Echo Icon Theme in F10?

Máirín Duffy duffy at
Wed Oct 15 18:33:03 UTC 2008

Hi Martin.

Martin Sourada wrote:
> most of you probably know, but I'll write it again - Echo Icon Theme is
> the default icon theme in F10 since Beta (for testing purposes and
> exposition to wider audience) and I am one of the feature owners. The
> change is rather small (in that it does not break things, replaces just
> graphics, no code) but pretty much exposed. 

I disagree with this statement. Changing the default icon
theme for a distro is a very large and very visible change.
It may not change anything functionally, but from an
aesthetic and usability point of view it may change things
drastically. It also will affect the Fedora brand. I do not
think this is a decision to be made lightly.

> I'd like to make clear that
> we are not going to go against general opinion and I deem it natural for
> the Art (since it's art) and Desktop (since it's going to be default in
> Gnome Desktop) Teams to decide whether we are ready or not.

I think this seems fair. I hope you realize though, that not
everyone on the art team itself supports echo as the default
in Fedora 10. I certainly do not. After trying out the
latest echo package from rawhide, it seems clear to me it is
just not at a state where it is appropriately complete and
of the appropriate quality to be set as the default icon
theme, from an objective point-of-view.

I have put together the following visual critique of Echo
from rawhide. Let me preface it by saying it is obvious that
Echo has come a long way; it is most noticeable in the
applications menus and in some of the desktop-size icons (I
really really love the improvements in the computer icon, it
looks much cleaner now) but it is still very lacking in
quality in areas that affect most applications on the
desktop - file / edit menus, toolbars, and the panel.
Creating an entire icon theme is no small task.

Here's some of that feedback. There are other screenshots at
the bottom of the page I wanted to do the full critique on,
but after spending some hours doing the critique that is
complete there, I felt that what is there sufficiently and
objectively demonstrates that Echo is not ready to be a
default icon set:

I understand with FESCO you had discussed one metric of
completion, I believe related to fulfillment of the
tango-icon-spec. I do not think that metric is sufficient,
though, to qualify an icon set as being ready to be set as
the default. Other things need to be considered such as
quality (the number of icons that appear chopped off in the
menus in the screenshots I took is not promising), and how
it fits in with other upstream icons we may not necessarily
have control over (thunderbird, firefox come to mind as well
as I also think that the biggest problem
with echo right now fitting into the Fedora desktop is the
perspectives. An isometric perspective is used for the
panel-size icons which will make it nearly impossible to fit
in with the many upstream application icons that tend to
follow the gnome-icon-theme and tango guidelines by default
these days. I think some tough decisions are going to be
have to made about echo's perspective and how it affects its
fitting in with other icon sets, which is going to be
> Because of the nature of the change it is IMHO possible to make the
> decision last minute (i.e. around the development freeze). What I'd like
> to ask you now is the preferred way to decide upon it. Should we hold a
> irc meeting, do a mail vote, set up a vote in the fedora voting system,
> other way? I'd prefer the vote in the fedora voting system (opened for
> Art and Desktop team members only), but if you think otherwise would be
> better, don't hesitate to suggest.

Why don't we discuss this here first to see if there are any
major objections to pushing it back again? I don't think we
need a vote unless it is clear we don't have a consensus and
are equally divided on the issue.


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