Black icons in LC 8 DP 14

Devin Asay devin_asay at
Mon Feb 8 14:01:28 EST 2016

> On Feb 8, 2016, at 12:54 AM, Peter TB Brett <peter.brett at> wrote:
> On 08/02/2016 06:31, RM wrote:
>> Are these to become the standard revMenuBar button icons, or is this a
>> blip?
> Yes, this is the new LiveCode 8 icon theme!  We're really pleased with it.  The new icons make it much clearer what each menu bar item actually does, and they work much more nicely at a wide variety of screen sizes and resolutions.  Once we have SVG image controls in the LiveCode engine, we're looking forward being able to directly render them from the source SVG files.
>> 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?
> The core dev team always takes all feedback from LiveCode subscribers and regular contributors to the open source edition very seriously.

Overall I like the new icons on the toolbar, but there is one important way in which I think it is inferior to the old toolbar. In the case of “modal” selections, the old toolbar uses redundant sensory cues to indicate whether a mode is off or on, while the new toolbar does not. Even if you’ve never heard of the idea of sensory visual cues, you’re familiar with it. 

For example, in the OS X interface you know which window is the active window because of several visual cues:

In the active window:
- The “decoration” buttons (close, maximize, minimize) become colored;
- The title bar changes to a darker gray;
- The buttons in the title bar change from “disabled” light gray to dark gray outlines on a white background;
- The drop shadow of the active window becomes “deeper” and darker.

The legacy toolbar (pre DP14) in LiveCode used this same principle to good effect for tools that toggle between modes, such as Edit Group, Select Grouped, Lock Messages and Lock Errors. For example, if I switched to Select Grouped Controls mode, the icon in the toolbar changed in these ways:
- The icon changed from gray to green;
- There was a subtle change in the icon itself (selection handles changed);
- The icon label changed from normal to bold style.

In the new toolbar, yes there are very clean and clear scalable icons, but when you change modes there is only one visual change—a small circle with slash appears atop the icon. Too me it’s nowhere near as clear that you’ve entered a “special” mode: “messages are locked”, “you are now in select grouped controls mode”, “you are now editing the group”, etc. 

At the very minimum, I would like to see the bolded icon label restored, and ideally another visual cue added to really shout to the user, “Hey, you’re in a special mode now! Pay attention because things will work a little differently until you turn this mode off.” Trust me, new users really benefit from this kind of redundant visual cueing.

I hope the core dev team takes this concern into account.



Devin Asay
Office of Digital Humanities
Brigham Young University

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