Resolution indpendence

Steven J Newbury steve at
Fri Jun 27 08:02:31 PDT 2008

On Fri, 2008-06-27 at 16:49 +0200, Soeren Sandmann wrote:
> Behdad Esfahbod <behdad at> writes:
> > On Fri, 2008-06-27 at 10:59 +0200, Soeren Sandmann wrote:
> > > The upcoming GNOME will simply set it to 96.
> > 
> > SRSLY?  That would be a regression.  Right now GNOME nicely detects my
> > 114dpi screen and uses right size fonts.  96 would look really
> > small.
> Bah, I knew I shouldn't have posted about this.
> (1) The number is fundamentally meaningless because an X "Screen" can
>     be made up of several physical screens.
Usually it is only 1 physical screen in which case the single value is
certainly meaningful.  Even in the multiple physical screens case, as
mentioned elsewhere in this thread, that need not be a showstopper.

> (2) The DPI is insufficient to compute any font size anyway because
>     the right one also depends on the distance to the screen. You
>     really don't want 3 point fonts on a projector. You want
>     essentially the same size fonts as on your desktop. 
This is true; there should be a viewing distance component too.

> (3) Monitors often do not report a dpi, and when they do, they are
>     often wrong. Projectors don't have any way of knowing their dpi,
>     so some don't report any, and some claim to be 60" screens.
Yet it's simple enough to inform the stack of the appropriate values if
you care.

> (4) You can override it in the control center anyway.
You can override it on an output-by-output basis with randr-1.2, that
makes more sense than a system wide (for that users toolkit) override as
the GNOME Control Center exposes.

More information about the xorg mailing list