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Subject: Proposal: ODF Icons

Hi all,

Earlier this year, in September, I sent a version of the message regarding a proposal for a Unified ODF Icon set. [0] Mary McRae and Bart replied but besides those two, the proposal fell into that familiar abyss. It's time to reawaken interest, for at the recent OOoCon, in Orvieto, Italy, there was more discussion on the icons and so I'm reintroducing them. I invite you to discuss the merits of this idea here.

There are several reasons for the new icons, and Lutz Hoeger spells them out in his post to GullFoss [1] of 18 September 2009. These reasons include:

* Clean and unique visual identity
* Removal of any product- or vendor-specific brand
* Recognition of the ODF format regardless of vendor

Put another way, the icons give recognizable form, colour, line to the icons, so that users can see them and recognize them regardless of the environment. The ODF universe is thus strengthened, and at a time when more and more vendors are implementing the ODF, this is, I believe, quite important. It's especially so given our parallel interest in ensuring that all implementations of the ODF work smoothly together, which is to say, interoperable *because* of the format identity. And this format identity is given visual identity through these unified icons.

History: The decision to use these icons was reached at the 09 March 2009 Engineering Steering Committee (ESC) meeting, [2] and at first the idea was to use them in OOo 3.2. It's no longer the case that we'll introduce them then, but we will integrate them after that release. We invite people to work on them with the developers and designers operating out of the ODF Toolkit and they are at present in the Toolkit's repository. [3] Why is work being done there? Because these icons relate to the ODF, not to OpenOffice.org as such. They are definitively vendor neutral: that is the point, to be recognizable *as* indicating ODF, not any one vendor.

Discussions relating to their work can take place on the Toolkit lists, and to their merits, here, on this list, too. As well, there is a project page on the OpenOffice.org wiki that further supplies the motivation for their creation [4].

I invite you all to discuss the merits, logic, logistics of these icons, and to take this post as a serious one to unify and strengthen the visual identity of the ODF.



** Links


[1] <http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS/entry/unified_odf_icons>;

[2] <http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/ESC_meeting_minutes_20090309#proposal_for_unified_ODF_Document_icons>; and, <http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/ESC_minutes#Unified_ODF_Icons>;

[3] <http://odftoolkit.org/pages/ODF-Icons>;

[4] <http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Unified_ODF_Icons_-_Project_Home_Page>;

Louis Suarez-Potts, PhD
Community Manager, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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