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The Death of the Floppy Save Icon?

Bill Higgins filed an amusing bug today about stop using the floppy disk icon to represent saving things in Eclipse-land. I guess I’ve been doing computers for awhile that the thought never crossed my mind until today. I mean, floppy discs aren’t used by modern computers anymore and I’m pretty sure kids coming into college these days aren’t aware of what they really are besides the basics. I guess a similar analogy here is the difference between 8-track tapes and compact discs. But what else would you replace the icon with? A fluffy cloud?

Kids are all about saving things to the cloud these days. Just chuck it in a BigTable and it’s alright.

What do you think? Never forget?

On a side note, I know can’t get that Don’t Copy That Floppy song out of my head. Thanks guys.

  • http://javadude.com/ Scott Stanchfield

    Wow – that's a great point. Some tools use a little folder with an arrow pointing in, or a dbase icon with an arrow pointing toward it.

  • Wayne

    Great. Thanks for putting the “Don't Copy That Floppy” song back into my head… after all those years of work to purge it…

  • http://villane.wordpress.com/ T4ffer

    I kind of like that the symbol has stayed the same. I don't think replacing ingrained symbols (even technological) when a new technology comes along is necessarily a good idea from user perspective. Maybe in 10 years we'll have something floppy shaped again and that will be our personal computer, we'll just insert it into dumb terminals at work, at home etc. (nah)

  • http://ianskerrett.wordpress.com/ Ian Skerrett

    And who remembers the punch card? <sigh>

  • ibboard

    Generally I find that the Tango project has some good ideas. The “metaphors” page (http://tango.freedesktop.org/Icon_Metaphors) lists good examples next to the current KDE and Gnome icons (although a lot of other desktops and apps probably use something similar). The standard icon is a bit HDD-like (http://tango.freedesktop.org/Tango_Icon_Library), but seems sufficiently generic as to be “save to some kind of drive”.

    We live in a modern age – why not update and get something more applicable? The cloud is about as meaningful in a multi-national sense as the use of a paw print for “pause” (which had a perfectly good tape/VCR equivalent already)

  • Wendy

    I took a webinar on iconography a while back. They said that this icon is recognized worldwide–even by youngsters–as “Save”. Likewise, they recognize a typical dial phone as indicating a phone number. It's just that they've always seen it in that context, and even though they don't know what the metaphor is, they still get it by frequent association.

  • ibboard

    Generally I find that the Tango project has some good ideas. The “metaphors” page (http://tango.freedesktop.org/Icon_Metaphors) lists good examples next to the current KDE and Gnome icons (although a lot of other desktops and apps probably use something similar). The standard icon is a bit HDD-like (http://tango.freedesktop.org/Tango_Icon_Library), but seems sufficiently generic as to be “save to some kind of drive”.

    We live in a modern age – why not update and get something more applicable? The cloud is about as meaningful in a multi-national sense as the use of a paw print for “pause” (which had a perfectly good tape/VCR equivalent already)

  • Wendy

    I took a webinar on iconography a while back. They said that this icon is recognized worldwide–even by youngsters–as “Save”. Likewise, they recognize a typical dial phone as indicating a phone number. It's just that they've always seen it in that context, and even though they don't know what the metaphor is, they still get it by frequent association.