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Re: "Why is emacs so square?"

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: "Why is emacs so square?"
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2020 21:24:20 +0300

> From: chad <address@hidden>
> Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2020 11:07:32 -0700
> Cc: Dmitry Gutov <address@hidden>, Clément Pit-Claudel <address@hidden>, 
>       EMACS development team <address@hidden>
> I would agree with this "not really" sentiment, but extend it to include the 
> differences between icon themes,
> and where such things work at the OS level, between OS's. The point of icon 
> themes is to make them all fit
> together, and the point of standardized system icons is to have them all fit 
> together, and the users have
> shown (for many, many years now) that they understand this, and can handle 
> the shifts with aplomb. Yes, it
> is possible for someone to install a wacky gui-customization pack that 
> changes the left-arrow into a sausage
> and the file-folder into a rainbow, but the only people who do such things 
> are askign for exactly that behavior,
> and aren't going to be upset that emacs' toolbar changes along with 
> everything else. 

There's no argument that having a capability to change the set of
icons as part of a theme would be a good feature for Emacs to have.
So arguments for having that are, from my POV, preaching to the choir.

The argument, or at least its part about which I expressed concerns,
was to use exclusively the icons provided by the toolkit+desktop that
happen to be in use.  That's an entirely different matter, if we want
to make it pour policy.

> As a practical matter, emacs will need a set of reasonable fallback defaults, 
> for systems that don't have
> system-wide settings

Only if we decide we _want_ to use those system-wide defaults where
they do exist.

> A techincal wrinkle here is how those icons are displayed and how they're 
> stored inside emacs.

They aren't.  They are separate image files which we load when needed.
And I think it should be left that way, because it will make it easier
for us to include new icons in the distribution.

> By way of
> example, the two KDE icon sets that were suggested (Breeze and Oxygen) use 
> different file formats: one
> uses PNG images; the other SVG. (Oddly, the SVG images are distributed in 
> several different sizes, which
> would seem to belie the advantage of using scalable images in the first 
> place.) Scalable icons like SVG
> would be nice for the current era of high- and low-density displays, but my 
> understanding is that SVG is the
> least well supported image format inside emacs across our various platforms 
> these days.

SVG is IMO a PITA because librsvg is a monster.  But other than that,
SVG images are a fait accompli, and we need to support them well.

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