Icon parameters in *.desktop files

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at acm.org
Wed Jun 22 19:06:39 BST 2005

Jaroslaw Staniek wrote:
> James Richard Tyrer said the following, On 2005-06-22 13:26:
>> But, if this is considered to be a problem, it would also be
>> possible to add an additional key.  For example:
>> Icon=kate GenericIcons=editor,text-editor
>> Icon=svg GenericIcons=vectorgfx,image
>> then if the user changed the icon with a GUI dialog, the list of
>> other possible substitute icons wouldn't be lost.  The icon loader
>> would first look for the icon specified by "Icon" and if not found
>> would look for the icons in the "GenericIcons" list.  This might
>> also be better for backward compatibility.
>> Either way, this also has advantages when running an application on
>>  another desktop.  In the first example, if Kate (a KDE
>> application) is run on GNOME, then if there is no "kate" icon
>> because GNOME doesn't use the KDE default theme, it would use the
>> GNOME HiColor icon "text-editor" icon.
> A small note: Hmm, the idea is good for _action_, _device_,
> _mimetype_ icons and so on -- they can be easier substituted while an
> app is running under GNOME, without large usablility damage. The
> question is: perhaps, substituting _application_ icon, say kate's
> icon with gedit's icon, can increase a feel that no single Linux
> desktop has familiar/similar settings.

> Many application authors prefer not to change their application icon
>  depending on distro and window manager.

There is a simple solution to this, they need to provide a HiColor icon.
  If they provide a HiColor icon for their app then they do not need to
list possible substitutions for the _application_ icon since the HiColor 
icon will be used if there isn't an icon in the user selected icon theme.

OTOH, some people are pushing generic icons and this will provide them. 
  This would just be a tool -- exactly how developers used it would 
still be up to them.

> Remember why so many people know that "large blue 'e' icon" launches
> 'the internet' ?



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