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gnome Gnome 3.8 to get new folder icons

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Actually, most icons in Linux come as both vectors and predefined raster sets. This is because at smaller sizes, you can't just scale down as the icon becomes blurry due to lack of pixels, so the best option is to manually rework the icons for specific sizes (16x16, 24x24, even up to 32x32). The vector set is included and used where the icon size goes beyond the predefined and turns to unconventional values.

I know the point .Neo is trying to make is that the raster graphics can use more photorealistic detail, so this is not an argument against that, as raster sets in Linux are usually derived from the vector set directly, except for the smaller sizes as I mentioned, but I'd argue that the level of detail is not really important either way. That texture added to the folder icon really isn't noticeable at conventional sizes, and it can actually be done as a vector fairly easily. It's an icon, not a 1:1 representation, it's meant to be simpler. Vectors are perfect for icon design imo.

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