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Re: Silk icon set for Gnus and synchronizing it into Emacs

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: Re: Silk icon set for Gnus and synchronizing it into Emacs
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 13:37:16 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.110016 (No Gnus v0.16) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On Wed, 23 Mar 2011 13:51:44 -0400 Chong Yidong <address@hidden> wrote: 

CY> Ted Zlatanov <address@hidden> writes:
>> On Mon, 21 Mar 2011 15:43:19 -0500 Ted Zlatanov <address@hidden> wrote:
TZ> For Gnus I'd like to bring in the Silk icon set... This is to
TZ> serve together with Gnome icon sets... The goal is to use the best
TZ> available icon, subject to the user's preferences, especially on
TZ> platforms where Gnome icon themes are not available.

CY> Do you have any specific icons in mind, that are not present in the
CY> Gnome icon set?

There's two issues.  One, Gnome themes are meant for system appearance,
NOT for applications (although applications can use them).  I think the
Silk-only *names* are worth including for their semantic meaning,
e.g. "css_valid" which Gnome themes don't have (they go by MIME type but
can't combine that with the "valid" meaning).  This is not a shortcoming
of the Gnome themes, they just don't cover the same territory that Silk

Two, the standard Gnome icons are pretty comprehensive, looking at
but they require Gnome.  I think we can do better when Gnome is not
installed or available.

CY> License aside (see below), I am leery of this move:

CY> 1. The Silk icon set is 700 files.  Adding 700 files to the Emacs
CY>    distribution, just because some of these might be used by Emacs
CY>    libraries at some point, is unreasonable..

We could add them as a tar file or a single image that can be then cut
up or indexed into, like
http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/previews/index_abc.png.  A
reliable, always available set of semantically meaningful and easily
recognizable icons would be a very good thing.  Right now Emacs doesn't
have that on non-Gnome platforms.

I think applications will start using the Silk icons very quickly if
they are provided.  That's just my opinion, of course, but at least for
Gnus we plan to do so.

Would it be acceptable to make Silk an ELPA package?  That seems like a
cleaner solution...

CY> 2. The right approach is to use system icons whenever possible.

I disagree.  The system icons are not sufficient to represent
application functionality.  When we try to force applications to use
just the system icons we end up with bad UI results.  Compare Silk's
icons to the Gnome standard icons and you'll see they both have

CY>    Rather than adding icon files in support where the x-gtk-stock-map
CY>    functionality doesn't exist, it's better to improve those platforms
CY>    by implementing facilities analogous to x-gtk-stock-map.

Sorry, I don't understand.  You're saying we should improve W32 and Mac
OS X and Solaris, etc.?


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