Aaron J. Seigo aseigo at kde.org
Mon Mar 3 21:22:43 PST 2008

On Friday 04 November 2005, Tuomas Kuosmanen wrote:
> > We appreciate and welcome any improvement in terms of usability and
> > appearance. But we think that the ubiquitous usage of a specific
> > icontheme to
> > solve the issues you are trying to fix is the wrong answer to the right
> > question.
> Can you explain what is your solution to the problem of the visual mess
> that is the free desktop today?

consistent naming in icon themes so that a given user or integrator can pick a 
visual style and have all apps adapt to it without any further work.

the reality is that branding happens. the reality is that users also want 
choice. the solution is consistency at the naming level.

that is why we (KDE) adopted the naming spec as a valuable, good thing. note 
that this worked well with our also adopting the shared mimetype spec.

> If you think this is just another theme, well, did you read anything on
> the website? We try to explain the problem we are trying to solve, do you
> not see it as a problem at all?

having conversed with Torsten on this topic at length, and given his tenure 
and contributrions within the community, i can safely vouce that the answer 
on both of those questions is, "yes".

> > Although I like KDE on NOVELL/SUSE LINUX very much (I'm using it myself
> > since
> > years on a daily basis) I consider mailinglists for an icontheme
> > incorporating and promoting NOVELL's corporate identity _abuse_ of this
> > forum.
> The colours are actually something you can propose to change if you feel
> they are a problem. When used in icons though, I dont really think they
> will scream any corporate identity, nor were they designed to do so. My
> car is blue, but it does not remind me of Pepsi, even though the colour
> might be close to the one in the logo.

i don't think Torsten talked about colours specifically. that's one part of 
it, but not the end of it. personally i find this kind of twisting of what 
the other side said to be really unproductive.

> > Otherwise we would feel the need to advertise KDE's visual identity on
> > this
> > site as well by providing a comparable offer using the _very_ popular and
> > _very_ complete "Crystal" icontheme which almost has become a "standard"
> > of
> > its own due to its circulation.
> Werent you going to replace everything with this "Oxygen" theme in KDE
> anyway?

you're missing the point. it's not the artwork, it's the naming. that's the 
interop part. trying to make the point that the artwork is the critical point 
(and, ergo, "adopt my artwork") leads one to Torsten's point: that Crysal 
should then by that logic be the obvious choice years ago.

> Come on dudes. Its time to grow up.

i agree.

> clotches. Whoever thinks there will be One True Toolkit that all
> applications will use, so that we can by that achieve consistency on the
> desktop, well, needs to actually go outside and look over the shoulders of
> *a real user*. Someone who is not part of our own community.

this is a strawman. it implies a situation that does not exist, for we (KDE) 
have done exactly this. the adoption of large numbers of rather core fd.o 
specs in KDE4 is the evidence of that. so please, stop stiring the pot 
needlessly here. it makes it all the more difficult for those of us (e.g. 
myself) who care about increasing this trend to do so when there is no 
quarter given for current successes.

note that these kinds of strawmen are more deadly for cooperation than any 
status quo we've ever faced.

> People use APPLICATIONS. Gimp. Skype. Acroread. Firefox. Openoffice. All
> looking like a mess together, because there is no standard. No
> consistency. We want to solve that. Is that not important?

absolutely. that's why we (KDE) went through huge effort to convert *every* 
*single* *use* of an icon name in our svn to the new naming scheme, and then 
changed all the icon themes we ship to this naming scheme as well. that was 
not a small investment in time or energy. i know because i was one of the 
people who did a lot of that work.

i'd like to expect others to respect that investment, recognize the 
improvement and move on.

> This is an invitation for *co-operation* - so we can together create the
> visual identity of Linux (and other free software desktops) - is that
> evil?

no. but the idea of "use my artwork" is unrealistic. if it were, crystal (to 
use Torsten's example) would've been this years ago. the Tango icon theme 
looks very "GNOME". that's ok, i have no beef with that *at all*. but i will 
point out the hypocrisy of not adopting what went before it, but then 
requesting others to adopt Tango's artwork.

thankfully, it's a moot point and the sooner we drop that line of conversation 
the sooner we'll get on to what really matters.

Aaron J. Seigo
humru othro a kohnu se
GPG Fingerprint: 8B8B 2209 0C6F 7C47 B1EA  EE75 D6B7 2EB1 A7F1 DB43

KDE core developer sponsored by Trolltech
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