XP-like icons

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solid_black
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XP-like icons

Post by solid_black » Tue May 20, 2014 6:02 pm

As here is "The place to bring up any design issues, or post your own creations", I create this topic to share one little thing I've created during last three days.
Basically that's two icons (or even images of icons, as I didn't create ico's or something like that). One is My Computer icon (scaled up) and other is Back arrow (which would become Next/Forward arrow if you mirror it).
So let's play gigaherz's game (which is XP's one? which is mine?):

Image

It is actually very easy to see the difference, but does it matter so much? Anyway they look XP-like. The original icons were used only as reference images.
(By the way, you could also guess what application have I used to create this.)

My questions would be:
1) Is it legal to create such icons? (well, I hope it is :)) Would it be legal to say they are free? Would it be legal to use them in ReactOS?
2) Could ReactOS use them somehow?

P.S. I realize that just 2 icons are far from being a complete icon set, so I'm not suggesting to replace any of current icons with my ones at the moment. Well, I even have no *icons* to suggest that :D.

vicmarcal
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Re: XP-like icons

Post by vicmarcal » Tue May 20, 2014 6:47 pm

Hmm...they look nice! :)
However, if I imagine ReactOS with an XP-alike iconset, I would be seeing Windows XP really.
There is something called "close enough to create confusion" regarding copyright. And it could be falling in such trap.
I have to ask to the rest of the guys in order to know what they think.
Image

vicmarcal
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Re: XP-like icons

Post by vicmarcal » Tue May 20, 2014 7:13 pm

Ok.
Our first impressions are: Man!I couldn't even say which one is XP and which one is Yours! Impressive work!
However that can fall into "they can create confusion" (Apple sued Samsung,etc,etc)
Something cool would be to get some "inspiration" in the gradients, soft colors, kind of lines, but giving it some changes.
For example:
- The bright LED instead being in the bottom it could be in the top corner.
- The base instead being a circle it could be a semi-circle.
- The screen could be Wide-screen instead the old format one.
- The two lines details could be one or placed upper or lower
- Etc

The idea of having an XP-alike icon is that the user knows the icon means "My Computer" but that if he confronts both icons he can say "oh! I thought they were the same but really they look so different."
While the arrow icon could be perfectly used(because they really look different and because an arrow is an arrow), the My Computer one looks so similar that even having them placed together we can't spot the differences.

Some of the Linux XP-alike themes do a really great work in this matter, they trick your eyes but when you place the original next to the inspirated one, they look really different. (However in this case they are 7-alike icons).
Image

Webunny
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Re: XP-like icons

Post by Webunny » Tue May 20, 2014 7:48 pm

vicmarcal wrote:Ok.
Our first impressions are: Man!I couldn't even say which one is XP and which one is Yours! Impressive work!
However that can fall into "they can create confusion" (Apple sued Samsung,etc,etc)
Something cool would be to get some "inspiration" in the gradients, soft colors, kind of lines, but giving it some changes.
For example:
- The bright LED instead being in the bottom it could be in the top corner.
- The base instead being a circle it could be a semi-circle.
- The screen could be Wide-screen instead the old format one.
- The two lines details could be one or placed upper or lower
- Etc

The idea of having an XP-alike icon is that the user knows the icon means "My Computer" but that if he confronts both icons he can say "oh! I thought they were the same but really they look so different."
While the arrow icon could be perfectly used(because they really look different and because an arrow is an arrow), the My Computer one looks so similar that even having them placed together we can't spot the differences.

Some of the Linux XP-alike themes do a really great work in this matter, they trick your eyes but when you place the original next to the inspirated one, they look really different. (However in this case they are 7-alike icons).
I think you're mistaken. At least, based within the context of copyright. Maybe you meant trademark or patents? There Apple *did* sue Samsung for. Copyright doesn't work that way, though. For instance, if you wrote a book, and I happened to create a verbatim copy of by chance: it IF I came to it completely independent (aka, thus not actually copied, but self-construed but ending in exactly the same result), one wouldn't infringe copyright. If Apple ever sued Samsung over it, it wouldn't be that they created similar icons independently and thus infringed copyright, but that they de facto COPIED those icons, and altered them (or not). Or, it was about trademark or patents.

It is a common misbelief that you can't have exactly the same without infringing on copyright. you can, as long as you didn't copy it. It's not the result that counts, it's how you came to that result, thus. Granted, for icons it's more difficult to achieve this than for code, which is more functional-driven. But still, in principle, it's the same thing at work.

vicmarcal
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Re: XP-like icons

Post by vicmarcal » Tue May 20, 2014 8:13 pm

Yeah sorry I meant trademark.
Some icons could be trademarked even.
Image

justincase
Posts: 434
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Re: XP-like icons

Post by justincase » Wed May 21, 2014 5:53 am

vicmarcal wrote:Our first impressions are: Man!I couldn't even say which one is XP and which one is Yours! Impressive work!
The ones on the left are XP's icons, because the ones on the right have smooth gradients, and XP used lower resolution icons than what's being shown (thus upon being blown up the gradients appear less smooth)
vicmarcal wrote:However that can fall into "they can create confusion" (Apple sued Samsung,etc,etc)
True. In practice (32x32 icons on a desktop) these icons would be indistinguishable (to the average user) from their equivalents in Microsoft's icon set.
vicmarcal wrote:Something cool would be to get some "inspiration" in the gradients, soft colors, kind of lines, but giving it some changes.
...
The idea of having an XP-alike icon is that the user knows the icon means "My Computer" but that if he confronts both icons he can say "oh! I thought they were the same but really they look so different."
Agreed, also I think it's important that someone who looks for the differences can remember them and if they later see a screenshot of someone's desktop they can fairly easily look and say "that's Windows" or "that's ReactOS" based on those differences in the icons.
Webunny wrote:... For instance, if you wrote a book, and I happened to create a verbatim copy of by chance: it IF I came to it completely independent (aka, thus not actually copied, but self-construed but ending in exactly the same result), one wouldn't infringe copyright.
But in this case we're not talking about completely independent development of identical end-products, we're talking about someone using an already existing product for reference and creating an almost identical product.
Webunny wrote:It is a common misbelief that you can't have exactly the same without infringing on copyright. you can, as long as you didn't copy it. It's not the result that counts, it's how you came to that result, thus. Granted, for icons it's more difficult to achieve this than for code, which is more functional-driven. But still, in principle, it's the same thing at work.
So as not to have our methods questioned, it's probably better not to have identical (or almost identical) icons in ReactOS, I'm pretty sure we can get functionally identical icons without them being (almost) indistinguishable.

I'd guess the best way (for one person on their own) to do this is to look at the icon they're basing their icon off of, make some notes about what makes it what it is (either mentally or physically/digitally) then make their new icon entirely by themselves (without looking at the 'original' again), then when done compare them, and if theirs isn't similar enough to be considered "functionally identical", note the issues with it, put away the 'original', and fix whatever issues they had with it (rinse & repeat till happy :P ).
Last edited by justincase on Thu May 22, 2014 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Frontier
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Re: XP-like icons

Post by Frontier » Wed May 21, 2014 11:20 am

We can't use those, they're clearly copies of copyright material.

middings
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Re: XP-like icons

Post by middings » Wed May 21, 2014 12:00 pm

justincase wrote:..."functionally identical"...
I am not a lawyer (IANAL) but I suppose "functionally equivalent" expresses your idea.

solid_black
Posts: 33
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Re: XP-like icons

Post by solid_black » Wed May 21, 2014 1:40 pm

vicmarcal wrote:Impressive work!
Thanks! :D
justincase wrote:The ones on the left are XP's icons, because the ones on the right have smooth gradients, and XP used lower resolution icons than what's being shown (thus upon being blown up the gradients appear less smooth)
You're right! And I'm glad to know that's the most visible difference between them.
vicmarcal wrote:While the arrow icon could be perfectly used(because they really look different and because an arrow is an arrow), the My Computer one looks so similar that even having them placed together we can't spot the differences.
The reason for this is that I've spent about 15 minutes on the arrow and the rest of 3 days on the My Computer icon. ;)
justincase wrote:So as not to have our methods questioned, it's probably better not to have identical (or almost identical) icons in ReactOS, I'm pretty sure we can get functionally identical icons without them being (almost) indistinguishable.
Well, we already have this, and it's called Tango.
Frontier wrote:We can't use those, they're clearly copies of copyright material.
The ones on the left are copies, the ones on the right are not. They were entirely created by me. Like ReactOS is not a copy of Windows. Please clarify your point.
vicmarcal wrote: However that can fall into "they can create confusion" (Apple sued Samsung,etc,etc)
Something cool would be to get some "inspiration" in the gradients, soft colors, kind of lines, but giving it some changes.
For example:
- The bright LED instead being in the bottom it could be in the top corner.
- The base instead being a circle it could be a semi-circle.
- The screen could be Wide-screen instead the old format one.
- The two lines details could be one or placed upper or lower
- Etc

The idea of having an XP-alike icon is that the user knows the icon means "My Computer" but that if he confronts both icons he can say "oh! I thought they were the same but really they look so different."
So the problem is that they can create confusion.

<fool_mode,_please_don't_take_seriously>
Well, in order to avoid confusion, wouldn't it be enough to put a large ReactOS logo to the default desktop wallpaper like oldman did here: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=13352?
ReactOS already uses many portions of Windows design (window layouts, fonts, font sizes, translations, application names, 'classic theme' aka window style when themes is turned off). Gigaherz is making shell as similar to Windows' one at it's possible. Is design the right place to show that ReactOS is not Windows? And if it is, why just icons sould be different?
</fool_mode,_please_don't_take_seriously>

Anyway, I can try to make some changes as you propose.
The next question is:
Are those [very similar to Windows]/[in Windows style, but different] icons needed :?: As I've made the two just for fun and as a proof-of-concept.
justincase wrote:I'd guess the best way (for one person on their own) to do this is to look at the icon they're basing their icon off of, make some notes about what makes it what it is (either mentally or physically/digitally) then make their new icon entirely by themselves (without looking at the 'original' again), then when done compare them, and if theirs isn't similar enough to be considered "functionally identical", note the issues with it, put away the 'original', and fix whatever issues they had with it (rinse & repeat till happy :P ).
Yep that's the right way of making completely independent iconset using style of another one. But as I'm not an artist or any sort of designer it would be difficult for me to get all those reflections, colors, shadows etc. right without any reference image. But if anybody else volunteers to do this... :roll:

dave67
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Re: XP-like icons

Post by dave67 » Thu May 22, 2014 8:19 am

for some reason my account was deleted, anyway nice job i been waiting on xp like icons :)

Frontier
Posts: 70
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Re: XP-like icons

Post by Frontier » Thu May 22, 2014 12:22 pm

Watch Alex's talk on the youtubes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVXt_dELZNo

And I quote (from memory mind you) "we need designers... you can't reverse engineer an icon, you're just copying it at that point."

vicmarcal
Test Team
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Re: XP-like icons

Post by vicmarcal » Thu May 22, 2014 4:11 pm

solid_black wrote: Well, we already have this, and it's called Tango.
Come'n, Tango doesnt look like XP iconset at all. :p Basically what is needed is a nice iconset.
I am the first one not being a big fan of using "cloned" iconset icons.

Usability really is not linked towards having XP or Vista alike-icons, but having a similar user interface:
- A Vista or Windows 7 user doesn't have any troubles to use those systems even if their iconsets are not XP-alike.
- At the same time Metro uses some Windows 7 icons, and the user has troubles to use the new Metro interface.

My grandma was able to use ReactOS even with Tango icons. She loves to play Solitaire, btw.
So again the Tango iconset does its work howeveer it is too oldish, too pale, and not attractive at all. Happens, iconsets evolves.

Regarding to Compatibility, that you pointed out, we are forced to make our APIs to behave exactly as the Windows ones, or the software wouldnt be able to run. If an user wouldnt be able to use ReactOS because the iconset is too different, we would be forced to use a closer one.

Nice examples out there:
If an user knows how to drive a Ford car, he knows how to drive an Audi car. That is because they are "compatible", even if their "iconset" is not the same.
However if he knows how to use an automatic Ford car, he will probably won't know how to use a manual Ford car. Same model. Their "iconset" is exactly the same, however the systems are "not compatible" enough and hence the user needs extra formation.

So, the problem is not the iconset, but the User Interface.

So what ReactOS needs is an UI close to XP and not really a GUI close to XP.
Image


solid_black
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:33 am

Re: XP-like icons

Post by solid_black » Thu May 22, 2014 5:48 pm

vicmarcal wrote: Something cool would be to get some "inspiration" in the gradients, soft colors, kind of lines, but giving it some changes.
For example:
- The bright LED instead being in the bottom it could be in the top corner.
- The base instead being a circle it could be a semi-circle.
- The screen could be Wide-screen instead the old format one.
- The two lines details could be one or placed upper or lower
- Etc
solid_black wrote: Anyway, I can try to make some changes as you propose.
Image
(I've put LED to the center at the top.)
However it seems somewhat... wrong to me.
Frontier wrote:you can't reverse engineer an icon, you're just copying it at that point
Well, as it turns out, I can reverse engineer icons without copying them. That being said, there still can be problems with copyright and trademarks, on which vicmarcal said it's OK unless "they can create confusion". I don't think I understand what Alex meant by "copy"' there. Anyway, do you think we could use the image being posted here?
solid_black wrote:Are those [very similar to Windows]/[in Windows style, but different] icons needed :?:
Last edited by solid_black on Thu May 22, 2014 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

justincase
Posts: 434
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:13 pm

Re: XP-like icons

Post by justincase » Thu May 22, 2014 6:16 pm

middings wrote:
justincase wrote:..."functionally identical"...
I am not a lawyer (IANAL) but I suppose "functionally equivalent" expresses your idea.
Yes & No, "Functionally equivalent" is what's needed, but what I meant was more than that, as in using the same or very similar style to express the exact same idea, but with minor differences.
dizt3mp3r shows us a "functionally equivalent" icon Image whereas the far right icon in solid_black's Image shows what I was thinking of as a "functionally identical" icon (if you see it, you know it means the exact same thing as what you were looking for, but if someone says "I think that looks a little different from XP's icon" it's not too hard to realize a couple differences, even if you haven't seen XP's in a while).
solid_black wrote:(I've put LED to the center at the top.)
However it seems somewhat... wrong to me.
Yeah, I think one of the top corners might be better, but IDK, does it even need an LED? (also (if I were (which I'm not) doing it) I would try placing an LED on the bottom corner of the monitor, just to see how it looks, but again IDK.)
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