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Old 07-12-2010, 02:24 PM   #1
pollito pito
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New buttons images

Is there a way of getting the “old” icon set (buttons) back?

Or better, is there some graphic designer / artist in this community that could
contribute some nice button faces?

Thanks
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pollito pito View Post
Is there a way of getting the “old” icon set (buttons) back?
If you run from source you can use any icons you want.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
If you run from source you can use any icons you want.
Do you really need to run from source to change images? Can't someone replace the icons in the installation resources/images directory?

I would try it, but I always run from source.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaley View Post
Do you really need to run from source to change images? Can't someone replace the icons in the installation resources/images directory?

I would try it, but I always run from source.
I think I saw a post from Kovid with that answer, so I repeated it. I have to admit that prior to seeing that post, I thought the icons could be changed without running from source, but like you, I always run from source. Perhaps I misunderstood/misrecalled what Kovid wrote.

I've only played with icons once (when I tried to put the Merge option as a button on the toolbar).

In my humble defense I wrote:

"If you run from source you can use any icons you want. "

not

"If and only if you run from source you can use any icons you want."

Perhaps someone wants to test and tell us.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
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Wait; do not get me wrong. I will try to explain myself better.
I’ve been around for some time; even before there was GUI at all and
I’ve seen all sort of “experiments”, thank you very much. I am not
asking for the possibility of using what ever graphics I choose.
Down that road calibre may loose its identity.
I am just asking for better and more consistent graphics. Or for the possibility
of reverting to the old ones. Did I mention I am not a designer? However,
IMHO the previous ones were better.
Look at least, at the inconsistency of the colors on the new buttons and the
excessive use of arrows. I can see the recycling and Novell logos in the current
set. By “convention” a magnifying glass is “search” not view.
Can someone explain what is depicted in the preferences button? And what on
the configuration?
Is there someone willing to contribute?
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pollito pito View Post
I am just asking for better and more consistent graphics.
The new ones are better. You may not agree. I may not agree. That's not important. Only one set of graphics can be chosen and someone will always not agree, while someone else will agree. These have been chosen.

Quote:
Or for the possibility
of reverting to the old ones.
This can only be done by changing the new ones. There is no button to do that. You will need to do it manually by changing them. That means finding old and replacing new with old.

Quote:
Can someone explain what is depicted in the preferences button?
Gears and technical things - the inside guts and "workings" of the software.

Quote:
the configuration?
AFAIK, the preferences are the configuration.

Quote:
Is there someone willing to contribute?
If you want this, find the old images (chaley told you where to look) and replace the new logo images. It may work with the binary distro, otherwise, try running from source.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:30 PM   #7
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Oh boy! Normally, I would avoid useless arguments; normally I would say, yes you are right, even in your choice of quotes. However, I will bite into this one…
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
The new ones are better. You may not agree. I may not agree. That's not important.
But that is of paramount importance. Or do you really believe that the graphics on the GUI are irrelevant, that the aesthetic quality of the design is immaterial? Do you honestly consider that the correspondence between the depiction on an icon and the function it performs is something that can be ignored?
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Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
Only one set of graphics can be chosen
Here I could say: “You are wrong”, but I will say: It is fairly easy to implement multiple graphics for a given toolbar, but that is beside the point. I am pleading for real designers (not me or you, for that matter) that could produce and contribute good quality graphics ( a single set! ).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
Gears and technical things - the inside guts and "workings" of the software.
Well this ones look a little bit too much “geared”. Try to compare with the ones in KDE, for example.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
AFAIK, the preferences are the configuration.
I was actually referring to the 7th from the left button. What is represented there?

But if you allow me, lets go orderly:
  1. The pictures on the “meta info” and the “user manual” are taken from a well know set of icons see here: http://icons.mysitemyway.com/
    I am not even sure they are GPL compatible. In any case these two are the only ones with some “depth”; all the others are flat. The “user manual” has a shadow.
  2. “Add” and “Convert” do not match the style of the rest.
  3. “Fetch news” as I said before is a kind of male Novell logo.
  4. The 8th from the left button has a well known meaning: recycling. This meaning is in no way related to “remove books”.

Do you still believe that the new ones are better?

I will ask it again:

Is there someone willing to contribute?To contribute better and more consistent graphics.

Thanks
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:45 PM   #8
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This is going to be my only post on this subject. Whether one set of icons is "better" or "worse" is entirely subjective. If you want different icons, create a set and then convince me it is better. If I'm convinced the icons will change, if I'm not they wont.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
This is going to be my only post on this subject. Whether one set of icons is "better" or "worse" is entirely subjective. If you want different icons, create a set and then convince me it is better. If I'm convinced the icons will change, if I'm not they wont.
Excellent point. As I said, I can not, unfortunately produce an icon set; I would make just a monstrosity. Nevertheless, I disagree in your statement about the subjectivity of what is better or worse design. Regrettably, that view is shared by a large number of developers in the open source community. Judging by the opinion of the specialists (there is a vast amount of resources on the web), the truth seems to be, however, that a good design is a concrete, definitive and well established thing. Consider at least, the amount of money companies in the software business invest in GUI design.

I just hope that someone else here can produce a good icon set and submit it.

Thanks
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:57 PM   #10
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I've been reluctant to say anything about the new icons because I didn't want to hurt the artist's feelings. Besides, I thought, it might just be my new monitor, or maybe just unfamiliarity. I figured I'd get used to them. Except ... I haven't.

As a graphic designer, I'm self-taught. I don't claim to be an expert. But I have read fairly extensively on the subject, both for my website design business and the software company that preceded it. I draw like a six-year-old, but I know what makes a good icon, even if I can't make the pixels go where they should be myself. That said, the following is just my opinion, and I mean no offense to the person who provided the time and effort to create the new icons.

The problems I see are as follows: The icons are too different in style, as if they've been pulled from several different programs. They use non-standard symbols for standard behaviors, or familiar symbols for different purposes. They do such a poor job of communicating their function that I have to rely on the labels. They are better at larger sizes, but I suspect most people use them at the smallest size, to save more screen real estate for books.

"Edit meta information" and "Remove books" look professional; they're crisp, clear, and there's a one-pixel deboss on them (yes, I know that some - though still not all - of the others are debossed at large size, but there needs to be a consistent look at all sizes). The others look like something I would draw; they're much less clear, and they do not use their space well. "Add books" isn't bad, but the plus sign needs to be larger. The colors on "Convert E-books" are muddy, and at least on this monitor, the arrows come out as just a smear. The magnifying glass on "View" is generally used to signify search or zoom, and it's confusing in this context. "Fetch news" looks like a street sign, complete with post. "Send to device" could be anything. "Save to disk" is conventionally a drawing of a floppy; I'm not sure what that icon is actually supposed to represent. "Preferences" looks like a guy in a weird hat with a thought balloon. "Edit meta information" is good, and "Help" would be good if it was in the same style, and lost that shadow (why is it the only one with a shadow?). "Remove books" ... why would I connect a recycling symbol with "remove books"? It looks more like some sort of refresh.

Also, even at large size, but especially at medium and small, the glyphs themselves are too far away from their corresponding arrows for their drop-down menus. Given the space constraints of the toolbar that might not be easy to fix, but it's very noticeable.

I'd suggest moving the + on "Add books" to the center, enlarging it, and changing the color of the book so it doesn't get confused with the Swiss flag. "Convert ebooks" needs higher-contrast colors, and if I were doing it (be thankful I'm not!) I'd probably do it as a book with a cover of two contrasting colors, divided on the forward-slash diagonal, with a small arrow from left to right across the division. I think "View" should be an open book. "Fetch news" should have some reference to a newspaper (perhaps a folded or rolled one?); the starburst effect doesn't say "news" and even the N doesn't for people in whose languages the word for "news" starts with a different letter. I think "Send to device" should lose the arrow and have a clearer representation of a device, or it should just have a nice big arrow. "Save to disc" (should it perhaps be renamed "Export books"?) should look like ... well, anything that has more to do with a disc than it does; I honestly don't know what it's trying to represent. "Remove books" needs to be something other than a recycling symbol -- perhaps a book with an X over it? "Help" needs to match the style of the other icons; a big red ? would do nicely. "Preferences" needs to be simpler (it's a mess at small sizes) -- I've always used a little wrench when I've had to design icons (and even I can draw a wrench!). Debossing should be consistent, and should be visible (or not) uniformly for each size.

Yeah, that's a lot of quibbling. This is not meant to denigrate anyone's efforts; I know how hard it is. But I think the icons can be better, hence the suggestions.

This is a horrible thing to suggest for a program that's still in version 0 ... but ... skins? /duck! Yeah, I know, with all the stuff that people want and need for calibre, skins are about as trivial and unimportant as you can get. But I'd love to have a choice of interface metaphors for calibre: "Scriptorium": a parchment background with icons involving quill pens, scrolls, and illumination. "Stacks", dimly showing unending shelves of books, where the icons would all involve books, shelves, and so on. Someone who doesn't share my obsession with juxtaposing the old and the new might prefer a science fiction-themed skin, perhaps with a brushed metal background and glowing symbols for icons. Look at the crazy stuff people do for Firefox. And yes, I know it's probably not worth the work. We love calibre for its function, not its form; the people who want to customize every pixel they see before them are just going to have to suffer. But when I get started with the blue-sky thinking, things like that fall out.

Anyway, that's my take on the icon situation. They really do need a reworking. Some sort of "load your own icons" option would probably make everybody happy, and turn the focus back on what calibre does, not what it looks like. Though as a person who has WinXP customized to look like Win95, I guess I'm probably not the best to judge what a GUI should look like.

p.s. You probably do not want to see the results of me attempting to draw, but what are the specs for the icons? I'll see what I can do ....
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:25 AM   #11
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:32 AM   #12
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Nevertheless, I disagree in your statement about the subjectivity of what is better or worse design. Regrettably, that view is shared by a large number of developers in the open source community.
That's because open source developers, unlike corporate silo developers/designers, work with a much larger ecosystem of application environments and so know that there is no One True Way of doing anything.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Quote:
Only one set of graphics can be chosen
Here I could say: “You are wrong”
I didn't mean that it was impossible to allow multiple icon sets, I meant that I doubted that Kovid would go to the effort to implement an option for multiple sets (option creep is bad IMHO), and you'd have to convince him to change them if you don't like them. The choice to change goes through a single gate.

Since Kovid changed to the new ones from the old ones, he's presumably already decided the new ones are better. Personally, I'm totally agnostic on the issue, other than that I generally like a fresh look, just for fun. If you think you've got good reasons as to why the new ones are worse, feel free to try to build support for a change. By the time you've got it built, I'll probably be happy to see another fresh look.

Last edited by Starson17; 07-13-2010 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:16 PM   #14
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While I will admit I'm not exactly thrilled about the new icons, their appearance is immaterial to how well the program works. I would much rather have a program that works well than looks good (not that it doesn't now). I would prefer that Kovid continue to concentrate with his fine work in making a useful program and concentrate primarily on changes to improve the usability of the program than be diverted over some silly icons (face it, no matter what icons he puts up, someone will bitch about it). I looked at a lot of programs had glitzy and even really nice looking screen displays that were nicer than calibre's but they were not nearly as useful. Guess which program I chose? Too much of an issue has been made over these icons. Please, everyone, build a bridge and get over it.

Btw, Starson17, I so agree with you about creeping option bloat (are you listening MS?).
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:50 PM   #15
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While I will admit I'm not exactly thrilled about the new icons, their appearance is immaterial to how well the program works. I would much rather have a program that works well than looks good (not that it doesn't now). I would prefer that Kovid continue to concentrate with his fine work in making a useful program and concentrate primarily on changes to improve the usability of the program than be diverted over some silly icons (face it, no matter what icons he puts up, someone will bitch about it). I looked at a lot of programs had glitzy and even really nice looking screen displays that were nicer than calibre's but they were not nearly as useful. Guess which program I chose? Too much of an issue has been made over these icons. Please, everyone, build a bridge and get over it.

Btw, Starson17, I so agree with you about creeping option bloat (are you listening MS?).
I agree, there is way to much emphasis on the "Eye candy" requests, aspect of Calibre, asking for Kovids time (Wife's request excepted ).
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