Icon parameters in *.desktop files

Jasper Huijsmans jasper at xfce.org
Wed Jun 22 16:05:32 EEST 2005

On Wed, Jun 22, 2005 at 04:26:45AM -0700, James Richard Tyrer wrote:
> I believe that I mentioned this before, but it was suggested to me that 
> I propose this as a change to the standard.
> I originally suggested this as a solution to the issue of generic vs. 
> specific icons, but it might have other uses as well.  Specifically, it 
> might be useful with icon themes.
> My suggestion is that the "Icon" key be allowed to have a list of icons 
> rather than just one.  For example:
> 	Icon=kate,editor,text-editor
> 	Icon=svg,vectorgfx,image
> The icon loader would search for the icons in order, first in the user's 
> selected theme, then in any inherited themes, and finally in HiColor. 
> So, if a specific icon existed in that theme, it would be used.  If not, 
> the icon loader would look for the listed more generic icons.
> The first question I have is what happens if the user selects an icon 
> with a GUI dialog.  Obviously, the whole line is going to be overwritten 
> and the information about the generic icons would be lost.  This appears 
> to be satisfactory -- if the user selects an icon, it is going to be one 
>  which exists and there is no need for alternatives.
> But, if this is considered to be a problem, it would also be possible to 
> add an additional key.  For example:
> 	Icon=kate
> 	GenericIcons=editor,text-editor
> 	Icon=svg
> 	GenericIcons=vectorgfx,image
> then if the user changed the icon with a GUI dialog, the list of other 
> possible substitute icons wouldn't be lost.  The icon loader would first 
> look for the icon specified by "Icon" and if not found would look for 
> the icons in the "GenericIcons" list.  This might also be better for 
> backward compatibility.
> Either way, this also has advantages when running an application on 
> another desktop.  In the first example, if Kate (a KDE application) is 
> run on GNOME, then if there is no "kate" icon because GNOME doesn't use 
> the KDE default theme, it would use the GNOME HiColor icon "text-editor" 
> icon.

Yes, for Xfce we use something similar in order to provide generic icons
(Editor, Web browser,...), so I believe there is real use for this
enhancement. The backward-compatible GenericIcons (or OtherIcons, IconList,
whatever) seems the most practical solution.

This sounds like a good idea to me.


More information about the xdg mailing list