The Floppy icon and meritocracy

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Pedro Pedro
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The Floppy icon and meritocracy

Hi all

I just read the UX thread/sequence of emails where it was decided that the universal Save icon (in any program, any OS) represented by a floppy disk would be replaced by another icon.

I'm shocked that a Discuss topic where 54 messages from many people (several of them opposing and presenting valid arguments against) was totally dismissed because someone decided that it was time to change and the main argument was that "it was outdated".

This is not about the floppy icon itself or a criticism to who decided to change it. It is about the process. If this is meritocracy then it sucks! A little democracy would go a long way to build a community. Communities don't behave like this.

(Disappointed) Regards,
Pedro
Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

Hello Pedro,

2012/2/8 Pedro <[hidden email]>

> Hi all
>
> I just read the UX thread/sequence of emails where it was decided that the
> universal Save icon (in any program, any OS) represented by a floppy disk
> would be replaced by another icon.
>
> I'm shocked that a Discuss topic where 54 messages from many people
> (several
> of them opposing and presenting valid arguments against) was totally
> dismissed because someone decided that it was time to change and the main
> argument was that "it was outdated".
>
> This is not about the floppy icon itself or a criticism to who decided to
> change it. It is about the process. If this is meritocracy then it sucks! A
> little democracy would go a long way to build a community. Communities
> don't
> behave like this.
>
> (Disappointed) Regards,
> Pedro
>
>
You mentioned you read the discuss thread, but have you read the thread(s)
on the design list as well? FYI that's where it was decided although I
would agree it was far from clear even there. This being said and at the
risk of sounding evil and stubborn: FOSS has never been about demoracy.
It's limited democracy at best, that is, democracy narrowed to a very
defined set of decisions, with a strong meritocracy making up for most of
everything and *sigh* documented processes. I'm afraid this time we skipped
the documented process part. Please bear with us ;-)

Best,
Charles.

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Pedro Pedro
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

Charles-H.Schulz wrote
This being said and at the
risk of sounding evil and stubborn: FOSS has never been about demoracy.
It's limited democracy at best, that is, democracy narrowed to a very
defined set of decisions, with a strong meritocracy making up for most of
everything and *sigh* documented processes. I'm afraid this time we skipped
the documented process part. Please bear with us ;-)
I have to disagree with you. Maybe this is a reality for a large project such as LibreOffice. But I have collaborated (and still do) on FOSS projects that are mostly democratic. So this is not a characteristic of FOSS but maybe of large FOSS projects.

In any case I managed to hack the Tango theme and replace the new icons with the old ones (BTW someone forgot to update the saveastemplate icons in the new Theme ;) )

You can't use your old tango theme from 3.4.x because the folder structure has been changed between versions.

So, if anyone is interested, it's freely available here
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2347109/images_tango.zip

There are no virus or backdoors or whatnot (it just contains png images so it can not possibly contain any harmful code)

You have to replace the old theme because for some odd reason the list of allowed themes seems to be hardcoded.
Otherwise I would have called it old_tango, floppy_tango or stubborn_users'_tango :)

For Windows user it should be placed at
%ProgramFiles%\LibreOffice 3.5\share\config\images_tango.zip

Regards,
Pedro
Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

Hello Pedro,

Le Wed, 8 Feb 2012 06:17:10 -0800 (PST),
Pedro <[hidden email]> a écrit :

>
> Charles-H.Schulz wrote
> >
> > This being said and at the
> > risk of sounding evil and stubborn: FOSS has never been about
> > demoracy. It's limited democracy at best, that is, democracy
> > narrowed to a very defined set of decisions, with a strong
> > meritocracy making up for most of everything and *sigh* documented
> > processes. I'm afraid this time we skipped
> > the documented process part. Please bear with us ;-)
> >
>
> I have to disagree with you. Maybe this is a reality for a large
> project such as LibreOffice. But I have collaborated (and still do)
> on FOSS projects that are mostly democratic. So this is not a
> characteristic of FOSS but maybe of large FOSS projects.


Do you have examples? I'd be happy to hear about them, I'm sure we work
in a very similar fashion...

best,
Charles.

>
> In any case I managed to hack the Tango theme and replace the new
> icons with the old ones (BTW someone forgot to update the
> saveastemplate icons in the new Theme ;) )
>
> You can't use your old tango theme from 3.4.x because the folder
> structure has been changed between versions.
>
> So, if anyone is interested, it's freely available here
> http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2347109/images_tango.zip
>
> There are no virus or backdoors or whatnot (it just contains png
> images so it can not possibly contain any harmful code)
>
> You have to replace the old theme because for some odd reason the
> list of allowed themes seems to be hardcoded.
> Otherwise I would have called it old_tango, floppy_tango or
> stubborn_users'_tango :)
>
> For Windows user it should be placed at
> %ProgramFiles%\LibreOffice 3.5\share\config\images_tango.zip


Thank you for the tip!

Best,
Charles.




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Pedro Pedro
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

Hi again Charles

Charles-H.Schulz wrote
Do you have examples? I'd be happy to hear about them, I'm sure we work
in a very similar fashion...
Of course. Here is an excellent one
http://emergedesktop.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1419

You don't work in a similar fashion ;)

Regards,
Pedro
Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

Hello Pedro,

Le Wed, 8 Feb 2012 06:47:05 -0800 (PST),
Pedro <[hidden email]> a écrit :

> Hi again Charles
>
>
> Charles-H.Schulz wrote
> >
> > Do you have examples? I'd be happy to hear about them, I'm sure we
> > work in a very similar fashion...
> >
>
> Of course. Here is an excellent one
> http://emergedesktop.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1419
>
> You don't work in a similar fashion ;)
>

I think we do. And I think some terms may not be very accurately used
here. What this thread says -and I took the time not to just look at
the thread but at the other areas of the project as well- is that
developers listen to user feedback. And that's probably a good thing to
do although some people might disagree (cf. Henry Ford); yet listening
to user feedback hardly makes up a democracy. It's user feedback. In
some cases it might be a case of "nice customer service". But it does
not help that much. I'll explain myself.

Let me describe to you what I called limited democracy here, and I'll
also give you links of small and less small FOSS projects that
implement meritocracy and are by no ways democracies (other than
"limited" democracies).

A FOSS project mainly produces code. Its sole reason, in fact, is to
produce code; whether someone pays for it or manages to be a guru at
product strategy and marketing so well he can even entrance hackers in
its "Reality Distortion Field" is another question. FOSS projects
produce code. Then, around that rough code you have another categories
of contributors: the QA testers, the localizers, the documentation
writers, the marketers (no particular order here); sometimes you have
the extension developers as well. All these people do something very
specific: they contribute to the project. Granted it might not only be
code, but that's beside the point. They contribute and they make the
project. The reason they contribute might be completely unknown to you,
or there might be as many reasons as you will find for each
contributor. It's good sometimes to question or to know what's the
"general reason" to contribute from one or two active contributors, but
it's not always necessary. Back to our contributors; they form the
active people who push the project forward, heck, they are the project
themselves. But because each of them might contribute for various and
sometimes opposite reasons, any of them, sometimes even all of them or
a good majority of them, will stop contributing; conversely, they might
even increase their contribution. If you stick to the original line
from Eric Raymond (the Cathedral and the Bazaar, a must read), the
reason any developer would contribute is because he/she'd like to
"scratch an itch". Granted that scratch might be for hire or is already
funded, but that's besides the point.

In the end, it's the people who make the software (and distribute it,
promote it) who call the shots. They call the shots because they get to
"make" the software at various levels. So it's a meritocracy because
it's a "do-ocracy" in a sense.  The good news here is that it makes up
for quite a lot of people. The not so good news in a sense, is that
"mere" users, by which I mean "passive" users, who do not contribute
anything in terms of code, tests, localization, documentation,
dictionaries, pamphlets, designs, etc. are only left with one choice:
to use the software if they like it, or to stop using it. The only
reason is not that it's not a democracy, it's just that they don't have
the power to act on the software project unless they adopt or reject
it.

There is also a more subtle good part in this: no user is barred to
join the contributors' ranks; and when this user actually does, he'll
have a say as long as he remains a contributor.

There are projects who do not formally formalize too much who
specifically are their contributors. Some others do. The Document
Foundation does formalize it to the extent that it is our contributors
who "own the foundation" and nobody else does. It's not just in our
social contract or an unwritten assumption, it's legal . There are
rather broad criteria to define what a contributor is and does (our
bylaws and statutes define them) and anyone who qualifies become thus a
member of the foundation with rather large " political" rights. In this
sense we have democracy. But FOSS projects do not run on open and
democratic structure; they run on transparent and agreed processes,
with an free and open source code at their core.

Hope this helps, and sorry for the long email,
--
Charles-H. Schulz
Member of the Board of Directors,
The Document Foundation.

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Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

Hi again,

I forgot the links...

Le Wed, 8 Feb 2012 16:58:17 +0100,
"Charles-H. Schulz" <[hidden email]> a écrit :

--- SNIP----

http://www.debian.org
http://www.fedora-project.org
http://www.opensuse.org
http://www.claws-mail.org
http://www.drupal.org
http://www.django.org
http://www.archlinux.org
http://www.hforge.org

(all different projects of various sizes)...

Best,
--
Charles-H. Schulz
Member of the Board of Directors,
The Document Foundation.

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yahoo-pier_andreit yahoo-pier_andreit
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

In reply to this post by Pedro
On 08/02/12 10:54, Pedro wrote:

> Hi all
>
> I just read the UX thread/sequence of emails where it was decided that the
> universal Save icon (in any program, any OS) represented by a floppy disk
> would be replaced by another icon.
>
> I'm shocked that a Discuss topic where 54 messages from many people (several
> of them opposing and presenting valid arguments against) was totally
> dismissed because someone decided that it was time to change and the main
> argument was that "it was outdated".
>
> This is not about the floppy icon itself or a criticism to who decided to
> change it. It is about the process. If this is meritocracy then it sucks! A
> little democracy would go a long way to build a community. Communities don't
> behave like this.
>
> (Disappointed) Regards,
> Pedro

I totally agree with you :-))
about the outdating, should airplanes change all they reference to navy
language?? why you go on board of plane? is there any board in airplane??
Pier

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Pedro Pedro
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

In reply to this post by Charles-H. Schulz
Hi again Charles

Charles-H.Schulz wrote
What this thread says -and I took the time not to just look at
the thread but at the other areas of the project as well- is that
developers listen to user feedback. And that's probably a good thing to
do although some people might disagree (cf. Henry Ford); yet listening
to user feedback hardly makes up a democracy. It's user feedback. In
some cases it might be a case of "nice customer service". But it does
not help that much. I'll explain myself.
Let's see. The developer is asking the community who is using a given feature (which he states would prefer to drop). Yet he subjects this to an open poll (not even limited to the registered forum users) and he is willing to accept the opinion of the majority. If that is not a democracy, it's damn close!

How is that even similar to meritocracy? Meritocracy would be: I'm the developer, I don't have time for this so I'm dropping it. If some one else wants to keep developing it, just do it.

I'm not arguing that all those projects that you pointed do not follow the same logic (I'm not saying this is a TDF / LO exclusive). I'm just showing you that other FOSS projects can be (and some are!) democratic.

Regards,
Pedro
Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

Le Wed, 8 Feb 2012 09:04:34 -0800 (PST),
Pedro <[hidden email]> a écrit :

> Hi again Charles
>
>
> Charles-H.Schulz wrote
> >
> > What this thread says -and I took the time not to just look at
> > the thread but at the other areas of the project as well- is that
> > developers listen to user feedback. And that's probably a good
> > thing to do although some people might disagree (cf. Henry Ford);
> > yet listening to user feedback hardly makes up a democracy. It's
> > user feedback. In some cases it might be a case of "nice customer
> > service". But it does not help that much. I'll explain myself.
> >
>
> Let's see. The developer is asking the community who is using a given
> feature (which he states would prefer to drop). Yet he subjects this
> to an open poll (not even limited to the registered forum users) and
> he is willing to accept the opinion of the majority. If that is not a
> democracy, it's damn close!
>
> How is that even similar to meritocracy? Meritocracy would be: I'm the
> developer, I don't have time for this so I'm dropping it. If some one
> else wants to keep developing it, just do it.
>
> I'm not arguing that all those projects that you pointed do not
> follow the same logic (I'm not saying this is a TDF / LO exclusive).
> I'm just showing you that other FOSS projects can be (and some are!)
> democratic.

hmm, then I don't agree with your qualification of democratic. You have
similar polls in supermarkets. But supermarkets are no democracies. A
democracy means a democratic structure, not a consumer/plebeian
feedback process, no matter how effective it is.

best,
--
Charles-H. Schulz
Member of the Board of Directors,
The Document Foundation.

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Davide Dozza Davide Dozza
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

In reply to this post by Pedro
On 08/02/2012 18:04, Pedro wrote:

>
> I'm not arguing that all those projects that you pointed do not follow the
> same logic (I'm not saying this is a TDF / LO exclusive). I'm just showing
> you that other FOSS projects can be (and some are!) democratic.

FLOSS == Meritocracy

Meritocracy != Democracy

Democracy != FLOSS

Davide


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Pedro Pedro
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

In reply to this post by Charles-H. Schulz
Charles-H.Schulz wrote
You have similar polls in supermarkets. But supermarkets are no democracies.
Really? Supermarkets make polls for products they do not wish to sell? And they do accept the shopper's decision?
I have never seen such a supermarket!

Anyway even if the developers aren't "elected" by the users (to have what you call a democratic structure) it still is pretty close to a democracy and much more community friendly than meritocracy ;)

Regards,
Pedro
sophi sophi
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

Hi Pedro,
On 08/02/2012 18:37, Pedro wrote:

> Charles-H.Schulz wrote
>> You have similar polls in supermarkets. But supermarkets are no
>> democracies.
>>
> Really? Supermarkets make polls for products they do not wish to sell? And
> they do accept the shopper's decision?
> I have never seen such a supermarket!
>
> Anyway even if the developers aren't "elected" by the users (to have what
> you call a democratic structure) it still is pretty close to a democracy and
> much more community friendly than meritocracy ;)

I think that nobody in the community would prevent you to organize such
a poll. If you manage to deal with it from the ux and developer point of
view, we always valued the broader input we can get.
If you look at what is happening currently for the conditional formating
dialog,
http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/Libreoffice-ux-advise-conditional-format-dialog-td3724185.html
what you want is currently happening.
But (there is always a but ;) the size of our community makes it very
difficult to manage the feedback from our users. More if you add the
language communities feedback (for this specific case, I know the FR
community has been asked for feedback) it's even more complicated to
collect the thoughts and translate them.
So if you feel that you can manage to organize a communication flow
between the different actors of the project, I'm really sure that nobody
will prevent you to do so, on the contrary I'm sure you'll find people
to support you and help you. It's not democracy still, it's: you want
it, you do it ;-)

Kind regards
Sophie

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Pedro Pedro
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

Sophie Gautier wrote
the size of our community makes it very difficult to manage the feedback from our users
That is exactly what I said :)

I accept that it is difficult to have democracy in such a large community. My argument is that FOSS is not inherently incompatible with democracy, contrary to David's logical demonstration and to Charles' argumentation.

In any case it would be a futile exercise to "just do" a Poll since it would not bind anyone to the results :)
sophi sophi
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

On 08/02/2012 19:41, Pedro wrote:

> Sophie Gautier wrote
>> the size of our community makes it very difficult to manage the feedback
>> from our users
> That is exactly what I said :)
>
> I accept that it is difficult to have democracy in such a large community.
> My argument is that FOSS is not inherently incompatible with democracy,
> contrary to David's logical demonstration and to Charles' argumentation.
>
> In any case it would be a futile exercise to "just do" a Poll since it would
> not bind anyone to the results :)
I won't be so pessimistic. Of course, if it's a poll without any process
and defined workflow, I agree with you. But if before you put an
organization in place, it won't be futile and could bring a lot to the
project.

Kind regards
Sophie


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Sveinn í Felli Sveinn í Felli
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

In reply to this post by Pedro
Þann mið  8.feb 2012 18:50, skrifaði sophie:

> On 08/02/2012 19:41, Pedro wrote:
>> Sophie Gautier wrote
>>> the size of our community makes it very difficult to
>>> manage the feedback
>>> from our users
>> That is exactly what I said :)
>>
>> I accept that it is difficult to have democracy in such a
>> large community.
>> My argument is that FOSS is not inherently incompatible
>> with democracy,
>> contrary to David's logical demonstration and to Charles'
>> argumentation.
>>
>> In any case it would be a futile exercise to "just do" a
>> Poll since it would
>> not bind anyone to the results :)
> I won't be so pessimistic. Of course, if it's a poll without
> any process and defined workflow, I agree with you. But if
> before you put an organization in place, it won't be futile
> and could bring a lot to the project.
>

Even though I did forward my 2 cents on the issue, I didn't
have such a strong opinion on the matter (the usual 5% of
the users I occationally support will moan, I'm sure).

To me, the case was solved by those who were there - at the
time it happened - so be it.
Maybe I'm not really bothered because this about a
(trivial?) thing which then may be overruled/changed in the
future, when/if there will be a more general policy-decision
about icon-sets and theming.
And before taking such bigger (democratic) decisions,
there's a lot of work to do.

Sveinn í Felli


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Robert Derman Robert Derman
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

In reply to this post by yahoo-pier_andreit
yahoo-pier_andreit wrote:

> On 08/02/12 10:54, Pedro wrote:
>> Hi all
>>
>> I just read the UX thread/sequence of emails where it was decided
>> that the
>> universal Save icon (in any program, any OS) represented by a floppy
>> disk
>> would be replaced by another icon.
>>
>> I'm shocked that a Discuss topic where 54 messages from many people
>> (several
>> of them opposing and presenting valid arguments against) was totally
>> dismissed because someone decided that it was time to change and the
>> main
>> argument was that "it was outdated".
>>
>> This is not about the floppy icon itself or a criticism to who
>> decided to
>> change it. It is about the process. If this is meritocracy then it
>> sucks! A
>> little democracy would go a long way to build a community.
>> Communities don't
>> behave like this.
>>
>> (Disappointed) Regards,
>> Pedro
>
> I totally agree with you :-))
> about the outdating, should airplanes change all they reference to
> navy language?? why you go on board of plane? is there any board in
> airplane??
> Pier
I suspect that a lot of that is because airplanes have largely replaced
ships functionally.  If you are crossing the Atlantic today, you will do
in on an airplane, not an ocean liner.  Although airplanes bank left,
not hard to port.  Also remember you board a train as well, as an
airplane.

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sophi sophi
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

On 09/02/2012 19:31, Robert Derman wrote:

> yahoo-pier_andreit wrote:
>> On 08/02/12 10:54, Pedro wrote:
>>> Hi all
>>>
>>> I just read the UX thread/sequence of emails where it was decided
>>> that the
>>> universal Save icon (in any program, any OS) represented by a floppy
>>> disk
>>> would be replaced by another icon.
>>>
>>> I'm shocked that a Discuss topic where 54 messages from many people
>>> (several
>>> of them opposing and presenting valid arguments against) was totally
>>> dismissed because someone decided that it was time to change and the
>>> main
>>> argument was that "it was outdated".
>>>
>>> This is not about the floppy icon itself or a criticism to who
>>> decided to
>>> change it. It is about the process. If this is meritocracy then it
>>> sucks! A
>>> little democracy would go a long way to build a community.
>>> Communities don't
>>> behave like this.
>>>
>>> (Disappointed) Regards,
>>> Pedro
>>
>> I totally agree with you :-))
>> about the outdating, should airplanes change all they reference to
>> navy language?? why you go on board of plane? is there any board in
>> airplane??
>> Pier
> I suspect that a lot of that is because airplanes have largely
> replaced ships functionally.  If you are crossing the Atlantic today,
> you will do in on an airplane, not an ocean liner.  Although airplanes
> bank left, not hard to port.  Also remember you board a train as well,
> as an airplane.
lol, I'm sure of that too :-) It's nice to know that there is airplanes
are coming to rescue us ;-)

Kind regards
Sophie


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NoOp NoOp
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

In reply to this post by Pedro
On 02/08/2012 06:17 AM, Pedro wrote:
...
> In any case I managed to hack the Tango theme and replace the new icons with
> the old ones (BTW someone forgot to update the saveastemplate icons in the
> new Theme ;) )
>
> You can't use your old tango theme from 3.4.x because the folder structure
> has been changed between versions.
>
> So, if anyone is interested, it's freely available here
> http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2347109/images_tango.zip

What distrurbs me is that the new LO "Tango" icons do not follow the
standard base Tango theme. As I pointed out in the other thread:
<http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.comp.documentfoundation.discuss/7633>

The freedesktop.org Icon Theme Specification defines a 'document-save'
icon as: "document-save The icon for the save action. Should be an arrow
pointing down and toward a hard disk."
<http://standards.freedesktop.org/icon-naming-spec/icon-naming-spec-latest.html>
The new LO "Tango" theme does not follow this specification, and instead
uses a non-Tango icon: a down arrow pointing to an open file cabinet drawer.

You'll find that if you/LO actually download and check the
'document-save' icons in:
<http://tango.freedesktop.org/Tango_Icon_Library>
  <http://tango.freedesktop.org/releases/tango-icon-theme-0.8.90.tar.gz>
it is an arrow pointing down and toward a hard disk.

Other applications, and the desktop (GNOME), that I use adhere to the
base Tango theme. I fail to understand why LO insists on bastardizing
the theme and still calling it "Tango". Even the LO icon name fails to
follow the freedesktop.org naming convention of 'document-save', and
instead LO have kept the name used in Ooo: lc_save.png.

If you want the floppy, use the default Galaxy theme:
Tools|Options|LibreOffice|View|Icon size and style: Glalaxy (default).
<http://www.openoffice.org/ui/VisualDesign/OOo_galaxy.html>



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Pedro Pedro
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Re: The Floppy icon and meritocracy

Hi NoOp

NoOp wrote
What distrurbs me is that the new LO "Tango" icons do not follow the
standard base Tango theme. As I pointed out in the other thread:
<http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.comp.documentfoundation.discuss/7633>
Probably because someone hardcoded somewhere a list of the themes allowed. Try renaming any of the zip files and it will no longer show up on the Themes list.

That is why the theme I modified is named tango instead of old_tango.zip

NoOp wrote
Other applications, and the desktop (GNOME), that I use adhere to the
base Tango theme. I fail to understand why LO insists on bastardizing
the theme and still calling it "Tango". Even the LO icon name fails to
follow the freedesktop.org naming convention of 'document-save', and
instead LO have kept the name used in Ooo: lc_save.png.
I thought the idea was to be consistent with the Linux icons. I can see now that it was not.  Which even disappoints me more about the process...

NoOp wrote
If you want the floppy, use the default Galaxy theme:
Tools|Options|LibreOffice|View|Icon size and style: Glalaxy (default).
<http://www.openoffice.org/ui/VisualDesign/OOo_galaxy.html>
I already have the floppy :) and I don't particularly like the Galaxy theme. Thank you anyway for the suggestion!

Regards,
Pedro
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