the actual flag symbols, but images that are 
blank, transparent or have some trivial symbol. The specification wouldn't 
force you to have actual Taiwanese/whatever flags, only to have images named 
flag-xx(or use the yet to be specified pseudo icon mechanism). In either 
case, you won't show flags in your interfaces -- wouldn't it be ok to have 
files on the hard disk named flag-xx, where xx is per ISO 639?



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