I must say, I'm not feeling the flag icon at all.
While I admit it's about the clearest way to say "this is an INI flag", and it does have its merits as a signal, I do think it is too distracting.
If you look at pages like Passengers for example, just open it and try to notice your own order of perception...it's FLAG-FLAG-FLAG-FLAG-FLAG-FLAG-FLAG-text.
Due to essentially being red dots between black lines, and otherwise being totally different from the surrounding text, the flag icons break the text up and stand out.
That's not good.
Take icons like the chat icon or the external link icon.
While they are visible, they don't stand out like the flag icon - because they stay within the color scheme, and they don't have as much whitespace - so they don't cause a giant gap in the text, making their presence even more obvious. In fact, I am betting that your eyes keep subconsciously monitoring the flag icon, simply because it stands out so much. While you may not be looking at it directly, I bet you're still very aware of where it is as your eyes scan along the lines - can you say the same about the other two icons near it?
This template was designed to explicitly allow things like this...change the markup of all flags on ModEnc in one swoop, and, as said, this change does have its merits. So if the majority agrees it's better this way, I'm not gonna revert it. However, personally, I do think it's too distracting, and I do think it's too much in general. The monospacing alone usually conveyed the text in question was a flag just fine, and linking it served as even more of a signal. In general, I'm absolutely not against having an icon denote INI flags, quite the opposite, but in this particular case, I think it's more distracting than helping.
As such, I quickly whipped up my own flag icon, and I would like to propose that one or a similar one to be used instead, if we choose to use one at all:
- ~ Renegade (SysOp) 05:06, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
- I would like to amend my comment with the following example: OccupyWeapon.
- As much as the flag icon helps identifying flags on the page...this particular one is a distractive overkill.
- I agree that the current icon is distracting. Do you want to try switching to your less visually obnoxious version? You may also wish to include it as part of the stylesheet (since, as the admin, you can presumably do that) so that it can actually be part of the link and not a media image. // Vinifera7 10:24, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
- Eh, I've changed it, and it still doesn't do much for me...it's like..."Yeah, I'm a flag. That was clear from context, look and markup. What do I need this silly icon for?".
- As before, if the majority wants to keep it, fine, but I think it's superfluous.
- Given that nobody has voiced support for the icons in three days, we agreed the original ones were too much, I'm not convinced of the new ones, either, and I accidentally killed the transparent background before uploading, making them look ugly on Template:Flag, I'm gonna take these out for the moment.
- If somebody wants to start a new movement to include icons in the future, feel free to, but please discuss it here first with samples before implementing it for everyone.
- Thank you.