File icons

Mike Hearn mike at
Wed Feb 23 12:10:50 EET 2005

On Tue, 08 Feb 2005 15:19:35 -0500, Joe Krahn wrote:
> My really-simple idea is that files could contain icon data in the 
> _NET_WM_ICON format, stored as an extended attribute, or maybe stored in 
> the file body under a common symbol name, or both.

Well, this sort of proposal comes up from time to time. There is never
much incentive to do it though because:

- Most Linux users will not see ELF binaries anywhere near as often as
  Windows users see PE EXE files, so there seems little point in putting
  icons inside them.
- Icons are already significantly more advanced here than on other
  platforms: they are themable, can operate at multiple sizes and be a mix
  of PNG (bitmap) and SVG (vector) graphics.

Data files are already assigned icons based on their contents, and most
file managers support pluggable previews as well. So that leaves
executable files. It'd be nice for Wine if we could show the win32 icon
for EXE files but I think writing a thumbnailer for Nautilus and Konqueror
would perhaps be the way forward here.

thanks -mike

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