Re: Font Configuration Applet

On Sun, 05 Dec 2004 19:13:34 -0500, Owen Taylor wrote:

> On Sun, 2004-12-05 at 18:58 +0100, Sebastian Kapfer wrote:
>> On Sat, 04 Dec 2004 21:24:16 -0500, Andrew Johnson wrote:
>> > Also the details I DO need to use sometimes, because of RGB
>> > order(some screens rgb order is inverted/off) and DPI( dpi
>> > detection and setting is broken - not something you can wish away
>> > because it might confuse the user).
>> BTW, the DPI setting is nuts anyway.  I'm running the same GNOME setup
>> on different machines which of course have different DPI numbers.  I've
>> set up the X servers with the correct DisplaySizes, but found no way
>> (UI or GConf) to tell GNOME to leave my XFT DPI settings alone.
>> Instead, I had to patch settings-daemon to stop messing with it.  Sorry
>> if I missed something obvious.
> The DPI in the font details page is the scaling ratio between pixel size
> and font size in points. This number has, in general, very little to do
> with the physical DPI of the screen. It does have something to do with
> the *angular* resolution of your screen, but as of currently it's
> impossible to query the monitor to find out how far the user is sitting
> from it.

I see how that is a problem;  it is however, no excuse for ignoring the X
server's DPI numbers completely.  Users either sit at a "normal" distance
from the monitor, or have the option to change font scales.  Nobody has to
care about DPI, except maybe those users with broken autodetection who
didn't fix their X server yet.  But GNOME doesn't care about broken mouse
drivers either, and IMO it shouldn't.

> For extreme cases, think handhelds or projectors. Or simply think about
> changing screen resolution. People don't expect their fonts to drop to a
> smaller pixel size when they switch to a lower resolution.

But that's what should happen.  It's called "resolution" for a reason.
Granted, you may want to use smaller physical font sizes on a
high-resolution device, but that's a separate concept.  Just because DPI
is being abused on Windows to scale fonts, I see no reason to introduce
that into X.

> Maybe you have three monitors on three machines, one 15 inch, one 17
> inch, one 21 inch, and you sit the same distance from all three
> monitors, so following the physical resolution of the screen is the
> right thing to do.

Isn't that the general use case for an office desktop?  The difference in
my case is the laptop and a bunch of desktop PCs.

> But this is just an exceedingly rare special case of the general case
> where someone wants font sizes to vary between machines. Remembering a
> per-monitor font size might make sense, a GUI setting to follow the
> physical DPI strikes me as not sense.

That's my main point.  Users may want to change their font sizes.  They
generally don't care about a mystical number called DPI.  I think a simple
percentage makes more sense technically _and_ from the user's point of

All I'm asking for is, first, being able to use the DPI value from X11
without strange Xrdb hacks or patching GNOME, and second to label the DPI
edit box "font magnification/zoom/scale".

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 Sebastian     | Please check back later!
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