Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bigger than life icon

Icons are small pieces of art I encounter in my everyday life. They are like
apparels, you see them in all forms in every moment of life. They serve
different purpose, keep you warm, keep you cool, keep you comfortable
whatever but all them try to look good (some even make it their prime
agenda). In human-computer interaction, icons are large, easy targets that
serve as better visual cues than textual messages that needs to be parsed and
pattern matched. A good icon make that experience fun and enjoying.

I started with the the usual KDE crystal icon theme, and then tried different
icon sets. The tango icon theme is good, but like the usual gnome colours,
they have a very low-saturated colours which look a bit drab and boring on my
desktop. I am not looking forward to extremely gorgeous, highly saturated and
colourful icons; my desktop is not a colour palette, but the art forms I will
stare at a million times over months better be pleasant to look at. kde-looks
has quite a few icon theme, and a lot of them are mixed icon theme. For a
while, I tried KDE Crystal Diamond icons. It has good icons, except some of
the icons are very light coloured, white based and its hard to make out the
icon contents. Most of the filetype icons and the media-play (amarok)
play/pause icons are like that.

I have heard a lot about Oxygen icons; unfortunately their license does not
allow anyone to package them. Of course, I could download the svg icons
directly from their svn and convert them to an icon theme locally. I need to
install inkscape for that. Interesting enough, I found a forum post in
sabayonlinux about using oxygen icons in current kde desktop. The user gives
out the details of how to make an icon theme and later even provides a tar.gz
package to install oxygen icons. Oxygen is work in progress, so that user
replaced the missing icons by other icons. I think he violated their license
but I have to double check. Anyway, I installed that icon them and its really
good. Attention has been paid to every detail. Icons are 3d and 2d exactly
according to their need, those that look good with shadows have them, the
colours look just ok. All in all, I am pretty satisfied. I am looking forward
to manually checking out the oxygen icons and making a theme out of it. That
way, I will get the icons from oxygen as they are checked in. Good work,