Icons, logos, Tango, consistency, the user experience, and our project looks like a 2D champaign flute

Reece Dunn msclrhd at googlemail.com
Fri Apr 17 06:59:15 CDT 2009

2009/4/17 David Lee Lambert <davidl at lmert.com>:
> On Thursday 16 April 2009 20:19, Ben Klein wrote:
>> 2009/4/17 Scott Ritchie <scott at open-vote.org>:
>> > A user submitted a bug report to launchpad complaining that the Wine icon
>> > is not Tango compliant: [...]
>> >
>> > In short, it means the Wine icon looks very out of place [...]
>> >
>> > In short, it's ugly, but our real goal here is usability.  [...]
> -1
> Consistency != Usability

I completely disagree.

Consistency in icons gives the user a visual clue as to what something
does. For example, the configuration icon. Having the Wine-specific
icons be consistent with Tango means that they are easier to locate
(i.e. you don't have to read it - you can "see" it).

[off topic]
Windows has design guidelines for how to position controls on dialogs.
These guidelines also cover things like the shortcuts to use for
specific actions (like file open). This can impact usability -- Lotus
notes uses F5 (refresh) to log the user out; this is *really* annoying
and counter-productive, because it is not consistent with Windows.

The things like using the correct system colours are there for people
who use different colour schemes (especially people using the High
Contrast colour schemes). The Haskell Hugs program does not do this
for Window text, meaning that if you have a black window background,
you cannot see the text!
[/off topic]

> Sure, it might look out-of-place, but Windows applications are somewhat
> out-of-place on Linux.  It's very ugliness probably makes it easier to find.
> If the default icon is changed, current users will have more trouble finding
> it again.

So are Mac applications like iTunes running on Windows or Linux. There
are things that we can do to improve the bits that Wine has control
over. For applications that conform to the Windows guidelines, it
should be possible to give the best experience to the user that we

Yes, I know that Windows is inconsistent with itself, and that
Microsoft products like Office and Windows Media Player don't fit in
either, but that's not the point. Look at Firefox 2 vs 3 running on
Linux+Gtk (or Mac, or Windows XP or Vista).

As for the default icon changing -- it is not like the icon for Wine
itself is changing *that* much -- it is still recognisable. As for the
others, I see them as an improvement (no offense to André Hentschel):
they look professional and are high-quality. They are not moving from
their location in the menu, they are not changing their menu name.

>> Seems like a lot of fuss over a few trivial details:
>> 1) The Wine system icon is ugly (I'm all in favour of changing it, but
>> you make a BIG fuss over it)
>> 2) If the icon is changed, it should be done in time for Ubuntu 9.10.
>> (I have BIG issue with this. Wine is not exclusive to Ubuntu [...]
> Not sure about this.  If someone is planning a major release,  it's nice to
> get little things in place for it, especially a "branding" item like this.

Sure, Wine is not exclusively run by Ubuntu. That does not matter --
Gnome/Tango are used in a lot more distros than just Ubuntu. I for one
applaud their contribution. Yes, they may not be making many
contributions to the kernel code, but they are actively working on
improving the look and usability of downstream components. This is
Ubuntu's focus, so if they are willing to get designers and graphical
artists to improve the visuals, then let's welcome them.

There is the question of how this should work with other frameworks
and OSs -- KDE/Oxygen, Mac/Cocoa, Enlightenment and others. The same
applies to theming support.

It may be necessary to have projects separate from Wine that allow
them to hook into the native theming logic and provide the icons and
other visuals/branding. This would allow wine-kde to use the Qt API
and wine-cocoa to use the Objective-C API. Wine would provide a
default look that is more Windows-like (using freedesktop.org
standards wherever possible). Not sure how workable this is at the

- Reece

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