Multiple DeskTops, HiColor theme, standardized icon names

Magnus Bergman magnus.bergman at
Mon Jul 24 15:32:01 EEST 2006

On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 00:25:57 -0700
James Richard Tyrer <tyrerj at> wrote:

> nf2 wrote:
> > James Richard Tyrer wrote:
> >> Getting back to this actual question:
> >>
> >> If different DeskTops install icons in HiColor there is going to
> >> be a problem.
> >>
> >> Currently, GNOME prefixes their icon names with: "gnome" and by so 
> >> doing avoid this issue.  KDE naturally presume that you will only
> >> use KDE so they just have simple icon names and don't even
> >> consider the issue.
> >>
> >> BUT, we are going to have standardized icon names so we are going
> >> to have collisions with HiColor icons from different DeskTops.
> >>
> >> How do we deal with this??
> > Hmm. I'm really not an expert on this, but from my understanding a 
> > "theme" is a set of icons which are designed in the same style. 
> > Therefore there has to be be - for instance - only a single icon
> > for the home-folder in a specific theme. There is no need for
> > desktop prefixes in icon names, like "gnome-fs-home", or
> > "kde-fs-home", because the two icons would look the same anyway.
> > 
> > If icons look different in style, they shouldn't be in the same
> > theme.
> I certainly agree with that! :-)  But, that is part of the problem. 
> Since there is no central organization that is producing the HiColor 
> theme (like Tango icons), icons from other themes are being installed
> in HiColor.
> > And - of course - Gnome-VFS and KIO should use the same icon-names
> > for file-types. To me - an icon theme is nothing desktop related -
> > it's desktop session related (But different desktops can have
> > different default themes). The desktop session has to tell the name
> > of the current theme to all applications, regardless which toolkit
> > or vfs they are using.
> Since there is no standard HiColor icon set, and all DeskTops should
> be using it as a fall back theme, it is highly probable (almost
> certain if we use standardized names) that if you install more than
> one DeskTop on your system that you will be installing more than one
> HiColor of the same size, context, and name.
> The issue is how we deal with this.  And, I suppose, the extent that
> we need to deal with this -- we could just ignore it and hope that it
> goes away.

Wouldn't it be best if every desktop just installs its own theme and
stays away from the hicolor directories? If some distribution wants to
populate the hicolor directories with tango icons (or some other
favorite theme of theirs) it's okey, but nothing that has to be decided
here IMHO.

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