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Re: suggestions on toolbar icons

From: Jan D.
Subject: Re: suggestions on toolbar icons
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 18:37:42 +0100

"Jan D." <address@hidden> writes:

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

Please, Jan, when replying to Outlook users, use the WYf command from
gnus on their article.  This is not readable.

Sorry, I am not a gnus user.  But I'll see what I can do in the future.

    It is not FILE, it is NEW we are using.  And should be using, as
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

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.

Disagree.  Tooltips are optional guides.  The user interface has to
make sense of its own without explanation, or we could just make
everything carry identical buttons.  Tooltips are nice for giving out
some rationale, so that the user then can say "ah right, that was the
logic behind it".  But they are an explanation, not a substitute for

I may have misunderstood the question, but I was answering to "Given the fact that FILE and NEW are identical icons, how can I know if Emacs uses FILE or NEW?" If the icon doesn't make sense, the tooltip is the guide, if they do, they both make sense, without the user having to know if it is FILE or NEW internally.

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

Legacy. Are we tied to legacy as well as to GNOME?

I have to agree here with Drew.  "legacy" here is an explanation why
something happens to be the way it is right now, not a reason why it
should be kept that way.

Yes, we are slightly tied to legacy, but less so in this part than
for the rest part of Emacs.

I don't see we are tied at all by legacy.  Emacs-21.4 had a working
toolbar just on a single platform, and then it did not use GNOME-2

Legacy in this context means it worked like this before so let's do the same. This applies to the case where no suitable stock icon where found.

Drew's criticism was probably worded stronger than necessary, and so
you felt the need to get defensive.  There is no need either to be
ashamed of what we did previously, nor to cling to it without

I did not mean to come off as opposed to all change, it is just that changing even one icon is a bit of work (scaling it, converting to xpm and xbm, testing on true color, pseudo color and black and white display), and changing just a few breaks the visual consistenct that the Gnome stock icons have, regardless if they are good or bad. However, I think the inclusion of the older gthumb icons as has been suggested is a good idea, we should do that regardless what Gnome replies to Lennart Borgmans mail.

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.

Yes, I think that would be a good idea.  Obviously Drew has invested
some thoughts in it, and it would be nice if this lead to a coherent
proposal we could then implement.

And with a coherent proposal, it is also easier to explain to the
GNOME artists why and what new and changed icons would be desirable
and for what reason.

I have found it generally hard to change the minds of those in charge of Gnome (there was even something about that on slashdot a couple of days ago, so it is perhaps not me being unlucky). But Borgmans suggestion is an addition, not a change so I think it stands a fair chance of being accepted.

        Jan D.

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