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Re: suggestions on toolbar icons

From: Jan D.
Subject: Re: suggestions on toolbar icons
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 20:41:00 +0100

I won't belabor this, but I do have a few responses. Your reply is, in
essence, "GNOOOOMMME" (shades of Allen Ginsberg w/ "Oommmm"). If GNOME's
choices are not always the best, we will nevertheless live with it.

No,they are not always the best, far from it. But there is a point in aligning with them.

 - Folder (for "file): This is _not_ good. A folder icon is used
   ubiquitously for, well, a folder - that is, a directory.

    You are talking Microsoft products here I guess.  This is the Gnome
    stock open icon, I see no advantage to adopt a different set of
guidelines different from Gnome where the folder icon is not at all is
    ubiquitously used for directory. Check out any Gnome application.

 - Directory (Dired):
   Suggestion: Use a regular folder icon. Duh?

GTK_STOCK_DIRECTORY _is_ a standard folder icon. This _agrees_ with my
suggestion (not at all Microsoftesque) that a standard folder icon should be
used for Dired. If you think advocating that a folder icon be used to
represent a folder editor implies advocating adopting Microsoft conventions, then I would suggest that you are overly zealous in your struggle. Oommmm.

I don't have any "struggle". I'm just pointing out that Gnome should have higher priority than any other desktop, be it KDE, OSX or whatever. GTK_STOCK_OPEN and GTK_STOCK_DIRECTORY are confusingly similar (did I just say that Gnome isn't always the best?). OPEN is what the action is, not FILE. Sometimes (without file dialog or the Motif dialog), you can actually open directories with open. So FILE does not apply.

Similarly, GTK_STOCK_FILE is a standard file icon. This _agrees_ with my
suggestion to keep this icon.

It is not FILE, it is NEW we are using. And should be using, as the action is NEW as in new buffer, not FILE. Again, it is possible to make a new buffer without any file with this under the right settings.

The question then is, what about new-file vs existing-file? I suggested
using something similar for both of these. GTK_STOCK_NEW is in fact
_identical_ to GTK_STOCK_FILE, showing that GNOME and I think alike on this

Emacs, however, currently uses the _directory_ icon, GTK_STOCK_DIRECTORY for
opening an existing file - it happens that this icon is identical to
GTK_STOCK_OPEN. Using a folder to represent opening a _file_ flies in the
face of every UI I've ever seen. Are you sure that GTK_STOCK_OPEN is
intended for files, not for directories? Does using it for opening a file
make sense to you?

Check out any Gnome application, it is the most common icon (as is OPEN), it is indeed used for opening existing files. We did not put this in Emacs on a hunch.

Finally, if you are going to use GNOME as a litmus test, then why not be consistent and use GTK_STOCK_GOTO_TOP instead of GTK_STOCK_HOME for Info's Top? Likewise, why not use GTK_STOCK_GO_BACK for Back (which is, presumably,
chronological) - as in Web browsers? Why use the GNOME undo/redo icon
(GTK_STOCK_REDO) for Back and Forward? I suspect that we are already
departing dangerously from the GNOME Oommmmm. It's a slippery slope...

HOME was used because previous Emacs versions use HOME from GTK 1.x. BACK is used in info, I presume that is what you mean. Are you suggesting BACK for two actions? The previous version of Emacs used redo/undo, so we keep that. As you pointed out, there are icons missing.

    The Gnome stock quit could be used in info to quit, it is an arrow
    pointing to an open door.

Yes, that's better, although the icon is ambiguous (entering or exiting?)
and is not very clear (the door is hard to distinguish). I prefer the
international exit sign - the one you look for when there's a fire.

Make that icon, so we can see what it looks like.

 - Tooltip for quit/exit:
   Suggestion: Use "Quit buffer", or "Delete buffer" instead of
   "Discard current buffer". I prefer "Quit buffer".

But "Quit Buffer" is not clear, it could mean the same as "Quit Info"
    i.e. leaving the buffer intact, just switching to another buffer.

"Quit" is clearer (and more common) than "discard". At this level, the
distinction between leaving the buffer intact and killing it is not
important - and "discard" doesn't help with this distinction anyway.

It is very important. It is a great difference between just burying a buffer and discarding it.

        Jan D.

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