flags, icons, locales

Sorry if you think I shouldn't have started a new thread for this...

But I think the issue with flags is really just a specific case of a
more general issue; icons need to be localizable.  If icons are
localizable, then images which are offensive or politically sensitive in
a particular locale can be replaced by "more appropriate" ones.

I think there's a real value in icons for keyboard layout switchers, for
instance.  But as has been pointed out already, using 'flags' for
locales is not a fully generic solution.  In some cases a flag may be an
appropriate, unambiguous choice for a "locale-icon", in others not.  So
I suggest:

* we need a set of icons that represents locales; some of these might be
based on or derived from images of flags, others might not.
* it would be nice if this set of icons were shared across all desktop
components that modified locale-based data or settings.
* these icons need to be localizable, so that for instance the zh_TW
icons won't be the tiawanese flag if you're running mainland zh_CN
locale (possibly the zh_TW icon ought to be non-flag-based anyhow).

Localizable icons would help with things like right-to-left orientation
of some icons and also allow use of icons (like representations of the
foot ;-)  that might be offensive in some locales.

best regards,


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