[icon naming] "zoom" vs. "page-zoom"

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at acm.org
Thu May 29 06:45:28 PDT 2008

Rodney Dawes wrote:
> That would be like having user-trash, user-bookmarks, user-online,
> user-desktop, and whatever else there might be, fall back to "user".
> Not very sensible at all is it?

No it isn't very sensible because the icons in your example should be 
named: "trash-user", "bookmarks-user", "user-online" (this one is 
correct), and "bookmarks-user", we aren't going to worry about 
"user-online" since it will work either way, and "desktop-user" would 
fallback to "desktop"

So this is perfectly sensible.

NOTE: I know that the current standard contains:


{is "user-bookmarks" new?}

and yes, I am saying that these are wrong.  I would name them as stated 
above, or simply drop the "user-' if they are a singular icon name if 
reversed.  IAC, as discussed before, the adjective (the modifier) must 
be added to the right, not the left -- they need to read from right to 
left like MIME types (e.g. "text-plain" is plain text).  Another 
possibility is that the icons for directories be called:


so that they would fall back to "folder".  This would mean that 
"user-home" would be called: "folder-home" (which is what KDE3 called it 
-- "folder_home").

> Not everything makes sense to fall back to just "zoom" or "user" or
> other similar single items. This is why the "base" versions in the
> spec are "zoom-in" and similar. If it was just "zoom" you would have
> no idea of what direction you were zooming.

"zoom-in" falling back to zoom is a good idea.  "trash" falling back to 
"user" is a very bad idea.

First let me tell you what "jpetso" didn't.

KDE3 had three icons which we need to rename:


which I would rename:


Seems almost like a tautology to me.

He proposed that we name other icons:


which are not the magnifying glass metaphor.  So, he doesn't want them 
to fall back to "zoom".  So, he wants to rename "zoom" to "page-zoom" 
which is not consistent with the standard and I do not see how 
"page::zoom" is a subset of "page".  It should be obvious that "zoom" 
can not be a subdivision of "page" because it is the reverse: "page" is 
a type of "zoom".  Also we have no other icons named "page-*".

IAC, the icons:


are not in the standard so they need to fall back to something.  I'm not 
sure about:


which I would probably call "zoom-fit-window" that that is not an 
important issue.

Falling back to _something_ is always better than falling back to 
_nothing_.  So, I have reached the conclusion that the solution to his 
problem with the fallback is to name the icons:

	view-fit-best (or view-fit-window)

and they will fall back to "view" which looks better.  Personally, I see 
this as bikeshedding except for the important point that icons that are 
not in the standard should have something to fallback to (we have a lot 
of "view-*" icons).  That is not BSing but rather a fundamental design 

Note: I really like the new icon naming system.  However, I am starting 
to wonder if those that invented it really understand it. :-D


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