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  1. #1
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    Icon-insanity! Share your ideas to make life easier regarding launcher icons.

    Browsing around trying to figure out which launcher icon sizes to create, can make any JavaME developer go insane and lock himself up in a dark room.....

    But there MUST be ways to make our lives easier?

    This is my idea:

    Nokia will tell us which icon sizes we should focus on. Then we will create those sizes and include them in the jar. This means, the jar file will have many png files, each one with the logo in different sizes. The names would be e.g.
    icon16x16.png
    icon48x48.png
    icon50x50.png
    - and so forth.

    We would publish our midlet on the Nokia Store, and be done with it.

    Nokia's webserver will then - when the users download apps from their Store - dynamically adjust the JAD file (and MANIFEST if necessary?) to use the proper icon that should be used for that particular phone.

    I bet it wouldn't require a ton of work for Nokia, and it sure would make life easier for the developers.


    I'm not sure if it would be enough to change the JAD, or if the MANIFEST would also have to be changed. Anyone knows?

    But that's my idea. What do you think? Do you have any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Re: Icon-insanity! Share your ideas to make life easier regarding launcher icons.

    A few months ago I was preparing my first J2ME app for the store, and was also wondering about how to manage to get a good-looking launcher icon for different devices. I posted a question about it too:

    http://www.developer.nokia.com/Commu...launcher-icons

    The problem is not only the icon size, but also style, if you want native looks. For full touch and touch and type, the icons are supposed to have a background with rounded corners (with slighitly different size, proportions and style, so scaling won't look good even between these), and with the new Asha platform, we are now back at square icons (automatically rounded by the device in launcher) again. I actually opened a support ticket for this, and they said the only solution is to make different JAD/JARs for different icon sizes. Finally, I ended up not even trying to be native, but just using a single 46x46 icon without the rounded corner background and a SVG icon for S60.

    It's easy to be smart in retrospect, but a good solution would have been different JAD/MANIFEST attributes with different icon styles/sizes, similarly to what's done with SVG, for example:
    Nokia-FullTouch-Icon-MIDlet-1: /iicon_ft.png
    Nokia-TouchAndType-Icon-MIDlet-1: /icon_tt.png
    and the default icon would be used, if the current device type's specific icon wasn't defined. But of course it's too late to for this now.

    Regarding your proposal, not sure if just changing just JAD after signing would work, because I remember reading somewhere that JAD properties have to match those of the MANIFEST for signed MIDlets (and MIDlet icon is defined on the same line as the MIDlet itself). So basically, to auto-select correct icon sizes after you upload the single version, the publish system would have to automatically create the separate JAD/JAR for each icon style, and then submit each style for testing/signing separately. Then the system would have to decide devices for which each of these files would be published for, based on compatible devices you selected. Even if you could sell this idea to the publish team, I wouldn't hold my breath while waiting for it to be implemented

    So, if you really care about the launcher icon looking good everywhere, probably the best and only solution at least for now is making your own build script that creates JAD/JAR pairs for each of the different icon sizes you want to support, and then manually upload all the different files for the correct devices on the publish website.

  3. #3
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    Re: Icon-insanity! Share your ideas to make life easier regarding launcher icons.

    Yea, I was reading a bit after creating this thread, and also reached the conclusion you reached; that the current optimal solution for the developer, is to use an SVGT for Symbian devices, an a 42x42 or 43x43 one for other devices.

    Having multiple (Nokia specific) JAD attributes containing the path of various icon variations would indeed be a great solution. But browsing various forums, I see that this has already been suggested by other developers years ago, in vain.

    You're right of course. I could make my own little utility that generates a lot of different versions of my JAR. But it would be a lot of work - and why should each developer do this? It would be a win for both the developer and Nokia if Nokia just did it. Just have the webserver take a look at the jar for certain filenames. icon48x48.png, icon50x50fastlane.png, iconWhateverDescription.png. And then auto-generate jars for the specific platform that wants this icon. It would be awesome for JavaME devs - and Nokia.

    But I realize that I shouldn't hold my breath for that. :-) I know it'll never become reality.

    So I'll just do what you did. SVGT + a 42x42 or 43x43 or 46x46 or 50x50 one. Been browsing to figure out exactly which size it is, but I think there is contradicting info everywhere. Why did you go with 46x46?

  4. #4
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    Re: Icon-insanity! Share your ideas to make life easier regarding launcher icons.

    Quote Originally Posted by misthalu View Post
    Been browsing to figure out exactly which size it is, but I think there is contradicting info everywhere. Why did you go with 46x46?
    46x48 was the size recommended for QVGA S40 devices on some older wiki pages, square 46x46 icons just felt somehow safer. I tried that size, and it didn't look too bad, at least for the icons I tested with, either on full touch or touch and type devices, which I guess are currently the most popular S40 device categories.

    Probably there are better sizes, especially if you're targeting only newer devices. I'd recommend experimenting with different icon sizes on RDA/emulators/real devices until you find one that looks good enough for your icon on all devices you want to target.

  5. #5
    Nokia Developer Champion
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    Old Nokia Series 40 offered three ways to view the MIDlets within the device:
    a) with a small icon
    b) with a large icon and no text
    c) with the normal icon.
    Every MIDlet looked a bit ugly because the platform used the same PNG for all these three views.

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