integrating inside a complex application such as VisualStudio, screen
real-estate is a precious asset. A way that JetBrains‘s engineers invented for Resharper to
economize the VisualStudio screen real-estate, is to display progress through a
18×18 circle diagram instead of using a 100×18 ProgressBar.
prototype I used some sort of anti-aliasing to get smooth display.
Personnally, I’ve been always amazed by the amount of information a
smooth and animated 16×16 icon can convey.
As a side note, pre-computing
all possible icons was not an option: there would be 100 (progress) x100 (turning
animation) x N (colors) icons which would mean literally MBs of icons stored in
memory! Instead the prototype is using some pre-computation of trigonometric/angle values for
each pixel, in order to reduce computation of an icon to a minimum.