Use the more appropriate "two sliders" icon for "configure"
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Authored by ngraham on Sat, Apr 7, 11:12 PM.

Details

Summary

Right now, the Breeze icon for "Configure" is sub-optimal and nondescript, and has little visual connection to the idea of "configure me! Settings over here!"

There is already a better icon: a "two sliders" symbol that's currently used for configuring shortcuts, for some odd reason. Plasma deliberately uses this "two sliders" icon instead of the default one in many places (e.g. KRunner) and System Settings already uses "two sliders" iconography in its own icon. Also, the Breeze icon theme uses this icon for "configure" in GTK apps. It's very much a more appropriate icon.

This patch uses the superior "two sliders" icon for "configure" in all contexts, and adjusts symlinks to maintain compatibility for places where the existing icon should be used.

Also, the "configure shortcuts" icon changes to one that looks like a keyboard, which seems more appropriate given the feature itself.

Test Plan

Deploy change, switch to Breeze Dark and then back to Breeze light again

Better icons in settings menu:

Better icon in the open/save dialog:

Better icons in Window Decorations KCM:

No change for Properties menu items:

No change for KRunner (it was already using the "two-sliders" icon):

No change for Preferences in GTK apps (they were already using the "two-sliders" icon):

Also tested with Breeze dark. Same consistent results.

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R266 Breeze Icons
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more-consistent-configure-icon (branched from master)
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ngraham created this revision.Sat, Apr 7, 11:12 PM
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ngraham requested review of this revision.Sat, Apr 7, 11:13 PM
ngraham edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)Sat, Apr 7, 11:20 PM
ngraham edited the test plan for this revision. (Show Details)

Phabricator is really bad at showing file changes that involve symlinks (specifically, turning a file into a symlink), so for code-oriented people, here's the little shell script I used to produce these changes:

cd repos/breeze-icons

for DIR in icons/actions/16 icons/actions/22 icons-dark/actions/16 icons-dark/actions/22; do
    ln -fsn configure.svg $DIR/configure_kile.svg
    ln -fsn configure.svg $DIR/configure_project.svg
done

for DIR in icons/actions/16 icons/actions/22 icons/actions/24 icons/actions/32 icons-dark/actions/16 icons-dark/actions/22 icons-dark/actions/24 icons-dark/actions/32; do
    mv $DIR/configure.svg $DIR/document-properties.svg
    mv $DIR/configure-shortcuts.svg $DIR/configure.svg
    ln -s ../../devices/22/input-keyboard.svg $DIR/configure-shortcuts.svg
    ln -fsn configure.svg $DIR/settings-configure.svg
    ln -fsn configure.svg $DIR/games-config-options.svg
    ln -fsn configure.svg $DIR/games-config-custom.svg
    ln -fsn configure.svg $DIR/gtk-preferences.svg
    ln -fsn configure.svg $DIR/step_object_Controller.svg
done

for DIR in icons/actions/16 icons/actions/22 icons/actions/24 icons-dark/actions/16 icons-dark/actions/22 icons-dark/actions/24; do
    ln -fsn configure.svg $DIR/configure-toolbars.svg
done

Of note, this patch also makes it trivially easy to change the "Configure" icon in the future, because it makes everything that uses that icon actually point to the configure icon rather than a hodgepodge of different icons.

abetts added a subscriber: abetts.Tue, Apr 10, 3:35 AM

I am in fact, a little bit taken back by the fact that we have a two slider icon. The reason is because I have been told many times that we don't want to use sliders or toggles in the desktop. We are referencing something that doesn't exist in the Plasma desktop. I might suggest maybe using the gear icon for this. It probably feels more at home since it is also part of the KDE logo. Just wanted to provide another perspective.

  1. System Settings uses sliders right there in its icon. :) They're already used to mean "Configure me!" in other contexts (KRunner, Plasma widgets, GTK apps)
  2. Sliders aren't the same as on/off toggle buttons. We use sliders in, for example, volume controls. I don't think there's any controversy with slider iconography on the desktop.
  3. In case there is an issue with slider iconography on the desktop, or we want to move in the direction of using a gear icon for settings (which I would not object to), this patch would lay the groundwork and make that task trivially easy, as the only thing required would to be to replace the configure icon with a new one. Without this patch, it would be a huge challenge to figure out all the symlinks and make sure not to regress anything; I already spent half a day doing that work to make this possible.
  1. System Settings uses sliders right there in its icon. :) They're already used to mean "Configure me!" in other contexts (KRunner, Plasma widgets, GTK apps)
  2. Sliders aren't the same as on/off toggle buttons. We use sliders in, for example, volume controls. I don't think there's any controversy with slider iconography on the desktop.
  3. In case there is an issue with slider iconography on the desktop, or we want to move in the direction of using a gear icon for settings (which I would not object to), this patch would lay the groundwork and make that task trivially easy, as the only thing required would to be to replace the configure icon with a new one. Without this patch, it would be a huge challenge to figure out all the symlinks and make sure not to regress anything; I already spent half a day doing that work to make this possible.

Then let's add more significance to the icon. I don't think two lines is enough to make the point.

Maybe something along the lines of what's shown here?

https://www.flaticon.com/search?word=sliders

If we also want to change the icon, it can't be done as a part of this patch because I've got no icon design or vector art skills whatsoever. It can't go into this patch as long as I'm the author. Like I said, I'm open to changing the icon itself, but that's a separate issue from what's in this patch. For all intents and purposes, this patch can be seen as standardizing on one icon. If and when that's done, we can start a conversation on what that icon that we standardized on should be should be changed to or replaced with, if anything.

Keep in mind that any significant change to the "two sliders" icon would entail redoing System Settings' icon too, as it currently depicts two sliders with a reasonable similarity to the monochrome version.

Since I may or may not have been the one to bring this to @ngraham's attention, I'll offer my two cents and be done.

  • The mini/mono slider icons for widget & panel configs, are, I believe, hardcoded and drawn from Breeze.
  • The full-size two-slider icon for System Settings was done by the VDG as part of Breeze, so I've got to trust their judgment. An icon theme will change this for me if I don't like it.
  • A "gear" icon is cliche, to me. The same with a "crossed-wrench-and-screwdriver" design. They've been done to excess.
  • Although I am fairly handy with Illustrator Inkscape, I wasn't part of the Breeze design process, so I'm not volunteering any new icons!

I think that above all, consistency is what matters here. If there's an agreed-upon change later, this patch will make it that much easier to accomplish.

In closing, +1

ngraham edited the test plan for this revision. (Show Details)Tue, Apr 10, 6:54 PM
bruns added a subscriber: bruns.Tue, Apr 10, 8:31 PM
bruns added a comment.Tue, Apr 10, 8:47 PM

+1 for making it more consistent ...

For the design - how about this one (Shortcuts - old, Toolbars - new)?

Is that "three sliders" icon one we already have, or did you just mock it up?

bruns added a comment.Tue, Apr 10, 8:50 PM

Thats a new one

If we're proposing new icons, what I'd like to see is a "base" configure iconography that you can add other things to. For example, if we use a base "two sliders" icon for "configure", then...

  • "Configure shortcuts" would have one of the sliders replaced with a keyboard or an individual key
  • "Configure toolbars" would have one of the sliders replaced with a little toolbar
  • "Configure notifications" would have one of the sliders replaced with a little balloon with an exclamation mark in it, and so on.

That said, all of that is rather out of scope for this patch right here. Yea or nay on this patch?

hein added a subscriber: hein.Tue, Apr 10, 10:53 PM

In principle I totally agree with this, but I'm not sure about the input-keyboard icon it extends to. Do you know where it's used currently?

hein added a comment.Tue, Apr 10, 10:54 PM
In D12034#244019, @hein wrote:

In principle I totally agree with this, but I'm not sure about the input-keyboard icon it extends to. Do you know where it's used currently?

It's sometimes even used as window icon: https://lxr.kde.org/search?_filestring=&_string=input-keyboard

Eike reports that I have bribed him into acquiescing to this patch! 😆

Keep in mind we will be able to very easily change the icons in the future if need be, once this is landed.

abetts accepted this revision as: VDG, abetts.Fri, Apr 13, 4:33 PM
This revision is now accepted and ready to land.Fri, Apr 13, 4:33 PM
ngraham closed this revision.Fri, Apr 13, 10:43 PM