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Re: Future of Bluecurve & Partial Bluecurve Guidelines Available (was Re: bluecurve)



Máirín Duffy wrote:

The original author was Garrett LeSage, although I don't know so many details about its origins as a Red Hat old-timer would. I'm on the Red Hat Network team and we use the icons extensively in the web gui, so I work with the icons a lot and I've created a few (very few) additional icons to the set. I'm sure Diana has too.

At the time, what Garrett was doing was something kind of revolutionary for a Linux desktop: instead of using raster graphics made with Gimp he used vector graphics (made with Illustrator). This allowed an increased productivity and faster development. But is some cases, for example at small sizes, like in the "Applications" menu, the icons does no look very good. This can be approached and solved from different angles: artistic and technical.

The largest problem I see with Bluecurve is its lack of completeness: the default desktop in FC5 is a mess:
- the Gnome desktop is part Bluecurve, part Industrial, part Tango;
- the office suite, OOo, is Industrial (at least, this is better than the default theme from FC4);
- the browser, Firefox, has its own theme;
(sorry, I cant comment on the default email client, I don't have Evolution installed).

Making a statistic right out of my behind (i.e. without any concrete numbers) I would guess less than half of the icons an user of the default install see are Bluecurve.

I agree, the Tango guidelines are great, and I think it would be a good project to 'Tangoize' Bluecurve such that it follows the Tango icon specifications. I'm not aware of any current project doing so...

I do not like parts of Tango guidelines:
- hate the color palette, i think is too bright;
- do not understand why they use 22x22 as the size for small icons. 24x24 is not only the traditional size in Gnome, it also fit the progression: 16x16, 24x24, 48x48

It's my hope that we don't end up using the Tango icons if Bluecurve gets ditched, though. I think we need our own look. Tango is too close to Bluecurve to be compelling enough to switch IMHO.

I can see the merit of having an own icon set. I only question if Fedora Project is ready to maintain an own set covering the *entire* desktop. The Tango guys seems very good at marketing, they gained a lot of mindshare and a large number of contributors. Making the decision of going with a new set of icons will make us accused of suffering of the Not Invented Here syndrome. note: I am not arguing for one of the solutions, just try to state some facts before a definitive decision is made.

I know quite a few old-timers are sick of Bluecurve as it is now since it's been around since Red Hat Linux 9. I've also heard complaints that

Is a little older, from RHL 8 era, in 2002

it's too cartoony and we need something fresh.

I have nothing against cartoons :p

Look from this angle: Novell will soon launch SLED 10 with a new Tango look, Ubuntu Dapper will launch with a tangoified theme, screenshots of Windows Vista with it new set of icons are everywhere, only Fedora has the same 4 years old icon theme. Arguably, it can use some refreshment, even if it is a light one.

If people enjoy it though, I don't see any reason why anyone shouldn't be able to contribute new icons to the set. It's definitely a very large set of icons. I haven't actually contributed my additions 'officially' in any capacity, for example, because there is no clear process for doing so. The icons are GPL'ed, btw.

GPL was also mentioned before. There is a solid reason / use case for icons to NOT be GPL? I do not see one.

I have made a start at putting together some guidelines for creating icons to fit the set at: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/BluecurveIconGuidelines

As soon as I gets someone to give me edit right to he wiki (already sent private messages about that) I plan to add some minor things to it - for start, a SVG version of the isometric grid I think would be useful.

I'd like to build that page into a full set of guidelines up for those who'd like to create additional icons, and get a nice gallery of all the current icons in SVG format. Any feedback on what I've got so far would be greatly appreciated. :)

Nice guidelines you started here!

Looking at those icons at a higher size, I can say the lighting does not appear consistent (for example the lock, the globe and the chess piece), so somw written words about the light source may be useful. And how about shadows? We want shadows? If yes, drop shadows, perspective or round like Tango?

I think in the "Resources" section, a link to the Designing Effective Icons from the Gnome HIG would be useful:
http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/hig/2.0/icons-design.html


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