Black icons in LC 8 DP 14

Ralph DiMola rdimola at
Mon Feb 8 10:24:46 EST 2016

"This is one of those areas where meritocracy trumps democracy"

In 1982 at Citibank we created a worldwide information product that had
news/weather/stock prices/Commodity prices/FX rates(sound familiar?). We had
many meeting on the UI and democracy determined that the various commands
should use the "F" keys. So we set up a lab in NYC and brought people in off
Park Ave and gave them a series of tasks to complete. It was an immediate
bust because when instructed to use the "F2" key 60% of the users typed the
letter key "F" followed by the number key "2". So we changed the command to
"/2" and 99% of the testers got it correct.

Ralph DiMola
IT Director
Evergreen Information Services
rdimola at

-----Original Message-----
From: use-livecode [mailto:use-livecode-bounces at] On Behalf
Of Richard Gaskin
Sent: Monday, February 08, 2016 10:11 AM
To: use-livecode at
Subject: Re: Black icons in LC 8 DP 14

RM wrote:

 > ?????
 > Are these to become the standard revMenuBar button icons, or is this  > a

I'm glad it's happened, and v8 is the right time for this to happen.

The shift to monochrome icons has been a pervasive trend across the UI world
for some years now, and I rather like how it simplifies the gestalt of the
palette's appearance.

In fact, I'd been keeping a mental wish list of low-hanging fruit that can
help improve the overall look of the product for some time now, and moving
to monochrome icons in revMenuBar was on my list.

Coupled with the engine enhancements for appearance, v8 is shaping up well
as the version that can attract newcomers better than any version before it.

 > If they are to become the standard revMenuBar button icons can there  >
be a community vote as to whether they are preferable over the  > previous
coloured ones?

More useful would be to poll people who *aren't* in our community yet,

We need the number of LC developers to grow a multiple beyond our current
audience, so the opinions of people with long historic familiarity with LC
are in some ways less important than those who've not yet been introduced to

Democracy is useful for many things, but I'm not sure UI is among them. 
  In fact, I'd argue squarely against it for several reasons:

How many in our audience are specialists in UI design?

One of the complaints I hear from architects is that because all of their
clients live in homes and know how to use a pencil, they all fancy
themselves fully qualified to do the work of an architect. :)

Using a computer, or even developing software, by itself is not the same as
spending decades studying UI and UX.  We wouldn't put diagnosis and
prescription for coronary conditions to vote, we'd hire a doctor. IMNSHO the
same goes for UI.

This is one of those areas where meritocracy trumps democracy, and we see
meritocracy as the favored model for participation in a great many open
source projects.  In the well run FOSS projects all views are solicited and
welcome, but those ultimately entrusted to see a vision through are those
who've demonstrated accomplishment in the area in question.

Besides, the beauty of open source is that anyone who really wants just
about anything can always have exactly what they want.

For example, I've grown very fond of Ubuntu's Unity desktop environment, but
I don't imagine for a minute that folks using anything else will have the
same preference.

So rather than require other people to design the LC menu bar to look how I
personally prefer it, I just made a short script that does it on startup and
now I have something much closer to my personal preferences while everyone
else is still free to enjoy anything they like:

If you really want full-color icons it's not hard to make a plugin that
delivers that.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at      

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