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-   -   Voting considered harmful (Was: Echo Icon Theme in F10?) (http://www.linux-archive.org/fedora-desktop/175768-voting-considered-harmful-echo-icon-theme-f10.html)

Jesse Keating 10-13-2008 10:06 PM

Voting considered harmful (Was: Echo Icon Theme in F10?)
 
On Mon, 2008-10-13 at 19:01 +0000, Martin Sourada wrote:
> Well, gnome and kde already look different on that level. Does that
> confuse greater community?

Not when (default) Gnome icons on Fedora look like (default) Gnome icons
on Debian and on SuSE. Same with (default) KDE icons on Fedora and
such.

> Echo is *just another* icon set that is
> coincidentally developed by some members of the Art Team who'd like to
> see it as a default icon theme Fedora wide (as opposed to gnome wide or
> kde wide) when ready for that.

But what problem does it solve? What doesn't the upstream provide in
this case, that we are spending effort to "invent here" rather than
contribute upstream?

> Does it bring anything to the wider upstream community? I hope that in
> the long run it will ease icon themes creation process for others as
> well (e.g. with helping with replacing unthemable icons by themable
> ones). Also I hope it will emerge into cross desktop icon theme used by
> much wider audience than just Fedora users.

Wasn't that already tried with bluecurve (and failed)?

>
> Does it bring anything to Fedora user? Different, more lively, more
> 3D-like art. Perhaps wider coverage of Fedora specific stuff (but that
> does not need to be limited to Echo). Is that a good thing? Seriously,
> who is to decide that? Definitely not me. I believe Art and Desktop
> Teams (and various other desktop SIGs when Echo gets selected for other
> DE's than gnome) together have the right to do so.
>
> If not, we'll continue to be just another alternative icon theme,
> developed by some of the fedora artists ;-)

I'm just trying to get a handle on what the problem is that echo is
trying to solve.

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Martin Sourada 10-13-2008 11:20 PM

Voting considered harmful (Was: Echo Icon Theme in F10?)
 
On Mon, 2008-10-13 at 15:06 -0700, Jesse Keating wrote:
> On Mon, 2008-10-13 at 19:01 +0000, Martin Sourada wrote:
> > Well, gnome and kde already look different on that level. Does that
> > confuse greater community?
>
> Not when (default) Gnome icons on Fedora look like (default) Gnome icons
> on Debian and on SuSE. Same with (default) KDE icons on Fedora and
> such.
>
Well, try running some KDE applications on Gnome or the other way round.
It will never be perfect, but we can at least have one icons set for
both (I am not implying it must be Echo).

> > Echo is *just another* icon set that is
> > coincidentally developed by some members of the Art Team who'd like to
> > see it as a default icon theme Fedora wide (as opposed to gnome wide or
> > kde wide) when ready for that.
>
> But what problem does it solve? What doesn't the upstream provide in
> this case, that we are spending effort to "invent here" rather than
> contribute upstream?
>
Well, practically we aren't inventing anything. Just creating an icon
theme set that uses different design from the upstream defaults. The
problem we are trying to address in echo specifically (i.e. it has
nothing to do with other icon sets) is coverage of both gnome and kde.

> Wasn't that already tried with bluecurve (and failed)?
>
Technically speaking Echo is modern-looking bluecurve successor. I think
bluecurve failed because it was outdated and failed to "keep up with the
era".

> I'm just trying to get a handle on what the problem is that echo is
> trying to solve.
>
I don't think that's the right question in case of art. Art is basically
about doing something new, or improving something old, simply said. With
Echo we are doing both - posing ourselves as bluecurve successor, using
same metaphors as gnome or oxygen as much as possible (to not confuse
user), but developing our own style. We are trying to make it default in
Fedora, for one because we think it would improve Fedora looks, second
we think users might profit from consistent icon set throughout whole
distro (not in Fedora 10 yet, since KDE isn't covered enough), third it
is developed by people in Fedora Art Team and fourth, with every new
release of Fedora there are questions why Echo is still not default,
usually accompanied by "prediction" that it will always stay in the
"next time" state ;-)

Martin
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Jesse Keating 10-13-2008 11:53 PM

Voting considered harmful (Was: Echo Icon Theme in F10?)
 
On Mon, 2008-10-13 at 23:20 +0000, Martin Sourada wrote:
> I don't think that's the right question in case of art. Art is basically
> about doing something new, or improving something old, simply said. With
> Echo we are doing both - posing ourselves as bluecurve successor, using
> same metaphors as gnome or oxygen as much as possible (to not confuse
> user), but developing our own style. We are trying to make it default in
> Fedora, for one because we think it would improve Fedora looks, second
> we think users might profit from consistent icon set throughout whole
> distro (not in Fedora 10 yet, since KDE isn't covered enough),

Up until this point you had a pretty good answer to the question.

> third it
> is developed by people in Fedora Art Team and fourth, with every new
> release of Fedora there are questions why Echo is still not default,
> usually accompanied by "prediction" that it will always stay in the
> "next time" state ;-)

Those feel like "Because I did it", or "because we can" answers, not
really answers to the question. But with the first set you actually
have a fairly good argument. How the work you did can interact with
upstreams as well as accomplishing your goal is the interesting part.
This is what Fedora is really about.

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Nicu Buculei 10-14-2008 06:59 AM

Voting considered harmful (Was: Echo Icon Theme in F10?)
 
Jesse Keating wrote:

On Mon, 2008-10-13 at 19:01 +0000, Martin Sourada wrote:


Does it bring anything to the wider upstream community? I hope that in
the long run it will ease icon themes creation process for others as
well (e.g. with helping with replacing unthemable icons by themable
ones). Also I hope it will emerge into cross desktop icon theme used by
much wider audience than just Fedora users.


Wasn't that already tried with bluecurve (and failed)?


Nope, Bluecurve failed for exactly two reasons:
- it was not really Open Source: the license was Free but the file
format not (Adobe Illustrator), impossible to open with any FOSS
application;
- it was a one-man project, without a community, written guidelines or
source and when that one person left Red Hat, the project slowly died.


Apples versus oranges.

But a few years later, Tango tried (and I think still tries) to do the
same thing as Bluecurve: a cross desktop icon theme (we can argue about
its success and why).


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"David Nielsen" 10-14-2008 08:43 AM

Voting considered harmful (Was: Echo Icon Theme in F10?)
 
2008/10/14 Nicu Buculei <nicu_fedora@nicubunu.ro>

Jesse Keating wrote:


On Mon, 2008-10-13 at 19:01 +0000, Martin Sourada wrote:




Does it bring anything to the wider upstream community? I hope that in

the long run it will ease icon themes creation process for others as

well (e.g. with helping with replacing unthemable icons by themable

ones). Also I hope it will emerge into cross desktop icon theme used by

much wider audience than just Fedora users.




Wasn't that already tried with bluecurve (and failed)?
Bluecurve failed to define naming standards, failed to get upstream adption. Looking at the project that for icons actually made this happen, Tango we now have the required standards, many upstreams such as gimp have adopted it. I would say Bluecurve was a failure primarily for technical reasons, it tried to create a solution without getting buyin. As an art project Bluecurve actually did quite well in moving the desktop ahead at the time, and without it we wouldn't have the standards today that we do, they rose from it's ashes.


Even KDE4' Oxygen icons, having never myself actually played with them, are said to be designed to blend with the Tango icons. They use the naming standard, but that aside a KDE app will never blend 100% with a GNOME environment and vice virsa, there are different design ideals but we are getting better through standardization.


- David

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Jesse Keating 10-14-2008 04:08 PM

Voting considered harmful (Was: Echo Icon Theme in F10?)
 
On Tue, 2008-10-14 at 10:43 +0200, David Nielsen wrote:
> Bluecurve failed to define naming standards, failed to get upstream adption.
> Looking at the project that for icons actually made this happen, Tango we
> now have the required standards, many upstreams such as gimp have adopted
> it. I would say Bluecurve was a failure primarily for technical reasons, it
> tried to create a solution without getting buyin. As an art project
> Bluecurve actually did quite well in moving the desktop ahead at the time,
> and without it we wouldn't have the standards today that we do, they rose
> from it's ashes.

Fair enough. So why isn't Fedora Artwork's efforts being focused in
improving/fixing what they think is "wrong" with tango?

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seth vidal 10-14-2008 04:34 PM

Voting considered harmful (Was: Echo Icon Theme in F10?)
 
On Tue, 2008-10-14 at 09:08 -0700, Jesse Keating wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-10-14 at 10:43 +0200, David Nielsen wrote:
> > Bluecurve failed to define naming standards, failed to get upstream adption.
> > Looking at the project that for icons actually made this happen, Tango we
> > now have the required standards, many upstreams such as gimp have adopted
> > it. I would say Bluecurve was a failure primarily for technical reasons, it
> > tried to create a solution without getting buyin. As an art project
> > Bluecurve actually did quite well in moving the desktop ahead at the time,
> > and without it we wouldn't have the standards today that we do, they rose
> > from it's ashes.
>
> Fair enough. So why isn't Fedora Artwork's efforts being focused in
> improving/fixing what they think is "wrong" with tango?
>

maybe b/c touching up art is harder than patching code?

-sv



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Bill Nottingham 10-14-2008 04:54 PM

Voting considered harmful (Was: Echo Icon Theme in F10?)
 
David Zeuthen (davidz@redhat.com) said:
> Consider what happened if we started voting on what patches should go in
> tarballs? Or what the dialogs in your desktop looked like? Or what
> options to use by default. Or what IO scheduler to use in the kernel.

Obviously, that's silly. The default response to any disagreement shouldn't
be 'let's put it up for a vote!' If we can't solve conflicts in a better
manner, we have bigger problems.

> The fact that you are proposing a vote only shows there's a tremendous
> problem in Fedora. You guys hanging out on fedora-art-list that is
> interested in the visual of the desktop _really_ _really_ need to grow
> up and work with upstream projects instead of sitting in your own little
> Fedora cube disconnected from the rest of the world. With your stupid
> voting system.

There's no need to toss around 'grow up' and 'stupid'; we're all adults
(or close enough) here, and that's unlikely to bring people around to
your point of view. I think there's two main points:

- Icons are different than most of the other 'value add' that our groups
do.

For documentation, there isn't really any universal sort of upstream
documentation that encompassess the entire distro, or installation,
etc. So, our Docs group writes it, to give us a unified, consistent,
piece of documentation. There's not really an upstream to push it
to, so it remains Fedora-specific.

For splash screens, etc., there (obvioulsy) isn't a central upstream
location for Fedora-specific images. So our Art team does that. There's
not really an upstream to push it to, so it remains Fedora-specific.
(Non-branded backgrounds probably should be pushed to an upstream
desktop-backgrounds module.)

However, for icons, there already are upstream collections of icons
for GNOME, and apps at large. They're fairly unified, and people
who want changes should work with that upstream. A wholesale change
to push a new style upstream probably wouldn't fly, so anything
of that sort would have to remain a fork, or separate, forever.

Question:
So, why are we, as a project, interested in working on a large set
of never-to-be-upstreamed changes when there is an existing upstream?

- However, there's a precedent here. In Fedora, we ship as default,
the Nodoka GTK+ and Metacity themes. This is a separate project,
hosted on Fedora hosted, etc. There is, already, upstream GTK+
themese. And (unless I missed something), it hasn't generated near
the amount of controversy.

Question:
Why is Nodoka 'ok', and Echo not, in people's opinion?

In any case, I doubt David speaks for the entirety of the Desktop SIG
as to their opinions of Echo. (Nor, do I suspect, does Martin speak
for the entirety of Fedora Art.) Given that things like Nodoka are
more or less OK by the consensus of both the Art team at large, and
the Desktop team at large... is there a reason both teams can't come
to a consensus about what to do with Echo?

(FWIW, when I voted on this at FESCo, I assumed that this consensus
was already there. My mistake.)

Bill

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Will Woods 10-14-2008 06:33 PM

Voting considered harmful (Was: Echo Icon Theme in F10?)
 
On Tue, 2008-10-14 at 12:54 -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> - However, there's a precedent here. In Fedora, we ship as default,
> the Nodoka GTK+ and Metacity themes. This is a separate project,
> hosted on Fedora hosted, etc. There is, already, upstream GTK+
> themese. And (unless I missed something), it hasn't generated near
> the amount of controversy.
>
> Question:
> Why is Nodoka 'ok', and Echo not, in people's opinion?

The obvious responses: First, Nodoka doesn't drastically change UI
elements from their upstream defaults, or from other OSes. It's all
immediately recognizable, but still unique. (The one real difference
from upstream GNOME is the icon for the Maximize window button, which is
similar to another prominent OS).

Second, its scope is a lot smaller - there's a lot less artwork involved
in Nodoka. So it's a lot easier to have the entire thing be internally
consistent. There aren't differing gradients or color schemes in
different places, for example.

Finally, Nodoka theming is applied consistently to all UI elements in
GTK+ apps. There's no question of "coverage".

Echo, on the other hand, significantly changes the look of basic UI
elements - the "save" icon, for example, is unrecognizable compared to
the upstream version or other OSes.

Further, it's not consistent. Icons change shape and perspective
depending on size. Drop shadows vary in strength and size - sometimes
they aren't used at all. Some things have strong borders, some don't.

Honestly it's a bit of a mess.

> Question:
> So, why are we, as a project, interested in working on a large set
> of never-to-be-upstreamed changes when there is an existing upstream?

I don't have any problem with people wanting to maintain and improve a
cool-looking set of icons. But I really don't think it's a good idea to
make them the default Fedora icon set.

The stated goal - having a consistent icon set between GNOME and KDE -
hasn't been met. And Echo changes the icons for all your apps and all
the toolbars in those apps, which is confusing to everyone coming from
another OS, or another Linux distribution, or even an older version of
Fedora.

I appreciate cool themes as much as the next guy, and I definitely think
Echo should be packaged, used in themes, and shown off to the world. But
making it the default seems like a UI disaster.

-w
(who tried to get his user-interface-designer wife to help work on
Nodoka and received most of the critiques above)

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Martin Sourada 10-14-2008 07:42 PM

Voting considered harmful (Was: Echo Icon Theme in F10?)
 
On Tue, 2008-10-14 at 09:08 -0700, Jesse Keating wrote:
> Fair enough. So why isn't Fedora Artwork's efforts being focused in
> improving/fixing what they think is "wrong" with tango?
>
Maybe because there is nothing wrong with tango? It's not about fixing
something, it's about creating art we like and have some goals along the
way, which are mostly same as Tango's. As seth said, there is a
difference between patching a code and working on artwork which looks
different then your ideas are. And just to prevent the question, no I
don't want to change either Gnome or Tango or Oxygen icon sets to have
different looks from what they have now, but I don't have an interest in
working on that looks myself either.

Martin
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