Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th Sep 2009 17:43 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Last week, Culf of Mac published an article showing off some of Snow Leopard's beautiful 512x512 icons, revealing some interesting tidbits about them you could only see when the icons are fully maximised. In this article, I compare some of Snow Leopard's icons to those of Windows 7, and you'll see while both operating systems have beautiful icons, there are some key differences between the styles of these icons. Note that this article contains some large images, so if you're on dial-up, you've been warned.
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Both sets look good
by sonic2000gr on Mon 7th Sep 2009 18:08 UTC
sonic2000gr
Member since:
2007-05-20

Recently acquired an iMac myself, and find the icon set quite pleasing. It is distinctly different from the Windows one, though the latter is still very good. I think you are right: the differences in icons seem to represent the different 'cultures' (so to speak) of Windows and OS X.
I have no problems with these, but what I would really like to see is a linux distribution with nice and consistent icons across the desktop (mostly referring to GNOME, as KDE is much better IMHO - but I am more of a GNOME/XFCE guy). The default icon sets in mainstream distros (read: Ubuntu) are rather boring and while they can be changed it is rare to get consistency across all places.

Reply Score: 2

.ico
by Verunks on Mon 7th Sep 2009 18:46 UTC
Verunks
Member since:
2007-04-02

ico format isn't that bad since it can contains multiple icons with different resolution and depth, mac os x uses the icns format that should be quite the same, what windows should really do instead is allowing the user to choose png/jpg/gif too

embedding icons in exe isn't bad either, osx put it inside the .app folder, but on windows let's say you download an installer for an app, if the icon isn't embedded you'll have to download the png separately otherwise it won't have any icon

Reply Score: 1

Give me functional
by sbergman27 on Mon 7th Sep 2009 19:09 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

The fact that anyone is concerned about having "beautiful 512x512 icons" should give us a clue as to why the world is in such bad shape today. I vote we put the designers *and* the critics on the "B" Ark.

Edited 2009-09-07 19:11 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE: Give me functional
by WorknMan on Mon 7th Sep 2009 21:59 UTC in reply to "Give me functional"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The fact that anyone is concerned about having "beautiful 512x512 icons" should give us a clue as to why the world is in such bad shape today. I vote we put the designers *and* the critics on the "B" Ark.


If I could, I would mod you up to 100. As far as I'm concerned, as long as the interface isn't butt-ugly, you can give me Win 3.1 icons for all I care.

Honestly, I'd take the Win32 GUI and icons over this ugly-ass glass and translucent sh!t they have going on now days.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Give me functional
by badtz on Mon 7th Sep 2009 22:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Give me functional"
badtz Member since:
2005-06-29

The purpose is for those who want refinement, or have an artistic bone in their body ...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Give me functional
by sbergman27 on Mon 7th Sep 2009 22:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Give me functional"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

The purpose is for those who want refinement, or have an artistic bone in their body ...

or are phone sanitizers...

Edited 2009-09-07 22:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Give me functional
by Soulbender on Tue 8th Sep 2009 06:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Give me functional"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I fail to see how caring about and using 512x512 icons is any indication of refinement.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Give me functional
by badtz on Tue 8th Sep 2009 07:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Give me functional"
badtz Member since:
2005-06-29

how is it not? 512x512 allows one to blow up icons to pretty big sizes (useful in many ways), particularly since OS X focuses much more on visual details, such as dock icons.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Give me functional
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 11th Sep 2009 03:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Give me functional"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

how is it not? 512x512 allows one to blow up icons to pretty big sizes (useful in many ways), particularly since OS X focuses much more on visual details, such as dock icons.


One of the things beaten into my head as a design student was (paraphrasing here):

"There is a difference between design and fine art. Design is communication using the visual language."

The icons may be look gorgeous, making them successful from an artistic point of view - but that doesn't make them successful from a design point of view.

The goal of an icon is to be, in a word, "iconic" - and not necessarily to serve as an illustration (also the reason why E.g. "road work ahead" signs have rough silhouettes and not a blueprint/photo of the actual work). Within that context, I think that whether or not an icon is identifiable at typical sizes (32x32, 48x48) is much more important than how nice it looks at 512x512.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Give me functional
by kaiwai on Mon 7th Sep 2009 23:50 UTC in reply to "Give me functional"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

The fact that anyone is concerned about having "beautiful 512x512 icons" should give us a clue as to why the world is in such bad shape today. I vote we put the designers *and* the critics on the "B" Ark.


Ascetics is more than just beauty, it is also about functionality and purveying a certain message which affect peoples productivity. Just as architecture is the embodiment of certain qualities - a particular style of icons, colours, desktop and so forth can produce an response which either increases or decreases productivity.

If the GUI itself is well laid out, the colours and icon design purvey a sense of optimism, inviting and a sense of using the computer being a pleasure rather than a chore - one can easily find that their overall productivity can increase as a result. Where as an purely functional GUI might get the job done it might also drive a wedge between the end user and the computer so that it turns into something they would rather not use.

Edited 2009-09-07 23:52 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Give me functional
by sbergman27 on Mon 7th Sep 2009 23:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Give me functional"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Ascetics is more than just beauty, it is also about functionality and purveying a certain message which affect peoples productivity...

There is no way in hell icons need to be a megabyte a piece in order to purvey whatever subtle message you think people can't get their work done without.

And your gate for boarding is 12C.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Give me functional
by kaiwai on Tue 8th Sep 2009 00:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Give me functional"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Ascetics is more than just beauty, it is also about functionality and purveying a certain message which affect peoples productivity...

There is no way in hell icons need to be a megabyte a piece in order to purvey whatever subtle message you think people can't get their work done without.

And your gate for boarding is 12C.


If an icon is a megabyte in size then that would sit in the realm of the user experience which is part of the GUI experience; if the GUI effects the performance then it effects ones productivity and the usefulness of the tool.

It confuses me though that we're sitting at 2009 and neither Apple nor Microsoft have moved to SVG icons - something that was in use on SGI IRIX Indigo desktop almost a decade ago. There is no reason why the icons for the bundled command controls on both Windows and Mac OS X can't be replaced with SVG versions with no impact on compatibility since all the handling is sorted out behind the scenes and not the third party applications themselves.

Edited 2009-09-08 00:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Give me functional
by Glynser on Tue 8th Sep 2009 06:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Give me functional"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

The problem with SVG or vector graphics in general is that you can't really predict how they will look like in 16x16 or 32x32. But when you design a pixel icon in 16x16 or 32x32, you have control over every single pixel, which is why they often look clearer.

Sadly, many icons today are already designed in a higher resolution and simply scaled down, resulting in exactly the same problem, but that's another story...

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Give me functional
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 11th Sep 2009 03:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Give me functional"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

It confuses me though that we're sitting at 2009 and neither Apple nor Microsoft have moved to SVG icons - something that was in use on SGI IRIX Indigo desktop almost a decade ago. There is no reason why the icons for the bundled command controls on both Windows and Mac OS X can't be replaced with SVG versions with no impact on compatibility since all the handling is sorted out behind the scenes and not the third party applications themselves.


There's an interesting article on the Haiku Icon Vector Format, describing some of the reasons they didn't go with SVG - it's an interesting read:

http://www.haiku-os.org/news/2006-11-06/icon_facts

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Give me functional
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 8th Sep 2009 02:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Give me functional"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I'd like to see a real double blind scientific study actually measuring productivity with different sets of icons. Science, Man, Science! No need to argue based upon one's individual whims.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Give me functional
by modmans2ndcoming on Tue 8th Sep 2009 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Give me functional"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

care to explain how one would go about conducting such a study? kind of hard to keep teh test subjects and test administrators ignorant of what is being tested.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Give me functional
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 11th Sep 2009 03:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Give me functional"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

care to explain how one would go about conducting such a study? kind of hard to keep teh test subjects and test administrators ignorant of what is being tested.


I like to think that he's satirizing the type of people who, if you told them that "the sky is blue," would demand an in-depth analysis of the composition of Earth's atmosphere - along with a statistical analysis of which components allow/block which parts of the visible spectrum.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Give me functional
by Hiev on Tue 8th Sep 2009 00:23 UTC in reply to "Give me functional"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

You mean like complaining for changing the font off a fourniture catalog?

You bet, what is wrong with these people?

Edited 2009-09-08 00:27 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Give me functional
by testman on Tue 8th Sep 2009 02:51 UTC in reply to "Give me functional"
testman Member since:
2007-10-15

Get a grip.

"Everyone" reading this is concerned because they're interested. Is there something wrong with wanting or appreciating aesthetic refinement? Well, I suppose it's off to the gulag/"B" Ark for me and a lot of people then. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Give me functional
by sbergman27 on Tue 8th Sep 2009 02:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Give me functional"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Well, I suppose it's off to the gulag/"B" Ark for me and a lot of people then. ;-)

I'm vacillating on the Telephone Sanitizers.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Give me functional
by jrlah on Wed 9th Sep 2009 20:12 UTC in reply to "Give me functional"
jrlah Member since:
2005-08-09

should give us a clue as to why the world is in such bad shape today.

The world is NOT in a bad shape today. Crime, wars, poverty hunger, disease - everything is at the lowest point since the beginning of history. Check the classics of world literature from any century, and there were always people to whom the past equivalents of beautiful icons were important. So please stop fussing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Give me functional
by sbergman27 on Wed 9th Sep 2009 20:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Give me functional"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

The world is NOT in a bad shape today. Crime, wars, poverty hunger, disease - everything is at the lowest point since the beginning of history.

I'm not sure how you can state that with any degree of certainty. And in any event, it is a very relative statement.

Of course, the (human) world has been in terrible shape since the dawn of human history, and likely long before that. The fossil record shows that we'd started breaking the backs of each other's skulls open with clubs by the time of Homo Habilis.

I'm amazed that you could look at the hunger, the pervading poverty, the sickness, the war, the pervading injustice, the widespread prejudice, and the gross, unnecessary, avoidable level suffering in this world... and claim that just because you think you have some reason to believe that things are a little better today, that the world is not in bad shape.

It boggles the mind.

Are you sure you are not just cherry-picking the good you see?

Of course you are. We all do. We'd all go mad otherwise.

Edited 2009-09-09 20:29 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Give me functional
by jrlah on Sat 12th Sep 2009 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Give me functional"
jrlah Member since:
2005-08-09


I'm not sure how you can state that with any degree of certainty. And in any event, it is a very relative statement.


We have research, and we have the numbers. That is much more than what doomsayers have. For a quick intro, try e.g.
www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html
and
http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_e...

Claiming the world is in a bad shape today implies it has ALWAYS been in a bad shape. The original statement, however implied that it has been getting worse lately. It has not. On the contrary, solid numbers say it is getting better. And that is an absolute statement.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Give me functional
by sbergman27 on Sat 12th Sep 2009 21:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Give me functional"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Claiming the world is in a bad shape today implies...

Glad you have numbers that make you happy. Though I notice that you completely ignored the current day atrocities I listed as examples. But since you have numbers that say things are a little better, and because we now have such beautiful 512x512 icons, I guess those don't count.

Suffice it to say that people have always been had an astounding capacity to ignore, almost completely, injustices and atrocities which would make them feel uncomfortable if they acknowledged them, choosing instead to cherry-pick the good things they see around them, and convince themselves that that is the true reality. Of course, that's easier to do when one does not happen to be a victim of the ugliness.

So like I say... I hope your numbers and your icons make you happy.

Edited 2009-09-12 21:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Give me functional
by DrillSgt on Sat 12th Sep 2009 22:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Give me functional"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"should give us a clue as to why the world is in such bad shape today.

The world is NOT in a bad shape today. Crime, wars, poverty hunger, disease - everything is at the lowest point since the beginning of history. Check the classics of world literature from any century, and there were always people to whom the past equivalents of beautiful icons were important. So please stop fussing.
"

I would ask that you please walk outside and have a look around you. Unemployment is currently the highest as it has been in more than 25 years and continuing to rise. The numbers of homeless and sick are increasing at an alarming rate. No new jobs are being created, yet thousands of jobs are being lost every day. You may live in some type of fallacy world, but the numbers themselves prove otherwise.

Reply Score: 2

A little nitpicking
by LighthouseJ on Mon 7th Sep 2009 19:10 UTC
LighthouseJ
Member since:
2009-06-18

About the Trash/Recycle Bin, I think I remember the old Mac icons showing the edges bulging when it was not empty, but the reinforced top and bottom remained the same diameter? This type looks like the bin just magically grew in size (for no reason?)

I've personally gotten tired of looking at icons at such minutia like this. It's all a sad race at who can out-translucent or out-photoshop-a-shine the other guy.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by DavidSan
by DavidSan on Mon 7th Sep 2009 19:15 UTC
DavidSan
Member since:
2008-11-18

The control panel and System Preferences icons are also quite interesting. I find them both examples of icons that do not convey their meaning very well; the Mac one because a bunch of gears doesn't really remind me of settings, and the Windows one because the weird colour scheme makes it quite difficult to make out what, exactly, the icon is showing us (especially at normal size, it's terrible).


I think the System Preferences icon in Mac OS X tries to tell "internal mechanism" or "internals", just how things "tick" inside the system.

I believe it is really appropriate. It reminds me of mechanical clocks.

Reply Score: 3

Oxygen
by diegoviola on Mon 7th Sep 2009 19:47 UTC
diegoviola
Member since:
2006-08-15

These icons really look like the Oxygen icons.

And I prefer the Oxygen ones.

http://www.oxygen-icons.org/

Reply Score: 5

RE: Oxygen
by Adurbe on Mon 7th Sep 2009 22:33 UTC in reply to "Oxygen"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

Oxygen only came about circa 2005. This was well after OSX and 'aqua' which I sure you can't deny was a heavy influence.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Oxygen
by smitty on Mon 7th Sep 2009 22:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Oxygen"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

I don't think anyone's ever said otherwise - why does that matter?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Oxygen
by Adurbe on Tue 8th Sep 2009 13:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oxygen"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

its important to know where influences lie.

You can like the icons but they mimic the style and semiotics of the aqua icons of old. Apple have since moved away from its original aqua look but the influence still applies.

Take as an example the usage of the harddisk icon. The style is an (almost) exact match of that of OSX

As this artical was about comparing styles of icons and their depiction of functionality it seems pertinent to point out that Oxygen openly copied the style of Aqua

Edited 2009-09-08 13:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Oxygen
by smitty on Tue 8th Sep 2009 18:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oxygen"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

its important to know where influences lie.

You still haven't answered my question, which is: Why?

Intel may have created the x86 architecture, but I'm still going to use an AMD machine if they currently have the better implementation of it. I don't particularly care who came up with the basic ideas 20 years ago, beyond a limited interest in history.

Oxygen openly copied the style of Aqua

That's really a harsh way of putting it - I would say they took inspiration from Aqua, and created their own icons in a similar photo-realistic style. We're sort of saying the same things, but I think the connotations are quite a bit different.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Oxygen
by Adurbe on Wed 9th Sep 2009 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Oxygen"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

reading back over the comments I don't think our opinions differ wildly only our (my) wording :-)

The About page on the oxygen website describes the influence as follows

"So yes, OS X Aqua style is inspiring and a reference on several issues mentioned later. Oxygen, however, does not intend to copy anything but rather to collect ideas for the ways that people present visual metaphors with an eye not only on artwork but also on usability and improve on these ideas."

edit: removed english slang

Edited 2009-09-09 15:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Oxygen
by ecruz on Tue 8th Sep 2009 01:08 UTC in reply to "Oxygen"
RE[2]: Oxygen
by smitty on Tue 8th Sep 2009 01:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Oxygen"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

One thing, Oxigen has copied a lot from Apple in general. Face it boys, there is very little innovation going on at the open source church. I would say that 95% of all open sourced programs are a response to a proprietary one.

True. But I think you can say the exact same thing about proprietary apps. I mean, how many of those are innovative either? There's very little created these days that isn't based on something older in one way or another.

Besides, why should Thom waste his time including in his discussion an OS that still, after all these years, cannot break the 1% barrier?

Maybe because this website is called OSNews, and is dedicated to more than just the main 2 operating systems. So your argument is that they should stop covering Linux completely, and become a Windows/Mac website? In fact, forget about the Macs - they've been around for decades, and they're still under 10%? Clearly completely worthless to talk about...

Edited 2009-09-08 02:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oxygen
by sbergman27 on Tue 8th Sep 2009 02:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Oxygen"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Oxigen has copied a lot from Apple in general. Face it boys, there is very little innovation going on at the open source church.

Wow. Icon styles are "Innovations". Now I've seen everything.

P.S. If you're going to criticize something and want to be taken seriously, at least try to spell its name right.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by smitty
by smitty on Mon 7th Sep 2009 20:10 UTC
smitty
Member since:
2005-10-13

It would have been nice if you could have added the default Gnome and KDE icons as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by smitty
by jokkel on Mon 7th Sep 2009 20:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by smitty"
jokkel Member since:
2008-07-07

That would make an interesting comparison indeed. Especially if more icons are compared.

Reply Score: 1

v RE: Comment by smitty
by rockwell on Tue 8th Sep 2009 13:57 UTC in reply to "Comment by smitty"
Not necessarily yellow
by Chicken Blood on Mon 7th Sep 2009 20:45 UTC
Chicken Blood
Member since:
2005-12-21

Windows 7 icon uses the traditional yellow colour, a colour which is reminiscent of actual, real-world folder


That's funny. All the folders in my office (and in my previous one) are blue like the OS X icons.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Not necessarily yellow
by arpan on Tue 8th Sep 2009 12:06 UTC in reply to "Not necessarily yellow"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

same here. Well actually I've seen folders that are green, blue, blank and maroon. Rarely see a yellow folder.

Reply Score: 1

v Article in a Nutshell
by haus on Mon 7th Sep 2009 20:52 UTC
RE: Article in a Nutshell
by smitty on Mon 7th Sep 2009 21:17 UTC in reply to "Article in a Nutshell"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

My Name is haus.
I don't like Thom,
I'm a Mac fanboy
and he isn't
BTW, I don't like Thom

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Article in a Nutshell
by KingRocky on Mon 7th Sep 2009 21:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Article in a Nutshell"
KingRocky Member since:
2009-07-30

My name is Luka
I live on the 2nd floor
I live upstairs from you
Guess you might have seen me before. . .

Reply Score: 18

RE[3]: Article in a Nutshell
by Gryzor on Tue 8th Sep 2009 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Article in a Nutshell"
Gryzor Member since:
2005-07-03

My name is Luka
I live on the 2nd floor
I live upstairs from you


Yes I think youve seen me before
If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble. some kind of fight
Just dont ask me what it was…

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Article in a Nutshell
by testman on Tue 8th Sep 2009 02:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Article in a Nutshell"
testman Member since:
2007-10-15

My name is Otto,
and I love to get blotto!

Reply Score: 4

How do I...
by mrhasbean on Mon 7th Sep 2009 22:04 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

...change the size of the icons on the Desktop or in a particular Window again (on Windows 7)? I'd like to have my VM set up to be 32 x 32 as my Mac is, but for my wife who has some vision impairment 48 x 48 works well because it's large enough for her to make them out but not huge so that two icons take up the whole screen.

I'm sure it must just be a simple setting I've missed?

Reply Score: 2

RE: How do I...
by Kroc on Tue 8th Sep 2009 06:17 UTC in reply to "How do I..."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Control Panel (Classic) » Display » Appearance » Effects » Use Large Icons

That will use 48x48 icons.

Reply Score: 1

From a bloat perspective
by deathshadow on Mon 7th Sep 2009 22:41 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

The 512x512 just pisses me off because the filesizes are ridiculous - especially when the majority of users aren't even going to use them larger than 32x32 with only a handful even considering going as large as 128x128...

Much less the detail/damage of downscaling them makes them pretty much look like ass - like anything else once you start downscaling you have damage.

ICO stores native tweaked versions of each size - you can put anything from 16x16 in 2 colors to 128x128 in truecolor in a single file. Read the header, index to the one you want, read the one you want in the format you are going to use it - vs. load in and decode a 512x512 image every time? Nothing like chewing a MEGABYTE of memory just to process an icon you're going to render as 4K. **** that ****.

... and people wonder why I say using OSX often feels like driving with the parking brake on - and we wonder why common advice for speeding up OSX is to reduce the number of icons on the desktop and in the Dock.

Meanwhile the "handling .ico files stuck within .dll or .exe files is a total nightmare." comment - what, you've never used a resource editor? ... much less it's not like you are locked into using the ones in the file if you don't want - and it's not like the change icon dialog won't show you all of them, so for the #DDD user it's not exactly a big deal.

Edited 2009-09-07 22:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: From a bloat perspective
by rajan r on Tue 8th Sep 2009 02:21 UTC in reply to "From a bloat perspective"
rajan r Member since:
2005-07-27

HDD space aside (OMG, you lose megabytes of space!), you're a bit wrong about the rendering of smaller icons on OS X.

Smaller icons aren't just resized 512x512 icons. Instead, OS X system icons comes in (as it should) multiple versions, depending on the scale of the icon. Smaller icons have less details and a clearer shape outline. Larger icons can afford to have detail.

Yeah, I agree there is limited utility of a 512x512 icon, but if Apple's willing to throw money and there is clearly not a usability issue, who cares?

P.S. I use OS X at home, and Windows XP at work. I dearly miss the simplicity of icons in System 9/Windows 9x. Here's to hoping either or both Apple and MS go back to the age of minimalist, functionalist icons.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: From a bloat perspective
by deathshadow on Wed 9th Sep 2009 10:53 UTC in reply to "RE: From a bloat perspective"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

HDD space aside (OMG, you lose megabytes of space!), you're a bit wrong about the rendering of smaller icons on OS X.

**** HDD space. Hell, they're .PNG, they're going to be less than that. I'm talking RAM. You have to load it into ram, and then perform scaling upon it (CPU/GPU) - and for what? 4K or less pixels rendered?

Smaller icons aren't just resized 512x512 icons. Instead, OS X system icons comes in (as it should) multiple versions, depending on the scale of the icon. Smaller icons have less details and a clearer shape outline. Larger icons can afford to have detail.

It was my understanding that all the new ones are NOT stored in smaller formats like they used to, and instead they use hardware mipmapping to scale them down... Unless I completely misheard that - it was supposed to be a compromise instead of SVG, which would consume even MORE resources in terms of rendering. (and be slow as molasses). If they are still doing the multiple sizes (I thought they weren't) then no big deal, what exactly was all this talk of 512x512 about again?

P.S. I use OS X at home, and Windows XP at work. I dearly miss the simplicity of icons in System 9/Windows 9x. Here's to hoping either or both Apple and MS go back to the age of minimalist, functionalist icons.

I still consider Win98 the pinnacle of user interface design - there have been little if any 'improvements' in terms of usability/functionality since then - in many ways we've had steps backwards all in the name of goof assed eye candy bull that drags my Q6600 down to behaving like a 1ghz P3.

Reply Score: 2

RE: From a bloat perspective
by tyrione on Tue 8th Sep 2009 06:15 UTC in reply to "From a bloat perspective"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

Your system isn't using the 512x512 icons unless you're a total spastic who needs to see Icon View at maximum resolution.

Then again, those maximum Icons also support embedded links to videos, audio and documents.

Reply Score: 2

SVG ?
by Lennie on Mon 7th Sep 2009 22:57 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

On Linux a lot of KDE and GNOME icons are actually SVG, I don't know how well that works performance wise in comparison, but reading from disk should atleast be faster.

Reply Score: 2

RE: SVG ?
by emilsedgh on Tue 8th Sep 2009 19:15 UTC in reply to "SVG ?"
emilsedgh Member since:
2007-06-21

They generate pixmaps from SVG's and cache them.

Reply Score: 1

RE: SVG ?
by deathshadow on Wed 9th Sep 2009 10:57 UTC in reply to "SVG ?"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

SVG? From a processing and memory standpoint it's a fat bloated pig. Advanced vector math, trigonometry, real-time anti-aliasing, multi-layer framebuffers... and no manual tweaking at small sizes for when the 'engine' doesn't match what you want for appearance.

Gee, advanced vector calculus and trig with a framebuffer for every layer/element so you can perform anti-aliasing... or a flat assembly bitblt... lemme think...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: SVG ?
by smitty on Wed 9th Sep 2009 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE: SVG ?"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Which is why the SVG graphics are always cached, and just recalculated whenever something changes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: SVG ?
by sbergman27 on Wed 9th Sep 2009 18:32 UTC in reply to "RE: SVG ?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

And look at the disk space report for the Tango icons in my distro:

7.2M scalable
1016K 16x16
1008K 24x24
936K 32x32

All together... maybe SVG isn't such a great idea? And maybe that's why hardly anything uses it?

Reply Score: 2

PC is still BSOD
by tobyv on Tue 8th Sep 2009 01:09 UTC
tobyv
Member since:
2008-08-25

But they still left the PC icon as a beige monitor circa 1995 showing a BSOD.

Smug alert over Cupertino, CA.

Reply Score: 3

RE: PC is still BSOD
by B12 Simon on Tue 8th Sep 2009 08:56 UTC in reply to "PC is still BSOD"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

I'm not at all familiar with Mac icons so that was new to me - it made me laugh

Reply Score: 2

RE: PC is still BSOD
by rockwell on Tue 8th Sep 2009 14:00 UTC in reply to "PC is still BSOD"
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

But they still left the PC icon as a beige monitor circa 1995 showing a BSOD.

Smug alert over Cupertino, CA.


No doubt. Funny, I haven't had a BSOD since ... well, XP Home, pre-service pack 1 ... so ... about 7 years?

Edited 2009-09-08 14:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: PC is still BSOD
by Sabon on Tue 8th Sep 2009 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE: PC is still BSOD"
Sabon Member since:
2005-07-06

And you don't work for and support and organization with 10,000 plus people. If you worked where I did you would see it once in awhile. Still, there are very few that I see now days. But then we re-image Windows computers before they get to that point most of the time.

Usually when we get them it is due to the hard drive running out of disk space due to an app trying to update and failing over and over and creating more temp files as it does.

Reply Score: 2

Thinking of the Future
by REM2000 on Tue 8th Sep 2009 08:26 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

Also bear in mind that a lot of the icons are being designed with the future in mind when we fully have resolution independence.

I personally think the 512 icons are really good to look at, as ive said before we live in 2009, i want my computers to look as good as they work. I like the UI of Mac OSX a little more than Win7, but thats not saying Win7 is bad. I like the way things are moving and can't wait for minority report type computers where you see your data visually move from device to device.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Thinking of the Future
by arpan on Tue 8th Sep 2009 12:09 UTC in reply to "Thinking of the Future"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

Exactly.

In 2 to 3 years, we should start seeing monitors with much higher resolutions.

You're already seeing the beginning with phone screens having 160 & 200 dpi screens. Just imagine having a computer screen that is so sharp, it would be a real pleasure to work on.

But as a result all the images used in the computer have to be optimized for that. That can't happen all of a sudden. Both Apple & Microsoft (and Linux) are using larger icons and vector images so that they will be ready for the high-res screens.

Reply Score: 1

Why?
by 3rdalbum on Tue 8th Sep 2009 09:56 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

Forget about the disk space for a moment. Think: Why would anybody need 512 x 512 icons? Why would anyone need their icons that big?

If you have a Full-HD monitor, such an icon takes up nearly half the vertical space of the screen! That's obscene! 128 x 128 should be the absolute biggest, or better yet have bitmap icons for smaller sizes, the biggest being 64x64, and use SVG for bigger sizes.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why?
by memson on Tue 8th Sep 2009 11:25 UTC in reply to "Why?"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

Forget about the disk space for a moment. Think: Why would anybody need 512 x 512 icons? Why would anyone need their icons that big?


Why would anyone need more than 640K of memory? That's just crazy talk.

(Hint: today's HD is tomorrows SD)

Reply Score: 2

who cares about the size?
by renhoek on Wed 9th Sep 2009 20:25 UTC
renhoek
Member since:
2007-04-29

Who really cares about the size of icon? If my osx runs fast and it's pretty it's ok.

What is far more important is that they should never change icons unless there is a really good reason to do so. Icons for osx have never really changed in shape or color, the windows icons change shape and color each release. This really kills my productivity since i can not find the old icons and have to learn more new ones. I haven't looked at windows7 but i suspect i have to learn a whole new set of icons.

The border line is, icons should help you find stuff, and not be some pretty picture.

Reply Score: 2