[PATCH] "Show only important text" mode for toolbars

Benjamin Meyer ben at meyerhome.net
Wed Sep 22 14:58:27 BST 2004

Hash: SHA1

On Wednesday 22 September 2004 2:24 am, Simon Edwards wrote:
> On Wednesday 22 September 2004 05:43, Frans Englich wrote:
> > On Wednesday 22 September 2004 02:20, Peter Rockai (mornfall) wrote:
> > > I spoke with Aaron yesterday on IRC about toolbar plans for 3.4 and I
> asked
> > > what about the text-alongside-icons mode and overly long texts. He
> > > suggested adding a flag like textImportant to the actions and a
> > > checkbox (and toolbar context menu item) to show/hide "unimportant"
> > > texts.
> >
> > I don't know the purpose of the text-along-icons option(enlighten me);
> > that must be clear before any decisions about it is taken.
> I'm not sure if this is the intended use of this feature, but I see this as
> a useful solution to the following problem:
> In KDE have the option between having toolbars with text turned on which
> gives you toolbars that are way too big, wide and generally run off the
> window and get cut off which is annoying. The other option is toolbars with
> no text which gives you nice compact toolbars that fit on screen but then
> you are left with the problem that often it is not possible to know what an
> icon does by just by looking at it. Maybe the icon is bad, of it represents
> some abstract action which no artist could ever make a good icon for,
> whatever. Point is that often icons fail to communicate.

Only *two* options you say?  What about bigger icons (32x32) with text under?  
I have been running my entire desktop like this for a while.  It works quite 
well.  The icon centered above the text makes them look as one item to click 
rather then two when they are next to each other.

> It looks like this patch would provide a _very_ useful compromise between
> all icons+no text and icons+text. Icons that are cryptic get a text label,
> while rest stays sans text and compact.

The problem isn't with the text, but the fact that 99% of developers have 
their toobar to the defaults.  So they rarely see how big their text is or 
even think about coming up with shorter strings.  As I use applications I 
have been cleaning up a few of these string.  A good example someone else 
already mentioned is in KMail's compose windows there is Sign Message and 
Encrypt Message.  Both of these can be drop "Message".

If we move to having larger icons (22x22 or 32x32) with text under I bet you 
that all of the text length issues would be resolved very quickly.

- -Benjamin Meyer

- -- 
aka icefox
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