Resolution indpendence

Glynn Clements glynn at
Mon Jun 30 17:59:48 PDT 2008

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?

Which icons are SVG?

I don't use Gnome or KDE, or a graphical file manager, so about the
only icons I normally see are the stock OK/Cancel/Open/Save etc icons
in the few GTK+ programs which I use.

Mostly, I find that most GTK+ programs oversize everything (icons,
fonts, etc) by default (even after they've been told that the 125 dpi
screen is actually 75 dpi). I find XP's defaults on a 125 dpi screen
(i.e. tiny) to be adequate for normal use (desktop, file manager,
etc), although any heavy-duty text editing is done in XEmacs on Linux
(typically via Xming on the XP box, which needs its own monitor, and I
need desk space more than the Linux box needs a separate monitor).

Glynn Clements <glynn at>

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