Icon theme spec on the website
jpetso at gmx.at
Thu Sep 25 12:05:15 PDT 2008
On Thursday 25 September 2008, Toma wrote:
> Agreed. Too long have I battled with ridiculous icon names. Over in E
> town, we're trying to get the icon themes to provide icons for the
> file manager, but the majority of icon themes use hacks and links to
> get them to work with a particular version of whatever. Now, you can
> blame this on the icon packager, but part of the blame is in the spec,
> for not outlining all the details.
> That said, the whole spec needs a re-think and needs some serious
> additions and rules.
And a staging area. Like, a place where developers can list their icons
regardless of applicability in other desktops, and other devs list theirs too,
and everyone can have a look at what similar applications use and consequently
agree on a single naming set.
I believe a major problem is that the desktops just don't know of each other,
and use whatever non-standard icon names they can just think of, even if the
other desktop has already done lots of thinking about this issue and might
have a sounder solution. If we want people to work together on icons, we
should know what the other's icons are and how they can be made to fit into a
single scheme. And when people agree on a given name and description, they
should go into the spec.
I wanted to throw up a website to facilitate this for a long time, but it just
never fit into my schedule. Maybe someone likes the idea and feels motivated
to help the devs come together for icon naming and more detailed usage
I also believe that an icon naming specification should not aim to have
developers rethink how their application works, which is what dobey also tried
to do with the spec. How interfaces are designed is subject to a given desktop
and its user interface paradigms and HIG, trying to force a specific way of
working onto the other desktop is imho something that slowed down icon
Anyways, let it be bottom-up, not top-down. Desktops and applications use
their own icons anyways (if they can find artists drawing those, at least),
and won't stop doing so just because the extremely limited set of icons in the
spec doesn't cater to their needs. We should try to find similarities where
those already exist, and only cut down on icons when a solution can be reached
that everyone is comfortable with.
My opinion is that a fixed set of icon definitions will never suffice for all
the different usages there are. Let the icon naming spec be replaced a
publicly editable list of which icons exist and where / how often those are
used. Themers do one icon at the time anyways, so they could just pick the
next one on such a priority list until they lose motivation (one could also
say "until they're done", but complete icon sets covering all desktops and
applications don't exist and are mostly a utopian wish, imho).
Unfortunately I'm away from desktop tinkering for quite a while still, so I
can't help with that effort. However, please do feel encouraged to pull up an
inclusive working ground as opposed to a minimal static list, I'd welcome an
effort to get the people to work together again instead of begging the spec
maintainer for something they won't get anyways without lots and lots and more
lots of discussions that are mostly going nowhere.
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