Resolution indpendence

Steven J Newbury steve at
Mon Jun 30 16:54:01 PDT 2008

On Tue, 2008-07-01 at 00:25 +0100, Glynn Clements wrote:
> Steven J Newbury wrote:

> > 
> > Going forward with SVG icons it's not going to be a problem.  A "best" (user 
> > preference) solution can be applied for "legacy" software if necessary.
> > Notice that Vista deals with all legacy applications by using the hardware
> > scaler of the graphics card to provide 96dpi compatiblity.
> This only really works for larger icons. If you have a 48x48 icon,
> anti-aliased re-scaling is likely to give adequate results at "large"
> icon sizes. When you get down to the 16x16 icons used in the file
> manager in list/detail view, it really needs to be hand-tuned to avoid
> just being a coloured blob.
If icon sizes need be that small then, absolutely, a hand-tuned bitmap
is probably the only way to go.  On a high DPI display such icons are
larger than 16x16 though.  Scaling down to very low DPI screens may be
"good enough", how bad do you find the current SVG icon themes to be in
such cases?

> I don't much like DWIM either, but then I'm a programmer. I'm used to
> analysing exactly what I'm trying to achieve, and to figuring out how
> to achieve it. User's often don't know in concrete terms what they
> want, but they know if it's not right and, to an extent, why.
> AI won't make it any better. If you want predictability, true AI will
> make it even worse.
> Really, it depends upon the situation. DWIM is a bad idea for discrete
> choices, and where getting it right matters. OTOH, where you have a
> continuous range, and you only need to be close enough, it can save
> the user from wasting time micromanaging stuff they don't particularly
> care about.
We have some common ground here.

> > 
> > I'm not convinced.
> I don't doubt it.
> > You'll have to try harder.
> What's the point? It's not as if any amount of argument is going to
> convince you. "For your friends, no explanation is necessary; for your
> enemies, none will suffice".
Yes, I'm sorry how that came across, I did mean it in good humour.

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