[Geany-Devel] Drop GtkStock and use symbolic icons

Matthew Brush mbrush at xxxxx
Fri Oct 11 01:47:37 UTC 2013

On 13-10-10 05:47 PM, Yosef Or Boczko wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 3:27 AM, Matthew Brush <mbrush at codebrainz.ca> wrote:
>> On 13-10-10 05:14 PM, Yosef Or Boczko wrote:
>>> On Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 2:43 AM, Colomban Wendling
>>> <lists.ban at herbesfolles.org> wrote:
>>>> Le 11/10/2013 01:24, Yosef Or Boczko a écrit :
>>>>> [snip]
>>>>> Also, in GNOME 3.10 the Stock items is drop [1], and UI with Stock is
>>>>> look outdated.
>>>> How does the UI look outdated?  Using named icons won't change a thing,
>>>> in the end they all use the theme's icons.
>>> The icons in the menus and in the buttons in the dialogs isn't add any
>>> information.
>>> I not think the 'OK' icon is add information there isn't in the string
>>> „Save”.
>> So why have anything that doesn't add information? We could use text-only
>> toolbar, force off user's theme choice and use plain/stock theme, remove
>> choice of syntax highlighting colours, remove icons from the symbols tree,
>> hard-code the font family and size to the Geany developers preference,
>> etc...
>> In reality it doesn't matter what we think, or what the GNOME design team
>> thinks, such stuff is extremely subjective and personal and the only apps
>> that need to care about GNOME design manifesto are GNOME applications
>> themselves.
> It not right, you not adds things without any reason.
> In the toolbar there isn't place to text, so use icons with a tooltip instead.
> In button in dialog have a place to text, so not need a icon and a tooltip.
> Syntax Highlighting colours is for **highlighting** the code, and the icons
> in the symbols tree is for distinguish between kinds of symbols (yes, is not
> matter what is the icons in the symbols tree, it just need to be different),
> etc - for each thing in the UI have any reason!

As a real-life analogy since I'm quite bored right now...

I'm not sure how they are in all different parts of the world but I 
assume it's similar everywhere, traffic lights have at least 3 different 
round lamps in them, one is green which means "go", one is yellow which 
means "go faster or else you'll have to wait for a while", and one red 
which means "stop, unless nobody is looking". The reason such seemingly 
superfluous icons are useful in GUI elements is the same reason the 
traffic lights don't just display the words "proceed", "prepare to 
stop", and "stop" in monochromatic lettering.

The other reason the they are useful is because GUI widgets like traffic 
lights are not always in the same location, position, orientation, or 
size. Having those same 3 colours consistently everywhere permits 
drivers from different places to know what those differently sized and 
positioned traffic lights means.

Just consider the little disk, stop sign, or check-marks icons that the 
user learns as "traffic lights" for the user interface. For common 
actions, the text is actually redundant and the icon becomes more 
important (to those not using screen readers anyway).

Having both is fine since some icons and themes are not very 
understandable or are even missing icons[1] and sometimes you do need to 
read the labels since not all actions are common[1] and need 
descriptions, and also for accessibility purposes. I don't see a problem 
with a toolkit-wide option to disable those icons if the user requests, 
but it seems presumptuous to assume that they are not useful or wanted 
by many people.

>> P.S. As you can tell this subject is extremely controversial outside of
>> GNOME-land (or at least inside of Geany-land), please don't mistake rants
>> for anything personal against your own valid opinions :)
> Before GNOME 3.10 I was used the icons in the buttons and in the menus,
> but I see is realy ugly and not useful.

It's so subjective though, I happen to think the exact opposite.  I use 
XFCE, Win7 and MacOS Lion too, so it's not like I'm just not used to the 
different takes on this. This is precisely what user preferences are 
good for.

Matthew Brush

[1]: Although I think with stock icons at least there was a sane 
fallback built into GTK+, not sure if that's deprecated too.

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