Multiple styles in icon themes and the future of the XDG icon specs

Simon Lees sflees at
Fri Nov 22 01:06:22 UTC 2019

On 11/21/19 10:28 PM, Noah Davis wrote:
> On 2019-11-20 01:04:29 EST, Simon Lees <sflees at> wrote:
>> I think the simplest way to do this is to focus more on implementing it
>> in the toolkits rather then by drastic changes to the desktop spec.
>> Possibly the best way forward could be to teach toolkits to use two
>> themes, the standard theme and the "application" theme (for lack of a
>> better name). If the application theme is set then the toolkit would use
>> it over the "main" theme for the elements you suggested such as buttons
>> etc. You could then extend the button api etc with a flag that tells it
>> to use the main theme instead. You could also add api to QApplication
>> (or its equivalent) that specifies certain applications like maybe
>> desktops should ignore the application theme.
>> In a similar way to the way the current spec allows you to set a
>> fallback theme for missing icons we could also extend it to specify a
>> "application" theme that it could choose to use or not to use.
>> If you were to then ship a breeze-monochorome theme that falls back to
>> the breeze theme, users of toolkits that didn't support this new
>> functionality could choose to use breeze-monochrome and have 95% of
>> there icons looking right (with the exception of ones with conflicts).
>> If a KDE user was to set gtk to use breeze-monochorome for example then
>> pretty much all of there icons would look in place.
> Thank you for pointing me in the right direction, although I feel a little out of my depth. I suppose there are probably some people I could talk to in the KDE community that are already familiar with modifying Qt.
>> The default enlightenment / efl icon set is taking a similar stylistic
>> approach but rather then using monochrome for most things like actions
>> it uses a single shade of blue.
> That's quite interesting. Do you have any links I could follow to have a closer look? Is this in the current released version?

Here's one (the rest are easy to find) from the github mirror [1], its
mostly used through the application toolkit but the actual desktop
hasn't been completely swapped yet. From the screenshot of the desktop
[2] the default UI is mid grey's with that color blue used everywhere as
the only highlight color.




Simon Lees (Simotek)                  

Emergency Update Team                 
SUSE Linux                           Adelaide Australia, UTC+10:30
GPG Fingerprint: 5B87 DB9D 88DC F606 E489 CEC5 0922 C246 02F0 014B

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 488 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
URL: <>

More information about the xdg mailing list