WB 3.x Missing icons, or very small square icons, strange colors - overall amiga icon obcession / hell.


before i started using Amiga, i always wonder, why are Amiga users so obsessed by such stupid thing like icons.

Now, i know and its sad story.

I understand that in year 1985 for WB 1.x it make sense use only 4 colors for icon, i was better that GeOS or Gem on Commodore and AtariST and every bit of memory was important in that age, but i year 1992 when WB 3.x came out, same concept was madness.
Default WB 3 icons, are maximally awful in comparison with Windows 3.x from same age. Icons should be distributed with maximal needed quality and if is needed color palette should be downgraded by OS itself.

End of OS development philosophy session, to practice. I never fully understand, how icons on Amiga working,
i only always saw that are broken, i never had similar problem on windows.

–   I have enabled full 32bit UAE truecolor screenmode – 16 million of colors, but some icons are still broken.
– I have read that i need some packs and libraries, so i have installed MUI, Newicons, CalssACT, i installed them
by this tutorial:
i double checked it – specially NewIcons.
– i but look, that all those pack only replacing few default Prefs and New drawer icons, but old programs icons are still broken.

Look at picture of my installed programs, it look like a circus..:

1) Some Drawer dont have icons att all – on picture Yam / FileMaster, when was Scalos installed, there was some
very small black square (but i get rid of Scalos – i dont see its benefits).
Clicking on this drawser is like hell, i have to click on invisible small square above center of label.
2) Gay icons – some icons are blue / pink, im not gay, i dont particularlly like it.
3) So are too big – like Netsurf – but i asked for info how to resize them, in other thread.
4) Some looks like using only 4 colors pallete, or broken pallete – DosBox, Ibrowse, NoWinED.
5) Some are just few pixels – iGame

And what is really strange some of them are perfect like Scout.

Could it be solved, where is problem, are original icons so bad, or i need some library, utility, icon pack?

  • You must to post comments

Okay, you’re mixing up a few different icon systems here which are causing problems. First, some background: The standard OS 2.0-3.1 icon system is passed on planar images and doesn’t really deal with the palette at all, instead just using the standard Workbench colours. Any colours beyond that are free to be modified by any other program and so can’t be guaranteed to be the same each time. To address this issue, a number of different patches were written which improve the icon system:

  • MagicWB: This is a patch that fixes the second 4 pens in the Workbench palette to various shades of grey and brown, meaning that they can be guaranteed to be the same every time and therefore can be used in icons and other graphics to improve their look. They still use the original icon format, and typically use dithered gradients.
  • NewIcons: This is a patch that allows alternative icon information to be stored in an icon file, normally as special tooltypes. It uses a proper bitmap with palette information for each image so that colours can be remapped to best use the Workbench screen palette and typically have a distinctive isometric look, and can be up to 256 colours, e.g. the MUI and IDEFix97 drawers in your screenshot. The original icon format is still present in the .info file and is used instead by systems without NewIcons installed.
  • GlowIcons: This is a new standard that was introduced for Workbench 3.5 and is also used in 3.9. This is similar to NewIcons, but with the image information stored in the .info file itself rather than the tooltypes.
  • Icon.library 46.4: This is a replacement for the original icon.library that introduces support for all newer icon types as well as some other optimisations and features. This however relies on Workbench 3.5+ for some of its features.
  • OS 4 / MorphOS: These new OSes use new icon formats that can’t be read properly on OS 3, except by installing icon.library 46.4 and using some OS 3.5 or 3.9 components.

Now, to answer your questions:
1) Icons in the NewIcon format sometimes don’t contain any of the original icon information, in which case they appear simply as a dot, or nothing at all, when viewed on a system without NewIcons support. Alternatively, the icon imagery can be corrupted by changing the tooltypes in the icon information window that store the image data. This could be the case for your iGame icon.

2) The funny colours are MagicWB icons without the correct colours set. You need the MagicWB palette patch or similar functionality provided by a different program. This should make icons like MiraWizArc and TUDE appear correctly.

3) Scaling is one thing, but Netsurf in your screenshot has an OS4 icon so even scaling it won’t make it appear correctly. Only icon.library 46.4 can use these icons properly under Workbench 3. Alternatively you could easily replace this icon with another smaller image to solve the problem.

4) The icons you mention are all GlowIcons, the Workbench 3.5+ format. You can use icon.library 46.4 in combination with certain Workbench 3.5 or 3.9 components to get these to work properly, or just use OS 3.9.

5) It’s hard to tell whether the icon is bad, the wrong type or just corrupted, but I suspect it’s a NewIcon or GlowIcon that’s not displaying properly.

So, most of your problems can be fixed by upgrading to OS 3.9, or installing icon.library 46.4 and some components from OS 3.5 or 3.9 such as workbench.library 44.x. Read the icon.library 46.4 documentation for more details, and not that this is extensively modifying how Workbench 3.1 works so you may find some incompatibilities with some software.

Note as well that editing an icon in the standard 3.1 icon editor that contains additional icon image information can corrupt it and cause it to not appear correctly any more. This is because the icon editor only understands the original icon format.

  • You must to post comments

Yes, the colours need to be set manually unless you’re using OS 3.5/3.9 or the full MagicWB patch. FullPalette does come with a preference GUI so you should be able to use that to set the pens. ENV: points at a drawer in the RAM Disk: where settings are stored temporarily (i.e. when you click “Use” in most preferences). ENVARC: points to SYS:Prefs/Env-Archive and this is where settings are saved on the hard drive. On startup, the contents of ENVARC: are copied to ENV: so deciding on whether the settings changes are temporary or permanent will determine which one is edited. They should both be the same most of the time however.

  • You must to post comments

Thanks for detailed explanation.

Know im trying to apply it for my cause, so:
MagicWB is still commercial software and on their page ordering process for stopped, i already paid for Amiga forever and some other stuff, i would like to avoid next payments 20 bucks for just icons. I had installed MWB demo, i dont like it too much and i dont like to steal it either.
So question is,  need i really this software for fix some icons or not, is there other way?

Icon.library 46.4 – OS 3 installation process is not easy, its huge package and install is not included, i read readme, but im didnt get all of informations and there are some bonuses and Thirdparties, what i have to do?

a) Copy files from C folder to C folder on my disk.
b) Some there are 3 library files, i need all of them, should i rename file with _68020 extension only to library?
c) What about LoadModule or sequence stuff?
d) Should i install these icons sets linked in the readme?
e) Which bonuses and Thirdparties are worthy of installation and how to install them?

1) So its app developers fault, if they support old WB 3 didnt add icon in proper format or didnt require some additional library?

2)  Where i could  find that patch or i need to pay for whole MagicWB?

3) How to replace icon manually, through IconEdit?

  • Daedalus
    MagicWB is a commercial package, but there are alternatives that do the palette fixing. FullPalette on Aminet for example lets you fix the palette, you just need to set the MagicWB colours. Workbench 3.9 has built-in support for the correct colours so no patches are needed. The MagicWB colours for the second 4 pens are: Pen 4: 123, 123, 123 Pen 5: 175, 175, 175 Pen 6: 1700, 144, 124 Pen 7: 255, 169, 151 Yes, icon.library 46.4 is a complicated system as it changes a lot of how Workbench works. Really it’s trying to implement a lot of features that WB 3.1 lacks, and installation is much easier on Workbench 3.9. For the simplest installation though you only need to add the Loadmodule line to your S:Startup-sequence file as described in the readme, to copy the required commands to C:, and to copy the relevant library version into LIBS: For your case this would be the 68020 version renamed to icon.library. The icon sets and bonus stuff are really optional so don’t worry about them. Having new icons for everything can help Workbench look much better but takes time and effort and isn’t essential. Yep, application developers tend to assume everyone has the same setup as them, or else that the user doesn’t mind copying icons themselves. To be fair, most people who have been using Amigas since the ’90s probably do have all these updates installed, but there are always occasional users who just have a bare 3.1 installation like you. Replacing icons manually can be done in a few ways: 1) Copy the icon file in a Shell window, provided the icon is the same type (e.g. drawer, tool, disk or project): Copy Work:Stuff/program1.info Work:Stuff/program2.info Your files program1 and program2 will now have identical icons. 2) Using IconEdit you can load any icon by opening it as you would any file. It can then be saved as the icon for any other file, and can be modified if required, including type. This will only work for old-style icons however. 3) Using Workbench 3.9, a new icon image can simply be dragged into the Icon Information window and dropped onto the existing icon image to replace it.
  • RuThaN
    Fullpalette – now im able to set proper colors for one session, but even when i use Save, after reboot are old colors back, what should be done? Edit: Fixed, new pens needs to be locked by cycle button, that gui is a mess, Save options, which is not save it for more that 1 session, Save as which is not working and Load Palette which is not working – it least by common sense, but we won, thanks! What about NewIcons problem? // Would be nice, enable WYSIWYG editor for comments, this walls of texts are messy.
  • Daedalus
    Yeah, the comments are just meant for comments – it’s not really a discussion forum. I’ve never used FullPalette as I’ve only ever had MagicWB or OS3.5/3.9 so I don’t know what the GUI is like. From what you’re saying though, it looks like it’s installed correctly in the startup-sequence. As for NewIcons, you need to install the NewIcons patch for that to work. If you’ve done that already and some icons are corrupted, perhaps their tooltypes have been edited badly, or else the images aren’t actually NewIcons format at all – they could be GlowIcons or OS4 icons instead. The new icon.library should have sorted that out though…
  • RuThaN
    I dont see a point, why comments couldnt be formated.. maybe is some Amiga strange rule :) Where i can find this NewIcons patch? I discovered that i also need to copy some LoadResident binary to c, but it crashed whole WinUAE during boot, maybe because other things are missing.
  • RuThaN
    Im disscusing this directly with author of NewIcons is complicated thing, not easy to setup.. No debug or checking scripts are available and is not straight how to tutorial, he only done some Showcase ADF image for it should work.
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