Choosing the 'right' icon for an application

Nicu Buculei nicu_fedora at
Tue Jul 15 06:22:57 UTC 2008

Robin Norwood wrote:
> So I've been looking at importing the icons for applications for the
> Fedora Applications web site [1].  We'd like to show an icon next to a
> given application, preferably the one the user would see in the menus
> after installing said app.  This is, of course, complicated.  I can
> currently look for icons inside each rpm in Fedora, specifically the
> rpm providing the application we're interested in, and the various
> *-icon-theme rpms.  My current thinking is, for each application:
> o Get the icon name from the application's .desktop file.

This seems sane

> o Look in /usr/share/icons for icons matching that name from the
> various default Fedora themes.
> o Pick an appropriately-sized icon png (probably 48x48).
>   - We could also store svg instead of png.

I don't think there is a need to store the SVG, there is no 
straightforward way to embed in in a web page (and have it rendered 
correctly by all browsers).

> o Create a map that looks something like this:
>   OS -> Application -> Theme -> icon
>   With a 'generic' theme for icons provided by the application.
> o Save the above map and icon data in the web application's database.
> o When picking an icon to show the user, pick the one from their
> currently-selected theme and OS (if we know it), falling back to an icon
> from the Fedora or 'generic' theme.

I am curious to identify which icon theme is the user using. The browser 
does not know this info, the only way I can imagine it working is to 
have smolt reporting the theme and link data from smolt with amber. I 
don't think you want to go this route (complicated, privacy issues, 
smolt is off by default)

> Does this sound sane?  I don't know enough about how icons work to know
> if I've missed something.

I want to add that we are not sure at this time which icon set will be 
used in F10 as default, we try to have Echo but we may end staying one 
more cycle with Mist (but this should be easy to solve, both themes are 
using the same naming structure).

> [1]

nicu :: ::
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