Voting considered harmful (Was: Re: Echo Icon Theme in F10?)

Will Woods wwoods at
Tue Oct 14 18:33:46 UTC 2008

On Tue, 2008-10-14 at 12:54 -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> - However, there's a precedent here. In Fedora, we ship as default,
>   the Nodoka GTK+ and Metacity themes. This is a separate project,
>   hosted on Fedora hosted, etc. There is, already, upstream GTK+
>   themese. And (unless I missed something), it hasn't generated near
>   the amount of controversy.
> Question:
>   Why is Nodoka 'ok', and Echo not, in people's opinion?

The obvious responses: First, Nodoka doesn't drastically change UI
elements from their upstream defaults, or from other OSes. It's all
immediately recognizable, but still unique. (The one real difference
from upstream GNOME is the icon for the Maximize window button, which is
similar to another prominent OS).

Second, its scope is a lot smaller - there's a lot less artwork involved
in Nodoka. So it's a lot easier to have the entire thing be internally
consistent. There aren't differing gradients or color schemes in
different places, for example.

Finally, Nodoka theming is applied consistently to all UI elements in
GTK+ apps. There's no question of "coverage".

Echo, on the other hand, significantly changes the look of basic UI
elements - the "save" icon, for example, is unrecognizable compared to
the upstream version or other OSes. 

Further, it's not consistent. Icons change shape and perspective
depending on size. Drop shadows vary in strength and size - sometimes
they aren't used at all. Some things have strong borders, some don't. 

Honestly it's a bit of a mess.

> Question:
>   So, why are we, as a project, interested in working on a large set
>   of never-to-be-upstreamed changes when there is an existing upstream?

I don't have any problem with people wanting to maintain and improve a
cool-looking set of icons. But I really don't think it's a good idea to
make them the default Fedora icon set.

The stated goal - having a consistent icon set between GNOME and KDE -
hasn't been met. And Echo changes the icons for all your apps and all
the toolbars in those apps, which is confusing to everyone coming from
another OS, or another Linux distribution, or even an older version of

I appreciate cool themes as much as the next guy, and I definitely think
Echo should be packaged, used in themes, and shown off to the world. But
making it the default seems like a UI disaster.

(who tried to get his user-interface-designer wife to help work on
Nodoka and received most of the critiques above)

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