Kill ? icons

Urs Wolfer uwolfer at
Mon Dec 29 19:44:16 GMT 2008

On Monday 29 December 2008 05:46:56 Loïc Marteau wrote:
> Hello !
> I would like to try to avoid a maximum the user be confused by a "?"
> icon that we can get sometimes when :
> - there is not artwork made for the desired mimetype for the file he
> want to browse (exemple : .srt files)
> - there is no icon setted in a dialog windows
> - there is no icon setted in a notification plasmoid
> Here is a patch to add an icon in the confirmation dialog that the
> user get when he try to activate Kwin composition in Desktop settings.
> I think this dialog is a good example.
> The question i'm asking myself in term of usability is :
> Can this specific "?" icon lead the user to be confused ?
> Kde ask the user if all is fine after the composition's activaton and
> he will seeing this disgraceful "?" icon at a moment he's waiting for
> seeing some candy eyes coming. Perhaps he will not understand what it
> is really for (something wrong or buggy elsewhere) ?
> Dont know if it is just a forget or if the idea was to just put an "?"
> icon to let the user know that he has to answer something !? I dont
> think this can be relevant because usually in dialogs that ask user
> for some interaction there is some big warning icon inside the dialog
> windows itself. And using exactly the same icon that is used to the
> file mimetype that dont have artwork seems a bit broken too.
> 1- Is it ok to commit this patch ?

If there is no KComponentData around, yes. Otherwise please use 

> 2- However I'm not sure there is a lot of dialog windows without
> proper icon, so perhaps we can stay as this and write some patch when
> we found one ? If not we can perhaps deprecate the actual dialog
> constructor and create a new one to force the developer to specify an
> proper icon each time he create a dialog ?

Nope, a dialog takes by default the application icon. If there is no 
application icon, and no icon has been set, there will be shown a broken icon.

> 3- David recently add a patch to replace in the browser file
> management a white icon instead the "?" one when the file has no known
> mimetype, but perhaps we can extend that for the icon that have a
> known mimetype but dont have artwork yet.
> 4- For the notification plasmoid that dont have icon setted when the
> user copy or move a file I dont know where to search to resolve the
> problem
> 4bis- Sometimes this notifications are not really relevant when the
> user is directly responsible of the action and the action take no time
> (creation/move of file in the same partition, copy of a small file,
> click on a http link in some application to open the browser
> window/gwenview etc). Sorry if this is off topic

In general it's a good idea to avoid as many broken icons as possible. It's 
greatly appreciated if you fix such icons.

Some hints:
# If you have build KDE in debug more, just run the app from Konsole. Then you 
see when a broken icon name is used and you can easily grep through the code 
and fix it.

# If a KComponentData is around, use KComponentData::setApplicationIconName.

# There are some mimetypes which are just aliases or basically the same as 
another one with an existing icon. In this case you can just copy the existing 
icon. There is a helper script somewhere in SVN (probably 

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