should be okay to name layers with same label

Bug #339660 reported by Halley on 2009-03-08
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
John Smith

Bug Description

In earlier versions of Inkscape, the name of layers was implemented as the id="layer3" attribute. This meant that layer names had to be unique, since id="" attribute values are used to uniquely identify any and all elements in the file. (See old bugs and about this old scheme.)

Now, Inkscape does not depend on id="" for the layer names shown in the Layers dialog. Instead, the id="" is a unique identifier for scripts and xml handling, and the inkscape:label="My Friendly Layer Name" attribute is shown in the Layers dialog.

There is no technical reason for layer names (inkscape:label="" attribute values) to be unique, and it can be limiting for the user to get artificially-numbered names like "Coloring#3". Also see which expresses a similar sentiment.

(Also according to and the layer renaming feature has not fully caught up to this scheme. If a layer is renamed but had no inkscape:label, then the new name is actually not committed anywhere and the new name is lost when the program closes the file.)

I'm proposing (and patching) Inkscape to behave this way:

  * internal id="" attributes must be unique, no change

  * duplicated layers change their label to be initially unique (inkscape:label="My Layer copy"), no change

  * new layers get new unique labels (inkscape:label="Layer #3") instead of depending on id="" (fix)

  * user is able to rename labels to be non-unique in xml editor and changes show up in layers dialog, no change

  * user is able to rename labels to be non-unique in Layers dialog (fix)

Changed in inkscape:
importance: Undecided → Medium
milestone: none → 0.47
status: New → Confirmed
Rena Kunisaki (i-am-inuyasha) wrote :

This is true, but it'd be nice to have the option to still enforce unique names, as it can be confusing otherwise.

Jon A. Cruz (jon-joncruz) wrote :

We've been told by numerous sources that this is not really confusing after all, even for artists. Also it turned out GIMP was the only graphics program we could find that had the unique name behavior. Photoshop and others did not.

ScislaC (scislac) on 2009-11-24
Changed in inkscape:
milestone: 0.47 → none
jazzynico (jazzynico) on 2010-02-11
tags: added: layers
John Smith (john-smithi) wrote :

Can this bug be closed ?
It appears the current behavior (0.47+devel r11040) matches the original proposal :

* duplicated layers change their label to be initially unique (inkscape:label="My Layer copy")
* new layers get new unique labels (inkscape:label="Layer #3")
* user is able to rename labels to be non-unique in xml editor/rename dialog/in place in Layers dialog

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

> Can this bug be closed ?

Honestly, I'm not sure:
If fully implementing the proposal only depends on bug #168351 (fix committed in r11039), the status would be 'Fix Committed' and milestoned to 0.49 (I haven't fully verified against current stable

If bug #168506 (marked as duplicate of #377294) also affects one of the proposed behaviors, this report should probably kept open: layers without or with an empty 'inkscape:label' attribute cannot be renamed (except by manually adding the attribute and its value in the XML Editor) - still present in current trunk (r11040).

ScislaC (scislac) wrote :

Yes, I think this bug should be closed as it stands...
The issue still exists, but is not the same problem.

Changed in inkscape:
status: Confirmed → Fix Committed
assignee: nobody → John Smith (john-smithi)
milestone: none → 0.49
Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2015-02-23
Changed in inkscape:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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