Last modified 8 years ago Last modified on 09/01/08 10:12:16

Echo Monthly News - Issue 1, August 2008

New Icons

We've created/fixed some new icons, concretely: preferences-system-date preferences-system-firewall preferences-system-users printer

All of them are used in the System -> Administration menu and part of our work towards filling this menu with Echo icons (since most of applications in there don't have even new-gnome-styled icons).

"Huge" icons – 256x256

With the introduction of One Canvas Workflow (will be explained bellow) I decided I could try doing more detailed and realistic looking version of the printer icon:

Nicu was seemingly pleasured with the new introduced HW brand - Echo - and noted that if such device indeed existed it would definitely worked with Fedora out of box.

I'd like to hear others opinion of using such style for these icons. The basic differences from other styles are semitransparent borders (usually with opacity set to 0.3) and more detail. Other than that it remains same as other sizes. If we agree on this style, I'll add it to Guidelines, together with source for the echo brand

One Canvas Work-flow

Together with creating the printer icon, I explored jimmac's idea of one canvas workflow. In my short experience it is superior work-flow to our current one and also makes automating many steps of icon creation easier. Most importantly it helps artist to focus more on the process of designing/drawing the icon rather than various "secretary" jobs around...

Together with the desire to automate as much of the secondary work as possible I needed to bring the work-flow to yet another level - so you need to add label to the 48x48 icon (which therefore needs to be grouped) and set it to scalable. It is so that the script can recognize that it's the very icon intended to be installed into the scalable folders (and delete the rest).

Initial screen-cast showing this and subsequent commit of the icon to git is available at my (mso) fedorapeople page.

I'd like to make this work-flow the preferred one for echo-icon-theme creation so if no one steps in, I'll add it to Guidelines.

Current version of template which can be used as base in Inkscape to create icons using this work-flow is already in echo git repo.

Automating The Secondary Jobs

Add New Icon Set to Git

One Canvas work-flow makes one thing much easier - ability to create script which takes the source icon, generates all necessary files from it and add it to git repository. We called this script echo-add-icon and it's already available in echo git repository. It takes the source SVG, generates PNGs for all included sizes and SVG for the scalable "size" and put all, including source, into their rightful places in the git repository. The original source is put into <git-repository>/sources/base/one-canvas/<context>/<icon-name>.svg to make it distinct from the legacy sources (i.e. one source SVG per one size). It currently pushes only to base folders but can be easily extended to ask if we want to push to base or to extras.

It also creates necessary symlinks (for pre-autotools branches) and updates build scripts (for autotool branches). The symlinks are looked up using icon-naming-utils and user input. It does not push the changes back to fh.o, only prints a message to the user that he should do so (it is a good idea though to verify the changes before pushing them to fedora hosted).

Setting Up Git Repository

Another script is meant to simplify the git set up process. We called it echo-set-up and is also uploaded to git. It does all the steps needed for starting work with the repository.

Updating Git Repository

Yet another script is prepared for updates (useful e.g. when we introduce new branch to echo git repo). It updates all branches, if some of the branches is missing, it correctly creates them. It's called echo-update and it's also available in echo git.

Creating New Icon from Template

We also prepared echo-new-icon script which creates new source SVG for given icon, with given icon name and icon context from template (it looks for ~/Templates/echo-one-canvas-template.svg and /usr/share/echo-artist/echo-one-canvas-template.svg in this order). The template is pretty much prepared for the scripts which are used later in the process as the only things you need to do is to draw the icons on their correct positions in artwork layer, group the icons, the 48x48 one label as "scalable" (in object properties) and hide the plate layer (so that the generated PNGs will have transparent background).

RPM Package and Other Issues

I (mso) plan to package these scripts for fedora under the name echo-artist (I've already submitted a package for review, until it's in Fedora, you can get it at my fedorapeople page), therefore I added some necessary things like license (LGPLv2.1+) or credits (since the first script is based off jimmac's).

Echo for F10?

It has been briefly discussed on the fedora art list whether to include Echo in F10 as our default icon theme and whether submit it as a Feature. Many people seemed to agree that it would not hurt pinging fesco about it, but that the main decision would probably be done by Art and Desktop teams.

Future Plans

Apart from creating new icons and plans mentioned above, we also hope to update/extend various echo related how-to's to reflect the new methods of echo icon creation/addition.

We'd also like to make some "promo" page that would be intended for potential contributors and contained all info they need to know to get started and other similar info.

Request for Feedback

As usual, we are more than open for all kinds of feedback, especially about the huge size guidelines, the new scripts and one canvas work-flow. If you have ideas how to further improve some of the above mentioned things, or any other comments, would like to start contributing to Echo, ... feel free to drop a mail at fedora-art-list