[Iconography] Eclipsing your past meanings


Last weekend I hurriedly installed Adobe Flash CS6 since I need to use it for my 'Digital Sound and the Moving Image' class - in fact there is homework for it due tomorrow that is required to be submitted in .swf files. What is of interest though, is that it apparently installed this version of Eclipse alongside it.

With reference to Ruben's most recent post on Eclipse's new icon, I do have to consider - what is an eclipse?

This software is clearly not quite the astronomical phenomenon itself, but you get the picture with the two orbs crossing each other in the older logo. You can read about the origins of the name Eclipse here, but the idea of 'eclipsing' Visual Studio is a nice one and a noble one.

Without radiating rays of light or the second circle, the new icon is simply an orb like any other. Does it still signify the name and its tradition or has it become just a product of our culture? Not that a 'prettified' icon is not great eye candy when exposed to it for long hours (that is assuming you are even using it in anything other than full screen mode), but an icon inherently is supposed to indicate what the program is. But really, you could say a lot of programs don't do that now, I suppose. For instance, how does one get Textmate from a pink flower?

In any case, if this new icon can be interpreted as having already eclipsed rather than still attempting to eclipse, this is a stong message. I therefore hope that the motives to this change are right, that it is a message of triumph rather than for the sake of it.

As a side note, perhaps Eclipse would like to update the logos on their website sooner or later as well. Better save the old logo while it's still around!