Resolution indpendence

Eirik Byrkjeflot Anonsen eirik at
Fri Jun 27 11:12:37 PDT 2008

Behdad Esfahbod <behdad at> writes:

> On Fri, 2008-06-27 at 15:16 +0100, Barry Scott wrote:
>> > I want a high resolution monitor to get more screen real estate, not
>> > to get better edge smoothing.
> Then change your font size to be smaller!

I've set my font size so that it is legible after rasterization.  I
notice that most applications that "correct" the font size makes the
font unreadable.  So with every application that varies the font size,
I must use far larger fonts than in the applications that stick to my
chosen font.

>> > When we start approaching 300dpi
>> > graphics pipelines, I will probably change my mind, but that's still
>> > pretty far off it seems.
> Actually we're there.  OLPC and Nokia Internet Tablets are 200dpi.
> OpenMoko phones are 280dpi!

That's why I said "graphics pipeline" with an implied "for my 24 inch
desktop monitor".  Neither the monitors nor the graphics cards seem to
be particularly willing to go there yet...

>> Apple took a 200dpi laptop off the market because of lack of resolution 
>> independance
>> in the software. I'm not sure its that far off *if* the software can 
>> handle it.

To a point, I do agree here.  I'm sure there are plenty of problems
with software not dealing well with high-resolution displays.  Though
even at 200dpi I don't think the resolution is high enough to start
doing "resolution independence".  "Resolution awareness" is a
completely different matter.  (Yes, at 200dpi even I would probably
prefer a slightly larger font.)

>> Using DPI is the wrong thing to do for large format 40" etc screens as 
>> 30pt is
>> unreadable a the sort of viewing distance that a 40" screen is viewed at. We
>> force 75dpi for this reason at the moment.
> Right.  What we really want is dots-per-angle.  You can either invent
> that and go change all software, or, we can simply define dpi as
> dots-per-inch-at-arms-distance.  Then a 200dpi screen at 2 meters
> distance is more or less 70dpi at arms distance.

Which immediately breaks "correctness" for those who claim to depend
on "correct" real-world units.  Not that I would complain.  Even in
the cases where I've had "correct" units, the screen representation
has never seemed particularly faithful to the paper representation
(Mostly due to lower resolution, different viewing distance and angle,
colour gamut and lit-up screen vs reflexive paper, I believe).


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