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Re: Modernising menu manual icons requirement

Bill Allombert wrote:
> Here an extract from the menu manual:
>      Debian package maintainers should ensure that any icons they include
>      for use in the debian menus conform to the following points:
>      1.   The icons should be in xpm format.
>      2.   The icons may not be larger than 32x32 pixels, although smaller
>           sizes are ok.
>      3.   The icons should use only the 24 colors present in cmap.xpm,
>           which comes with the `menu' package.
>      4.   The background area of the icon should be transparent, if
>           possible.
> Point 4 is beyond doubt. Point 1 is necessary since some window
> managers do not support other formats.
> Point 3 above seems a bit obsolete. 8-bit displays are rather 
> exceptions currently, and some window managers include their own
> dithering routine that do a much better job that mogrify because they do
> it dynamically.  Also a lot of menu icons do not comply to point 3,
> so I am not sure removing this requirement will really make things worse
> on 8-bit display.
> To accomodate with current workspace size, we could eventually
> change size in point 2 to 48x48.
> Opinions ?

Funny, I was thinking about bringing this up just the other day.

8 bit displays are almost as uncommon today as 2 bit displays were when
we adopted the icon policy. The exception might be high-end PDA's like
the zarius, I don't know how many BPP they have, and folks do run Debian
on them.

PDA's aside, I think most systems with an 8 bit display are low-end
pentium I or below, these are systems that only the desperate would try
to run X on. The desperate can use any of the many window managers that
don't bother with menu icons, or turn the icons off. This will probably
improve their pentium I experience. :-)

icon size and screen resolution continues to be all over the map from
what I can see, with 1024x768 still nearly as common as it was when we
decided on 32x32, and smaller screens still common between PDAs and
various subnotebooks. There is perhaps a tendancy toward larger icons
(non-menu) in programs like window maker, with a corresponding offset in
that kde and gnome seem to use 16x16 icons from what I can remember. (I
use ion, which does not have menus, or icons, so please correct me..)

Finally, I have never been happy with the icons provided by debian.
There are not enough of them, they are inconsistant in style, and the
low resolution and limited colors make them look like escapees from
1989. I have turned off icons on every window manager I've used (that
supported them) from a few weeks after menu began to support icons.
Perhaps we would be better off to let the desktop projects that have
dedicated teams and a set style and target (like KDE and Gnome) worry
about the menu icons, and simply not provide any.

see shy jo

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