Re: icon naming spec and gnome-vfs (from the right account now)

On Tue, 2006-08-01 at 14:28 -0400, Pat Suwalski wrote:
> Jakub Steiner wrote:
> > An image thumbnail will give you much more information than a text label
> > on a tiny icon and that is likely to be the default case on the GNOME
> > desktop.
> Unless, like me, you're always converting images that are large and you 
> don't want to thumbnail, but you want to quickly distinguish between the 
> TIFF and the JPEG. This leads in to the further discussion.

Hi Pat,
For me good design is about finding what's essential and then worry
about the special cases. In this specific example I mean worry about
having a complete icon theme that provides a core set of images. Yes to
a hacker it is crucial to tell a generic text file from a patch. To an
artist or photographer it's essential to tell a raw image file from a
jpeg. To a musician it's essential to tell a non-lossy flac file from an
mp3. I am not saying we shouldn't provide that distinction at all. But I
reckon it makes sense to first worry about this small, basic,
maintainable and themeable set first, and then provide icons for
specific use cases.

Similarly to what I mentioned with the generic vs specific device icons
in my previous mail, it's a less of an evil to have the user look at a
file extension for distinction than have the old
application-x-bittorrent show up in Bluecurve (Now I'm pretty sure David
will tell me they already have that covered too ;). The benefit of
having minimal base icon set is that distributions only need to worry
about this much stuff to theme without shipping a Frankenstein. Yes it
will be a bonus if they ship a specific device icons and specific
filetype icons. But in case they don't manage to hire an army of
talented artists, they will have a consistent looking set with just a
few icons (still a fair bit of work ;).

I don't know how much time exactly went into gnome icon theme over the
years, but I do feel like we failed to provide a good icon theming
platform for distributions. Back then we had old Gnome 1.0 styled icons
inconsistency. Then I tried to create an icon for every single random
mimetype people requested. Yes we had all the various CD media icons.
But there's less artists than there are free software hackers, and there
isn't too many of those either. Ad-hoc naming, missing sizes and thus
blurry icons for small sizes and a general mess was the result. 

So yea, a specific tiff icon would be nice, but does it have to come
now? Does it have to be in the core icon theme? Before we make sure all
icons are named properly, have all the sizes provided, include the
artwork "source" I don't think we should worry about those yet. I'm
talking about the filetypes now, I'm going a bit soft on the device
icons now.. :)

Jakub Steiner <jimmac ximian com>

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