Emoticons theme specification

Matt Rogers mattr at kde.org
Mon Jan 10 04:25:35 EET 2005

On Sunday 09 January 2005 01:05 pm, Owen Taylor wrote:
> On Fri, 2005-01-07 at 18:11 +0100, Olivier Goffart wrote:
> > Hello
> >
> > This mail is a suite for my previous mail in the kde-core-devel mailing
> > list http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-core-devel&m=110510845929729&w=2
> >
> > Konversation and Kopete want to share the same emoticons themes, There is
> > also interest in KMail to support them.
> >
> > It may be a good idea to standardize that as a freedesktop specification.
> > So the same emoticons theme could be used in every others program as
> > well. (Gaim, evolution, ...)
> >
> > So I've finally specified today the original format I wrote 2 years ago
> > for Kopete.
> >
> > It's my first specification, so please be indulgent, and thanks to notify
> > me errors.
> >
> > I've attached the docbook file since I have currently no real place to
> > host it.
> Thanks a lot for writing this up.
> Emoticons it's not something I really have a lot of experience with, but
> some random thoughts looking over the spec"
>  - Does it really make sense to have emoticon themes separate from icon
>    themes? While I can imagine it being neat to be able to trade just
>    an emoticon theme, my expectation would be that the emoticons
>    would just follow the general appearance of my desktop.

I think it does. How would you customize just your emoticons (i know of people 
that do this) w/o downloading a whole new icon theme. However, I think that 
providing a default set of icons that are emoticons in the desktop's default 
icon theme would be good, just as long as it's not tied too closely to the 
icon theme. -1

>    My initial thought was you could just use icons in the icon theme
>    named say, emoticon-%aa%bb%cc (URI style hex escaping), but I guess
>    the parser would then have to enumerate all icons in the icon theme
>    to figure out what emoticon strings were available.
>    But you could still augment the icon theme with an auxiliary file
>    listing the emoticon => icon name mapping.
>  - MNG? icon themes don't support MNG ... and GNOME doesn't support MNG.
>    MNG could probably be added to the icon theme spec
>    in a similar way to SVG. Do current emoticon themes use MNG?
>    Would APNG be a better choice? GNOME doesn't support APNG either
>    but it would be a lot more trivial to add.)

GIF, MNG, APNG, etc. I don't think the format matters. There just needs to be 
a way to have animated emoticons.

>  - Should the spec support SVG? Both GNOME and KDE support SVG icon
>    themes, and it seems that people might want scalable emoticons.
>  - What about size handling? Do you have to create a separate theme
>    for each size? What about scalable emoticon themes?

I think SVG emoticons would be overkill, although it would be useful for those 
people who use larger fonts so that their emoticons scale the same way their 
fonts do. 


>    Incorporating emoticons into the icon theme spec would give a
>    pretty sophisticated system for this without any extra work.

-1 for the reasons above about incorporating emoticons with the icon theme.

>  - /usr/share/themes/<themename>/<themetype> is used for
>    themetype={gtk,gtk-2.0,gtk-2.0-key,metacity-1}
>    /usr/share/icons/<themename>/cursors is used for cursor themes.
>    Can this be put into one or the other location rather than further
>    cluttering /usr/share?

IMHO, and i could be wrong, that would require a common spec for file 
locations of icon themes. Do we already have this?

>  - We seem to be using .ini-style files more than XML files for theme
>    information. Can the emoticon theme information be wedge into
>    an .ini file in some natural way? If XML is the right format
>    (and we are using it in xdgmime), then I suspect GNOME people would
>    appreciate if the specification limited XML to the GMarkup subset:
> http://developer.gnome.org/doc/API/2.0/glib/glib-Simple-XML-Subset-Parser.h

-1. If we do use XML in the spec, we shouldn't limit the XML that we can use. 
I personally don't know whether XML or ini-style is better, but the format 
can be decided later.

>  - I'm not sure a hidden .directory file is the best way to handling
>    theme naming. Right now we do naming with
>    /usr/share/themes/index.theme /usr/share/icons/index.theme ... if
>    you used one of those two directories, then you could just piggyback
>    off of that. If not, then I think an index.theme file would be
>    better.

Agreed. +1

> Anyways, that's some feedback from someone who is quite happy with text
> emoticons ;-). It might be good to try and contact some of the authors
> of other emoticon using applications directly. Evolution, Thunderbird
> come to mind. Maybe GAIM. I don't know what Evolution does currently
> to find emoticon images.
> Regards,
> 					Owen

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