FOSS developers: My right to create a crappy ass icon in my pixel app trumps your right to have an aesthetically consistent experience.

Regular folks: Ooh, look at macOS! 😍

FOSS developers: why no one use our operating system?

@aral does macOS force-retheme third party app icons? No! What they do is design a consistent set of icons for their apps, and provide clear guidelines for third-party designers to design their own.

That's exactly what upstream GNOME folks are doing now. Pop!_OS should embrace that.

If you don't like a particular icon in an app that hasn't been updated, nudge the developer to redo the icon with the guidelines in mind. Same as you would if you don't like an icon of a macOS app.


@bugaevc No, but good luck getting an app that doesn’t follow the HIG into their App Store. So I guess that’s the road that GNOME Software will take to ensure consistency?

The default on macOS and iOS is consistency due to the culture/focus of the platforms. The default on Linux is inconsistency (a trait that is often lionised and labeled “choice” instead of criticised).

Given we probably don’t want an authoritarian App Store model, distributions enforcing consistency should be applauded.

@aral not that many apps care about getting into the Mac App Store (as opposed to the iOS App Store); and I don't think icon style inconsistency has a lot to do with choice-as-a-user-feature.

I'd say consistency comes from developers (& designers) *caring* about it, caring about making great native apps that fit in with the platform. And of course from the platform providing enough tools & guidance to make it feasible for the developers/designers.


@aral There are people who are passionate about building a beautiful Linux (in particular, GNOME) desktop experience, me included. There's no need to force these people into following the HIG — they happily do it themselves. It's a matter of *helping* them by providing guidelines and tools. That's what the new GNOME icon guidelines (, including the icon template), and tools like Icon Preview are about.


@bugaevc I think I still prefer the old Tango icons but damn if these aren't sharp as hell

@aral @bugaevc what if Linux distro just care about the system and apps are provided by Flatpak repositories? A repo by GNOME, one by KDE, one by Elementary, one by Ubuntu etc each one with consistent look and feel and integration. If one wants to mix apps he could enable multiple repositories

@aral @bugaevc Theming doesn't scale. Fostering a culture of good design is harder and slower, but it's much more effective in the long run than papering over the cracks at the distro level.

Also, bad apps have bad icons everywhere, even on iOS and macOS.

@tbernard @aral and the fact that popular downstream distros like Ubuntu and Pop!_OS change icons anyway doesn't exactly encourage app devs to ship good icons upstream

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