more icon theme stuff (blah)

Jasper Huijsmans jasper at
Sun Apr 18 11:16:26 CEST 2004

Brian J. Tarricone wrote:
> ok...  so now my icons are totally screwed up (or rather, they were, 
> until i hacked my system to pieces fixing it).  i _really_ think all 
> icons need to be moved to $datadir/icons pronto.  i also think all our 
> themes need to be prefixed with "Xfce-".  things just aren't working 
> right with $datadir/xfce4/icons, and i can't seem to figure out why.
> it _seems_ obvious.  i point at an icon, "gnome-settings", to act as the 
> icon for the "Settings" menu.  it doesn't show up.  i move aside 
> $datadir/xfce4/icons/gnome, and presto, it appears.  i move our gnome 
> theme back, and it's gone again.  but look!  gnome-multimedia isn't.  
> and i have no idea why it shows up, when gnome-settings doesn't.
> the gnome-settings problem seems to indicate that GtkIconTheme is giving 
> up if it finds a theme dir, but can't find an icon (regardless if there 
> is another identical theme directory farther down in the search path).  
> honestly, i think this is a gtk bug, but the bug i filed on gnome 
> bugzilla over 2 weeks(?) ago hasn't even been commented upon.  i really 
> don't want to fork GtkIconTheme.  i really don't.  i don't have the time 
> or energy to maintain it, to say nothing of familiarising myself with it.
> so i say the hell with it, let's just move everything to 
> $datadir/icons.  that seems to be the Right Thing to do anyway.  the 
> cool thing is that, e.g., the "Xfce-Noia" theme can "inherit" from 
> "Noia", so it will pick up icons from the latter theme if they aren't in 
> ours.
> the only downside (aside from the time and work required to do the 
> change) is that of handling fallback behaviour.  if the user selects a 
> non-"Xfce-" theme, they may not have the files the panel requires.  the 
> simple fix for that is to duplicate the icons from our default 
> ("Xfce-Curve") theme and dump them in $datadir/icons/hicolor.  so maybe 
> we overwrite someone else's icons.  tough.  that's a packaging issue.
> the fix for this downside, however, has its own downside.  that means 
> that no matter what non-"Xfce-" theme the user picks, they'll have to 
> live with "Xfce-Curve" icons for the panel.  the panel _could_ have an 
> "icon theme override" option, but that sounds rather hackish.  i can't 
> see any way around this.
> thoughts?

AFAIK, the way the icon theme spec was intended, applications install 
default icons in the hicolor theme. (Question: how does this work when 
installing in a different prefix? Should we install our own index.theme 

Icon themes are installed to some known locations and can provide 
alternative icons. Idealy, I guess, icon themes are installed as one 
package. If we want to provide our own icons for existing icon themes we 
could try getting them into the official theme or make our theme package 
depend on the presence of the original theme.

Using xfce-<name> themes inheriting from the original <name> theme would 
work but doesn't really feel right to me.

On a related note, how does gnome make sure it's gnome theme is used as 
default fallback? Or doesn't it?

Another thing I'm unsure about is the interaction between gtk themes and 
icon themes. Several gtk themes specify an icon theme; will our settings 
dialog always override this, or should we set the icon theme to 'None' 
and make sure the theme set by the gtkrc file is used? Would this work 
at all?


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