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Re: suggestions on toolbar icons

From: Jan D.
Subject: Re: suggestions on toolbar icons
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 06:52:40 +0100

OPEN is what the action is, not FILE. Sometimes (without file dialog or
Motif dialog), you can actually open directories with open. So FILE
    does not apply.

Yes, despite the name, `find-file-existing' can also open directories. I
still think the folder icon is misleading here.

You should try to influence Gnome then.

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.

Fine. How would I know which you use, without checking the code? FILE and
NEW are _identical_ icons; they are both standard file icons.

Why should you know? The tooltip tells you what it does, that is all any user wants to know.

So, what is FILE for? Is it perhaps for opening an existing file? It is
normal that the two actions "open a new file" and "open an existing file" have similar icons - that's just what I was suggesting we need. Similar,
yes; identical, no. File, yes (for both); folder, no.

Also a Gnome issue, take it up there.

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
presumably, chronological) - as in Web browsers? Why use the GNOME
undo/redo icon (GTK_STOCK_REDO) for Back and Forward?

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?

I said "why not use GTK_STOCK_GO_BACK for Back (which is, presumably,
chronological)." It is used in Info for Previous, not for chronological
Back. I already pointed out that it is _not_ good to use undo/redo for
chronological moves.

    The previous version of Emacs used redo/undo, so we keep that.

Legacy. Are we tied to legacy as well as to GNOME? And if (as is the case
here) they happen to conflict? Apparently legacy wins.

Yes, we are slightly tied to legacy, but less so in this part than for the rest part of Emacs. Sure, we can use BACK for something else, but present a suggestion for a complete and visually consistent toolbar, questioning random icons here and there is not constructive.

To be clear: _IF_ we are to be consistent in adherence to GNOME, then we should 1) use BACK/FORWARD for Back/Forward (chronological moves), 2) use something else (not BACK/FORWARD and not UNDO/REDO) for structural moves,
and 3) use TOP (not HOME) for Top. Hang legacy, for things like toolbar

Again, present a complete suggestion. You are assuming somebody else should figure out what this "something else" is. That is not going to happen, there are far more important things to work on.

the international exit sign.

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

Attached (google for "exit"). Also attached: the information symbol (google for "information"). Even countries that don't use international signs use these two in airplanes, airports, and such, so I can't imagine many people
haven't seen them. Also attached: possibilities I mentioned for
"Preferences" (Customize) and "New File".

These are visually inconsistent with the rest of the toolbar, except perhaps for new.gif. I don't see any advantage over the Gnome versions. However, you can try getting these in to Gnome. But you probably have to modify them so they are visually consistent with other Gnome icons.

"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.

Of course, but it is not a difference that is reflected in "discard" any more than in "quit". If you really want to be a stickler about this, use "delete". The point is that "discard" is as ambiguous as "quit", but it is
less familiar to many people.

I have not done any statistical analysis of how familiar people are with discard, but the Emacs manual uses it in several instances (discard input, lines, etc), and the meaning is never quit. Of course the difference is reflected in the difference between discard and quit. I'll let the native english speakers descide if discard is so strange that a change to delete is needed.

        Jan D.

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