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If you’re running Pop!_OS and some icons look completely out of place (like Gnome Builder), do this:

sudo apt install pop-icon-theme-extra

(And I hope the System76 folks reconsider their decision to make the icons inconsistent by default.)

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@aral well, what you call "inconsistent", app developers call "their work".

In the case of GNOME Builder for example this was specifically requested by the upstream developer. (as you saw in the ticket)

@mathieu @aral I don’t understand how being an app developer changes the meaning of a well-understood word like consistency. As an app developer myself, this intriguing bug doesn’t seem to have affected me :) If (huge if) folks who build FOSS actually want everyday people to use their stuff, then they’re competing with the likes of Apple. And that’s not one we’re going to win with inconsistency.

@aral @mathieu Apple doesn't allow system-wide themes to override the brand choices of Mac apps though. We'd have to encourage developers to stick to a set guidelines for a given platform, and Builder, for example, wants to be consistent with GNOME not Pop!_OS. The inconsistency arises between the choice to either be consistent with a given desktop environment or with the themes Linux distributions offer. But that is often being made by distributions against the wishes of app developers.

@snwh @aral @mathieu And neither would it allow the Builder icon, as is, in its App Store because it doesn’t fit its human interface guidelines. If a desktop looks like three different desktops because there is no consistency is app design (which is currently the case in the Linux world with KDE & Gnome, etc.) it simply cannot compete on the overall experience with one that looks and behaves like a single seamless one.

@aral @snwh right, but as Sam said, the Builder icon was designed with GNOME in mind.

Pop!_OS came after and opted for a completely different icon style.

So maybe Pop!_OS should have style guidelines for apps it accepts in its "app store", and not accept Builder?

This is pretty much what Elementary does if I understood correctly.

@mathieu @aral @snwh Or, I guess if we want to be completely mindless about it at the cost of protecting our vanity, they could fork Builder and replace the icon. :) Or, to avoid such insanity, maybe put our vanity aside and say thank you when someone makes the effort to create a beautiful version of our icon that is instantly recognisable as a version of the original for a platform with a different style guide.

@aral @snwh or, we would also realize that *absolute* consistency is way overrated. 😉

Consistency is good for the big picture of the UX, it helps people apply knowledge of one thing onto another thing, learning the platform faster, with less frustration.

Icon consistency? I've never seen anyone complaining about how their apps have inconsistent icons on Windows or Android. (not commenting on OS X / iOS, I know nothing about them and how they work)

@mathieu @aral @snwh Consistency, by its very nature, is a binary. Either you are consistent or inconsistent. There is no such thing as absolute consistency. That’s just consistency. The word for almost consistent, nearly-but-not-quite consistent, a hair away from being consistent is inconsistent.

@aral @snwh great, we agree then, because that's not at all what I was talking about.

My message was about how some things really need to be consistent, and how it doesn't matter much for others.

That's what I called "absolute" consistency: the desire to have consistency in every single aspects, even those where it doesn't matter.

@aral @mathieu but it doesn't stop at Builder. Debian already jumps through this hoop with Firefox by forking it simply to replace the icon and branding since the license on it is incompatible with the Debian principles. I think the reverse situation is insanity, where there's 100 platforms with 100 different styles and one app is expected to look and work the same on all of them? UI themes vary in usability and that affects apps in concrete ways and burdens developers.

@aral @snwh @mathieu I agree with everything, but people who use Linux don't care.

Linux Mint is the most popular and also the ugliest distro. The default interface is a classic Windows interface without CSD and the default icon theme, Mint Y, is a mixture of 5 different icon themes (Moka, Paper, Arc, elementary and ePapirus).

@desikn @aral @snwh @mathieu And, to be honest, I don’t care about people who use Linux today. My concern is how we get people who aren’t using Linux today to use it?

@aral @desikn @snwh in my experience, those who really deeply care about this icon consistency are the niche of super nerdy existing Linux users.

I'm serious, I've never seen anybody else care about that.

The day I realized that is the day I, myself, stopped caring about absolute consistency for everything. ☺️

@aral @desikn @snwh the thing is, if we follow that argument, then we (GNOME) are just going to make it impossible for downstreams to have icon themes, because those themes break the consistency of the icons we designed for of our apps…

And I don't think that's where you want to go?

@mathieu @aral I already incited plenty of furor from the more-than-passionate userbase over deprecating (both icon and interface) themes in the name of consistency. If we want to be more like Apple, locking down the look and feel of the interface in such a way would be the route to go, but it's a matter of who does the locking down that would make a lot of "downstream" projects upset.

@aral @desikn @snwh and be sure that getting "people who aren't using Linux today to use it" is **exactly** why we do GNOME.

@mathieu @aral @desikn @snwh I get that. And that’s why it’s of paramount importance that we care about the details. E.g., instead of moving things around on the interface, we should all be tackling the problem that mice and trackpads are, for most intents and purposes, broken on Linux.

@aral @desikn @snwh we (as a community) are working on it.

See the libinput project, headed by Peter Hutterer for the past few years, which already made tons of progress on this front, and continues to improve the state of things.

If you have specific issues with those though, do report them. 🙂

@aral @snwh @mathieu Well, that is easy, make an ugly Windows-ish distro like Linux Mint. Literally everyone I know who uses Linux Mint used to use Windows. No one I know uses GNOME Shell except for a few uber-nerdy Linux people.

@aral @snwh @mathieu What I want to say is that the majority of people don't care. Windows itself is also not a beacon of consistency. As long as they have something they can use they will use it.

@aral
Thanks! I was getting mighty annoyed by the inconsistent icon theme!

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