I think it's a time to completely remove all GIF icons from standard SMF theme. Icons and smilies in Curve theme now look so old and so poorly, that absolutely spoil the impression of the theme. And it's because SMF use obsolete image format, which doesn't support alpha-channel. IE6 now is entirely die (<1%), so there is no reason not to use PNG for all images.
Benefits of using PNG by default:
- Smallest size.
- An ability to create acceptable-looking icons.
- Alpha-channel! (it's absolutely necessary in modern web).
- Most important for me: theme authors no longer have to rewrite virtually all of the standard templates only to replace GIF with PNG.
Because of features of GIF, forum theme can't look good with GIF icons. It's very easy to replace .gif in source files to .png and to convert all images. It'll be breake a lot of themes with custom templates and a lot of mods, but you must do it sooner or later. So I think that it'll be good to do it sooner. E.g in 2.1 version.