Actions: grouping vs. extensibility

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at
Tue Jul 17 13:56:52 PDT 2007

Jakob Petsovits wrote:

> * Add a "new" icon
>   "The icon for the create action."
>   Consequences for existing icons in the spec:
>     address-book-new -> new-address-book
>     appointment-new -> new-appointment
>     contact-new -> new-contact
>     document-new -> new-document
>     folder-new -> new-folder
>     window-new -> new-window
>   Opens up opportunities for:
>      new-mail
>      new-tab
>      new-bookmark
>      new-podcast (for audio players)
>      new-class (for integrated development environments)
>      new-document-drawing (and new-document-*)
>      new-menu-entry
>      ...
> * Add a "close" icon
>   "The icon for the close action."
>   Consequences for existing icons in the spec:
>     dialog-close and window-close -> remove,
>       those two can really be the same icon
>   Opens up opportunities for:
>     close-document
>     close-tab
>     close-project
> * Remove the "document-" prefix
>   from the open, open-recent, save and save-as actions
>   Opens up opportunities for:
>     *-project instead of document-*-project which is ugly
>     using the save action also for "Apply" actions in settings dialogs
> * Add an "edit" icon
>   "The icon for the edit action."
>   Opens up opportunities for:
>     edit-appointment
>     edit-contact
>     edit-todo
>     edit-bookmark
>     edit-format-cell

Should that be: "edit-cell-format" since if editing a table, database, 
or spreadsheet, there are more types of edit for a cell than just format.

>     edit-preferences
>     edit-statusmessage-away
>     edit-track-pianoroll
>     ...
It occurred to me that this might be like OOP, the text book examples 
always work, but when you try to write real world code ... .  The base 
objects: "new", "close", & "edit" are substitutable.

HOWEVER, are there other action tokens that have different meanings for 
different uses and for which we could not make a generic icon?  It 
already appears that there might be some question about using "edit".  I 
think that we could simply broaden the meaning to the actual meaning 
which would include any alteration of any relevant type of data object.

I am not offering a counter example at this time, but we should think 
about it.

That appears to me to be an important question since we need to do this 
all one way or the other.  I don't think that mixing the two methods 
would be acceptable.


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