Claws-Mail Icon Theme

Simon Steinbeiß simon.steinbeiss at
Mon Jun 22 09:29:12 UTC 2009

Hey everyone,

after a few discussions on #xubuntu-devel, which were following up on the mailclient
review I tried to do for Karmic a while ago, I'd like to post something that might (or
might not) be interesting for you.

One critical point that applies to both Thunderbird and Claws-Mail is icon-consistency.
Since both of them mostly don't use stock icons, they tend to make the look and feel
inconsistent with the rest.
At least for Claws I would like to give an update on this point: I had a quick discussion
with one of the claws-devs and he basically confirmed what I had assumed, that it would
make the whole app even more inconsistent if they tried to use more stock icons. That's
because Claws *needs* a lot of icons that don't have equivalents in most icon themes (I'm
almost sure that at least 50% of the icons used by Claws you can't find in *any*
gnome/xfce icon theme out there).

Let me give you a quick example to illustrate this point: for directories alone there are
four states (multiply that by 2, because there is an icon for open and one for closed
dirs): normal, hidden-read-message, marked-message, hidden-read-message and
Now for these states there are no equivalents as far as I could find out and I don't
think there will be any anytime soon. That's why I think it makes sense for them to stick
to their own icon themes. (The point is that if a theme lacks these icons, Claws will use
its internal iconset instead and that means you end up in an even more unpleasant,
inconsistent visual mess.)

I totally agree though that every app should have a consistent look (and feel) with the
rest of the desktop, so I decided to do an icon theme that is built to resemble Xubuntu's
standard icon theme at the moment (I also reckoned that this wouldn't change for Karmic,
at least from what I could conclude after a few discussions with knome on the subject),
gnome-brave. It may not be perfect yet, but there are all the icons you need.
At the moment it's not yet available at the claws-mail site even though I submitted it a
while ago, but I'd like to provide an alternative download for the meantime. So for
those of you who are interested, you can get the theme here:
(Also: as soon as it's in the themes-package on the claws-site it means that it would
hopefully be included in the claws-mail-themes package available in the repos; at least
if the packagers decide to use an up-to-date version of the archive for Karmic.)

Alright, I see now that this message has become a bit lenghty considering the weight of
the subject, but I still hope it does some good.

All the best,

PS: Sorry for not being able to be more active in recent discussions, but I'm busy
finishing my thesis until the end of the month (keepingfingerscrossed).

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