Re: Useful icons or standard icons?

Martijn Koster (
Fri, 07 Jan 1994 10:49:41 +0000

> The problem with "standardisation" is that
> a) we don't really know what set of icons we want, and
> adding new ones or changing the graphics for a "standard" set
> will be difficult;


> b) we certainly don't yet have the best graphics for the
> icons we need - real artists need to get involved!;

No, but if you have standard names for icons, you can use your favourite
physical icon for it.

> c) different styles and sizes of graphic for icons with the
> same meaning might be appropriate for different document "styles"
> (artistic material might want more "flowery" icons than
> scientific material, and some subject areas might want
> icons of a common style related to the subject;

Well, of course you can never cover all cases with a general mechanism.
I actaully think different platforms may want different icons: a Mac
client wants hypercard icons, a Windows one program-manager icons etc.

> I think that all we need is a "well-known" site (or sites) to host a
> "Useful ICONs" page, based on the prototype page given below. (Obvious
> sites are those that provide WWW software). Note that the icons should
> actually be copied to local files and should be "moderated", and that
> some assurance of continuous and continued access to the icons should be
> given. They should also all be massaged to a consistent size.

This is what Frans van Hoesal proposed too.

So we have an access protocol, (http), a "well-know-site", and a name.
That looks like a URL to me. You want people to start using these,
so you give assurance they will be available. That sounds pretty much
like the standard URLs I propose.

> Note that HTML authors can either reference the URLs of the icons in
> someone's "Useful ICONs" page, or can copy them to local files.
> **** None of this addresses the question of minimising network traffic,
> but I really feel this is pretty irrelevant for ICON access. ****

Well, I don't think it is irrelevant. I happen to have slow'ish internet
access, and I often have to wait for icons. But if we have this set of
well-known URL's, we can actually have clients intervene and use local

-- Martijn
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