Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:44 pm
In responding to another topic I highlighted the recent plight of this KDE'er who was having some difficulties installing a particular plasma theme.
There was an interesting post right at the end there regarding ~/.kde and ~/.kde4 folders and some themes having hardcoded paths in their scripts, which could explain some of the issues people are having when in comes to installing certain themes, and things generally not working.
So it got me thinking, if I was to do, say, an icon theme, how would I go about it?
So I did a google search for 'creating an icon theme for kde', and do you know what I got? Nothing, nada, zip. Nothing of any use anyway. There were a couple of results that looked promising, but then I checked the dates...2008, 2006 & 2004... hmmm. On further investigation those results led to people suggesting other links to other sites for more information. Of those the two that I thought were going to most promising turned out to be dead links. I'm sad to report that they are as follows: http://developer.kde.org/gettingstarted/art/ & http://artist.kde.org/guidelines.html KDE links, with no redirects.
So I can only conclude from the general lack of information out there, or easy to find information, that people must be taking existing icon packs that work (or should we say, work for them) and just modifying them with their own icons. This has no doubt led to the spread of some bad practises.
So basically we need guides, simple step by step up to date guides, with the right words in it so that google laps it up and pops it on the front page.
I see there are going to be a few GTK themes ported to KDE. So perhaps we should start by documenting that process start to finish, making notes of what went wrong, how it was fixed etc, and use those case studies for an official guide to porting Gnome / GTK icon themes to KDE.
Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:05 am
with the premise that i never worked on icons, so i have no idea if there is something more (the only one that may know more here is Nuno i guess),
when installed only for the user, whether they go in ~/.kde4 or ~/.kde depends from the distribution (you can see what it is in your case with kde4-config --localprefix)
as a base, both kde and gnome themes must have all those icons:
http://standards.freedesktop.org/icon-n ... atest.html
unfortunately that spec is quite tiny and themes for kde and gnome diverged at some point, so the extra icons beside that spec often have different names
(plus of course applications that are different in the two environments have their own icons)
I'm afraid at the moment there isn't anything besides looking at "everyting oxygen has"
Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:14 pm
OK. So there is no master list bascially for icon names. So the first thing we really need to do is create our own list, a bit like the one in the freedesktop link, but using the oxygen icon names as the base. If we can keep the list in one place then it will be easy for people to add icon names, their gnome counterparts etc, and make it the main reference point for icon theme designers.
Icon theming problem number two as I see it is the internals of the tar archives that the themes are bundled in. I have had a look at a couple of seperate themes and have found differences in all of them.
Oxygen for example has a number of shell scripts in it and a cmakelists.txt? Are these strictly nessesary for an icon theme? If not then why are they there? Other themes that I have looked at only have the 8x8, 16x16 etc folders and an index.theme file?
The index.theme file itself is a bit of a mystery. I found only very sketchy documentation as to it's parameters. Does anybody have full knowledge of how it works and what exactly can be put it in?
So to summerise, from what I can see the core three things that need to have full documentation / guides written for them are as follows:
- Icon names
- tar archive / internal folder layout / hierarchy
- index.theme file
I think this is a doable project, and should go some way in helping demystify icon theming for non-techie designers.
In the long run I think this would make a very nice project for someone to turn into a program. It would be awesome if designers could just drag and drop their icons into the relevant slots in the program, with a little progress bar to say how complete their theme is, and click a button and out pops a .tar.gz for either gnome or kde.
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