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APNSoft on Apr 14, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite

As a developer, this bears repeating:

   “Free” does not mean a single thing
   from a legal licensing perspective.
You have to include an explicit license with your “free” work, otherwise developers wouldn’t—or at least shouldn’t—touch it with a ten-foot pole.

I have agonized over this when trying to find icons I could use for my open-source GitHub project, and it wasn’t easy. When I was looking into it, I compiled a short list of great icon sets and their respective licenses to wrap my head around whether I could use them in my project at all: http://pygm.us/QRelV0PW.

As a developer, I know how hard it is to figure out how to license your work, but licensing is one of those things we really, really need to understand and come to grips with.

And don’t get me started on contributor license agreements ...

I'm not sure if this has been asked before so I apologize in advance, but is there anything wrong with releasing projects as public domain? Then I would think there is no need for licensing at all.

In the US there is no way to release it works into the public domain (unless you work for the US Government). If you wanted to be free-er than "all rights reserved" you must give it a license that says that. Without a explicit license all new works are automatically assumed copyrighted by their owner.


In short it's not always clear that you can voluntarily abandon copyright in every countries that follow the Berne convention. It's safer to grant a liberal license.

The only problem with that is that in most jurisdictions the only way to release something into the public domain is to have died seventy years ago.

Are there any examples that show such a concern is warranted? Or where common sense did not win out?

What is the point of "social media" icon sets like Simple Icons (http://simpleicons.org/), when in real life these companies have very strict brand guidelines you must follow, if you use their brand in your product?

For example, if you're using Ebay API and want to show an Ebay logo, you can't use the one on the icon set (their corporate logo), but you must use an uglier one that says "right now on Ebay", without modifications. Facebook says "Do not use trademarks, logos, or other content that is confusingly similar to the Brand Assets."[1]. Yelp: "Don't alter our logo, graphics, or any of the other information from the API."[2]

So I guess my point is, when you're using some third party API and want to or need to show attribution, going for something that looks almost like the official logo instead of using the original assets doesn't really work.

[0]: https://www.x.com/developers/ebay/programs-events/developer-...

[1]: https://www.facebook.com/brandpermissions/logos.php

[2]: http://www.yelp.com/developers/getting_started/display_requi...

There's also such a thing as personal use ...

I use plenty of custom icons for my Windows 8 shortcut tiles for one[1]. Pretty sure the companies won't mind, if it means I'll visit their site more often from my own computer.

[1]: Speaking of which, it's really annoying that I haven't found one for Hacker News.

here you go: https://news.ycombinator.com/y18.gif

OK that's a bit facetious, but simple icons has one for Hacker News. It's unbelievably unsurprising.

edit: well that was silly.

And if you can’t find what you’re looking for in those sets, there’s always The Noun Project: http://thenounproject.com/

also: http://www.picol.org/icon_library.php (CC Attribution-ShareAlike might not be for everyone, but for me, between this and the noun project, I'm basically happy like a pig in sh*t :)

I know it’s just link bait, but the idea of there being 15 “must-have”s of something I didn’t know I even needed is humorous to me.

Bunches more here :D


Edit: This is personal site for all development tutorials and resources. Usually 'icon sites' are just spam, this isn't one of those sites. I just happen to have icons as too.

Are people ironically upvoting this because it's absolutely ridiculous to speak of "flat" icons? (what's next, "flat fonts"?)

Or is this one of those "HN is going to hell" moments I hear about?

I don’t like this new “flat and monochrome” thing. I think it’s a fashion.

One should always be cautious about simple design rules. As design goes, in one setting the flat, grayscale approach can be dull, in another one, it can be cheerful and captivating.

I have a recent example for the new mantra of removing color and flattening things. Take Sourcetree, which is one of my favorite applications. A few weeks ago they’ve switched to a new icon set for their main icon bar:

before http://www.sourcetreeapp.com/img/screenshots/st_feature_hist...

now http://www.sourcetreeapp.com/images/sourcetree_hero_mac_hist...

I don’t think there is any usability or aesthetic benefit to it, quite the opposite. The original version had something slightly funny and frivolous about it, which made it pleasant to use. And from the usability perspective, one could subconsciously click the yellow icon without examining the picture itself.

There are also many counter examples where grayscale and flat design make things a joy to use. I used to do DTP for a black and white newspaper and we never had the feeling it was dull, quite the opposite, we considered it quite elegant and calm as compared to the flashy tabloids.

It's like the guy who thought the Wounded Knee reference in Bioshock Infinite was a hat tip to Skyrim.

I thought we left the ironic hipster stuff to DesignerNews these days ;)

Soon HN will resemble the front page of reddit

That's an excellent set, though I haven't seen it mentioned in any icon font roundups. Thanks.

So, flat is the new black on HN hunh?

Monochrome icons have been trendy for a while now. It just so happens that flat design is also then 'in' thing and that monochrome icons are essentially flat.

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