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Thread Font Icons / Font Library in Next Release
Thu, Nov 19 2015 12:23 PMPermanent Link

Tim Young [Elevate Software]

Elevate Software, Inc.

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Email timyoung@elevatesoft.com

I'm finishing up font icon support for the next release of EWB, but I'm torn at this point as to what to do about the *default* state of EWB with respect to using images vs. font icons with the built-in, default TIconLibrary interface.  I'm currently using Font Awesome (thanks Mark !) for the font icons, but you'll also be able to use *any* web font that you like with the next release (Roboto, Open Sans, etc.)  You'll just need to install the TrueType font into Windows to use it in the IDE, and then include the WOFF web font as an external file with your project via the Project Manager (there are new options for specifying the font name and styles for external web fonts).

The font icons save a bit of space over the current image icons, but that's with the *entire* Font Awesome font being included (585 icons).  So, when you factor in the total size combined with different icon sizes, colors, rotations (stay tuned), etc., the font icons are pretty much a hands-down winner in the size category.  Plus, you can use services like FontSquirrel to generate a font that is a subset of the entire font, further reducing the total size.

If you don't use any customized interfaces, especially the TIconLibrary interface, then you probably won't notice much of a difference at all.  The problem is how much this will affect existing applications that use customized interfaces and icon libraries.

So, the question is:  should the default TIconLibrary interface and all of the other control interfaces use the new font icons, or keep things as they are ?

Tim Young
Elevate Software
www.elevatesoft.com
Thu, Nov 19 2015 1:03 PMPermanent Link

Malcolm Taylor

Well, I have not added any custom icons so it sound as if I should vote
for the font icons.  Surprised
Thu, Nov 19 2015 1:09 PMPermanent Link

Raul

Globestar Systems

Team Elevate Team Elevate

On 11/19/2015 12:23 PM, Tim Young [Elevate Software] wrote:
> If you don't use any customized interfaces, especially the TIconLibrary interface, then you probably won't notice much of a difference at all.  The problem is how much this will affect existing applications that use customized interfaces and icon libraries.

I don't use that today so my vote is to default font icons.

> So, the question is:  should the default TIconLibrary interface and all of the other control interfaces use the new font icons, or keep things as they are ?

How much "different" would font icon look be from current default state
?  Noticeable enough to be a problem or minor ?

Raul
Thu, Nov 19 2015 1:11 PMPermanent Link

Uli Becker

Tim,

in my projects I use custom icons pretty much, in most cases with
TIconButton. Therefore I'd like to keep things as they are.

Also TAnimatedIcon uses icons, how should that work with font icons? Or
am I misunderstanding something?

Uli
Thu, Nov 19 2015 1:48 PMPermanent Link

squiffy

Telemix Ltd.

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I'm all for the new font icons, as I go a-huntin' through font awesome usually anyway.
Thu, Nov 19 2015 3:36 PMPermanent Link

Tim Young [Elevate Software]

Elevate Software, Inc.

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Email timyoung@elevatesoft.com

Raul,

<< How much "different" would font icon look be from current default state ?  Noticeable enough to be a problem or minor ? >>

Most of the handful of icons that already exist were just image copies of the icons in Font Awesome, so you shouldn't notice any major differences.

Tim Young
Elevate Software
www.elevatesoft.com
Thu, Nov 19 2015 3:38 PMPermanent Link

Tim Young [Elevate Software]

Elevate Software, Inc.

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Email timyoung@elevatesoft.com

Uli,

<< in my projects I use custom icons pretty much, in most cases with TIconButton. Therefore I'd like to keep things as they are. >>

I'm only talking about the default TIconLibrary.  If you've customized the TIconLibrary, then you can continue to use it without issue.

<< Also TAnimatedIcon uses icons, how should that work with font icons? >>

I haven't entirely decided on this yet, but I'll probably have to go with a different control because of the way that such font icons are animated (rotation) vs. PNG sprites.

Tim Young
Elevate Software
www.elevatesoft.com
Thu, Nov 19 2015 3:48 PMPermanent Link

Tim Young [Elevate Software]

Elevate Software, Inc.

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Email timyoung@elevatesoft.com

Uli,

I just realized that I contradicted everything I said in my initial post, so let me clarify... Smile

This is what will change if I make font icons the default:

1) The default TIconLibrary interface will use font icons, and each icon defined in the interface will have an additional element called "FontIcon" that is the child of the "Icon" element in each.  This element will have ApplyProperties values that apply the content (symbol for the icon) and font properties.

2) Any existing controls that use icons (minus TAnimatedIcon, it's special per my reply above), will have an additional "FontIcon" element that is the child of the "Icon" element.

3) You'll be able to use either image icons or font icons in the TIconLibrary interface.  The only difference is which icons you select to use with controls, and whether you include the icon font in your external files for your project.  If the font icons become the default state, then I'm probably going to make it so that Font Awesome is *automatically* included in new visual projects instead of making you add it each time.

4) Controls that use icons that are hard-coded will default to using *font icons* instead.   For example, the close button for tabs on TPagePanel controls, or the close button on TDialog/TPanel controls.

5) EWB will ship with one or more fonts, and will install TrueType versions of the same for use in the IDE, distribution and licensing permitting.

I think that covers most of it, and hopefully that is a bit more clear.   The main benefit of using the font icons will be the crispness on mobile devices with high resolution displays, such as the new iPhones.

Tim Young
Elevate Software
www.elevatesoft.com
Thu, Nov 19 2015 8:24 PMPermanent Link

Steve Gill

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Hi Tim,

<< 3) You'll be able to use either image icons or font icons in the TIconLibrary interface.  The only difference is which icons you select to use with controls, and whether you include the icon font in your external files for your project.  If the font icons become the default state, then I'm probably going to make it so that Font Awesome is *automatically* included in new visual projects instead of making you add it each time. >>

I design all of my own icons for TIconLibrary so as long as I can still do that I will be happy. Smile

= Steve
Fri, Nov 20 2015 1:27 AMPermanent Link

Uli Becker

Tim,

yes, it's much clearer now.

<<
4) Controls that use icons that are hard-coded will default to using *font icons* instead.   For example, the close button for tabs on TPagePanel controls, or the close button on TDialog/TPanel controls
>>

That's the only point I don't understand. What do you mean with "hard-coded" Icons?

Uli
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