Opened 15 months ago

Last modified 14 months ago

#9419 new enhancement

Some icon meanings may not scale internationally

Reported by: mks Owned by: stippi
Priority: low Milestone: R1
Component: User Interface Version: R1/alpha4.1
Keywords: icon, HVIF Cc:
Blocked By: Blocking:
Has a Patch: no Platform: All

Description (last modified by kallisti5)

This issue is to keep track of icons that may not scale internationally.

For example, the "boot" icon for boot manager looks nice, but is totally non-suggestive in most languages other than English, because it is the iconification of a homonym (I think) that's not existent in other languages.

The icon might even be offensive in some parts of the world. Not sure about this, but see e. g. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2008/dec/15/georgebush-iraq

Perhaps the guidelines of other projects can help, e. g. http://developer.gnome.org/hig-book/3.5/icons-design.html

Change History (17)

comment:1 Changed 15 months ago by Premislaus

This icon is very good. Boot phonetically in Polish means the shoe (but).

comment:2 follow-up: Changed 15 months ago by bbjimmy

Since to boot, short for bootstrap, means "To pull up by ones bootstraps", the boot icon is appropriate. It displays the true meaning of the word.

comment:3 in reply to: ↑ 2 Changed 15 months ago by anevilyak

Replying to bbjimmy:

Since to boot, short for bootstrap, means "To pull up by ones bootstraps", the boot icon is appropriate. It displays the true meaning of the word.

The problem is, that's an English idiom that doesn't necessarily translate to all languages.

comment:4 Changed 15 months ago by kallisti5

Since everyone pulls on a boot or shoe the same way... i think this is a little silly.

-1

comment:5 Changed 15 months ago by jscipione

How about an icon of a dial with a few option notches?

comment:6 follow-up: Changed 15 months ago by kallisti5

I'm fine changing it for something better / more obvious internationally, but:

1) Whats better?
2) Who's going to do the actual work?
3) Patches welcome. (It would have to be a Haiku vector icon that matches our icon style to be considered... and make sense for the bootmanager)

Bootstrapping is a common term in programming as PulkoMandy pointed out in irc:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootstrapping

comment:7 in reply to: ↑ 6 ; follow-up: Changed 15 months ago by mks

Wow, I feel a little hostility in this "discussion" ...

Replying to kallisti5:

Since everyone pulls on a boot or shoe the same way... i think this is a little silly.

Firstly, thanks for calling it silly. I will refrain from creating issues that someone might find silly --i. e. any ticket-- from now on. Secondly, I don't even get the analogy in the first part of your sentence, perhaps because of some kind of language barrier.

Replying to kallisti5:

I'm fine changing it for something better / more obvious internationally, but:

1) Whats better?
2) Who's going to do the actual work?
3) Patches welcome. (It would have to be a Haiku vector icon that matches our icon style to be considered... and make sense for the bootmanager)

All of the above is valid for any given ticket in any given issue tracker. Thanks for pointing it out. I am aware, that it is hard to find a better alternative, and no, I have no idea for one.

Bootstrapping is a common term in programming as PulkoMandy pointed out in irc:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootstrapping

My point was not, that it is appropriate in some languages (also comments 1, 2), but that it is based of an English idiom, that can not be translated into many, if not most, languages of the world. For example the icon has no obvious meaning in German, my native language, nor does it have in French (that I know of). You can still go with "artistic freedom", though. I didn't know if Haiku wants its icons to be meaningful, other projects do.

Again, feel free to just close the ticket if you find it silly, although I think this is a valid point.

comment:8 in reply to: ↑ 7 ; follow-up: Changed 15 months ago by siarzhuk

Replying to mks:

Again, feel free to just close the ticket if you find it silly, although I think this is a valid point.

I tend to agree with you that the "boot" idiom is not universal and in some cultures (AFAIR in Arabic world) can be the sign of affront. So this ticket need some attention, I think.

PS: IMO the "sillyness" term was related to the "scale" of this problem in comparison with "real" big problems that Haiku still has. It is a common issue working with the "independent" developers so, please, forgive us. ;-)

comment:9 Changed 15 months ago by kallisti5

  • Description modified (diff)
  • Keywords icon added
  • Priority changed from normal to low
  • Summary changed from Icon of boot manager is inappropriate to Some icon meanings may not scale internationally
  • Type changed from bug to enhancement

Updating the issue to flesh out real terms of the problem. The meaning of some of the icons in Haiku may not scale internationally.

  • Bootmanager icons of "boot"
  • MediaPlayer "Bag of popcorn"

If anyone is looking for some icon work, feel free to take the reins of this one.

comment:10 Changed 15 months ago by kallisti5

  • Component changed from Applications/BootManager to User Interface
  • Description modified (diff)
  • Keywords HVIF added
  • Owner changed from nobody to stippi

comment:11 in reply to: ↑ 8 Changed 15 months ago by kallisti5

Replying to siarzhuk:

PS: IMO the "sillyness" term was related to the "scale" of this problem in comparison with "real" big problems that Haiku still has. It is a common issue working with the "independent" developers so, please, forgive us. ;-)

+1. I'm sorry for comming off harsh, but the "boot may be offensive" bit is what set me off. As siarzhuk said we have "bigger fish to fry".

Now if the boot had some gore or something on it... the offensive bit may of made sense :)

mks, you are correct that some improvement could be made to the international recognisability of some of the Haiku icons. I've updated the ticket as such.

comment:12 Changed 15 months ago by stippi

Believe it or not, I still remember when I first installed BeOS R3, I was irritated by the boot icon. These boots have a negative connotation with violent youth groups, skin heads for example, but punks love them, too. That's the first thing I thought of when I saw that icon back then. I only "got it" much later.

But I don't know why you added the MediaPlayer popcorn bag. Common, that's one of my best! Look at the VLC icon, that doesn't have anything to do with media playback. At least popcorn is a valid association. Is this really not international? They had popcorn in any cinema I ever went to, but I haven't been to the majority of countries.

comment:13 Changed 15 months ago by Premislaus

My opinion does not count. But I do not see any reason to change the icons. I wear the identical shoes - glany (combat boots).

Everyone has some bad connotations.

comment:14 follow-up: Changed 15 months ago by axeld

For the record, I do not like the boot manager icon either, but that's solely based on the fact that it sticks out: It looks nice by itself, but it doesn't fit well with the other ones, as it looks more fine grained, and detailed.

Furthermore, since we use a rocket to indicate the volume that the system booted from, I think it would be natural to make those two more consistent, and use that as the basic idea for the BootManager, too.

In general, though, I don't think everyone has to understand the meaning of a every icon. It just needs to be memorable (ie. not too complex), and is differentiable from other icons; the things an icon stands for are often too complex.

comment:15 in reply to: ↑ 14 Changed 15 months ago by mmadia

Replying to axeld:

In general, though, I don't think everyone has to understand the meaning of a every icon. It just needs to be memorable (ie. not too complex), and is differentiable from other icons; the things an icon stands for are often too complex.

+1

The Haiku project is largely based in the english language.

We are an open source group writing an open source operating system, named HAIKU.

We are not trying to discover a universal set of english names and pictures that are non-offensive to everyone in the world. If someone showed up with valid research showing that set, then I see no issue utilizing it. But spending our time on trying to discover that set (as opposed to improving HAIKU) is complete bikeshed.

Last edited 15 months ago by mmadia (previous) (diff)

comment:16 Changed 15 months ago by pulkomandy

If there is an actual problem of bad conotation of some icons in Haiku, the solutions is not to replace them with something more universal, for several reasons :

  • There's no way to do something truly universal,
  • The icons are all slightly off-beat (what would be the proper english word for that ?), which is part of the fun working with Haiku.

Given that bootman is not even visible on deskbar, I don't care much about this particular one.

Anyway, a possible solution would be to have localized icons in order to not hurt anyone. But I'm not sure we should be going that way, because it opens possibilities of more bikeshedding, makes each localized version of Haiku possibly different from others (what if the yellow used for active tabs looks agressive in some cultures ? should we make a greyscale version of Haiku for them ?) and can get us quite far.

comment:17 Changed 14 months ago by leavengood

The MediaPlayer icon is pretty much my favorite, so much so I've considered using it as artwork in my office. So we aren't changing that, no way, no how, not on my watch, over my dead body, etc.

Political correctness has gone too far in the modern world. If someone is REALLY offended by a boot icon, they are insanely overly sensitive and should make an attempt to join the rest of us in the real world.

If on the other hand you can provide a better icon, please do. Maybe a Western style boot would be better since it has bootstraps, but, oh no, international users who don't know about the American cowboy boot won't understand...

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