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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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 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 Parent Score: 2

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 Parent Score: 2

RE: From a bloat perspective
by tyrione on Tue 8th Sep 2009 06:15 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 Parent Score: 2