Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Aug 2008 13:48 UTC, submitted by jcornuz
GTK+ Red Hat's David Zeuthen blogged today about the huge patch he submitted to GTK+ that will allow the toolkit to achieve resolution independence - widget and font size adapting to your screen's real estate; no more tiny application lost in the corner of your high resolution screen. Although more work is obviously required, Zeuthen's idea is to use RI as the hot-new-feature selling point of the upcoming 3.0 GTK+ release. Discussion is going on in the gtk-devel mailing list and there is an ogg video of the feature in action.
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Resolution independence
by WereCatf on Thu 7th Aug 2008 14:32 UTC
Member since:

Immediately when I read the short caption here on OSNews about the up-and-coming RI on GTK+ I thought that it can't be true resolution independence unless all the media used is also resolution independent or atleast have their DPI reported in the media header somewhere, and that GTK+ applies the correct transformations needed. And then, as the video shows, the icons used for buttons and such don't scale properly even if the text and elements themselves do scale. Looked absolutely horrible.

So, in the future atleast all icon sets have to also include information about their desired DPI so GTK+ knows how to transform them. I just wonder how well this will work with web browsers...Imagine, the widgets displayed honor the GTK+ RI settings but images and other media on websites don't! One solution would be to disable RI for web browsers, but then that would mess the desktop integration.

Also, how about the performance? Are all those icons/images et al transformed in software or do they try to accelerate that process via OpenGL or X acceleration? I really do love the look and feel of GTK+ and I like programming on it, but it IS slow already!

Reply Score: 10

RE: Resolution independence
by Morin on Thu 7th Aug 2008 14:54 in reply to "Resolution independence"
Morin Member since:

> So, in the future atleast all icon sets have to also include information
> about their desired DPI so GTK+ knows how to transform them.

They could define a "standard resolution" in which all media has its intrinsic size, and scale according to the factor to the current resolution (taking aspect ratio into account, of course, so icons don't get horizontally stretched on wide screens).

Media size would still scale with overall display size (as opposed to resolution), but unless you're doing publishing work, you often want that. And an overall scale argument is still possible as a counter-measure.

> Also, how about the performance? Are all those icons/images et al
> transformed in software or do they try to accelerate that process via
> OpenGL or X acceleration?

Depends. On the one hand, graphics hardware can do really fast transformations. On the other hand, its resampling mechanics are far from perfect - this could be done much better in software. Fortunately, scaling and resampling must be done only once at application load time, since the screen resolution usually don't change often.

The only scenario where speed would actually suffer is when doing software scaling and resampling during run-time (i.e. with every draw operation), but I don't see any advantage of doing so.

Reply Parent Score: 3

nutshell42 Member since:

This could be the killer feature that gets me to use Gnome if they can do it right.

I'm on a 21" display at 1280x1024 and most web pages have by default ridiculously small text. Even better they completely ignore your selected font size and continue to use 5pt Comic Sans.

The result is that I have to use a minimum font size of 20 which breaks half the pages out there (OSNews isn't all that bad. This editing field is partly below the headlines on the right but otherwise it actually uses html as designed) who confuse web design with DTP.

Fortunately my vision is quite good (I just want to keep it that way as I read quite a lot online) so I can reduce the minimum font size for pages that break completely and that I absolutely have to use. I don't wanna be someone who can't read that small text.

Reply Parent Score: 3

John.Gustafsson Member since:

Isn't most bitmap images in 72dpi or something? I think that it is the one I usually see in photoshop and friends at least. So unless the image do have a dpi set (which some of them do) just assume 72 and go from there. No biggie.

With vectors you rather want to know how big it's suppose to be in something like mm or so, as RI isn't so much about scaling the UI like a madman, but rather have things have the right physical size (as physical as a screen gets that is).

What I really wish for is for all major OSes to get this, so we finally can start getting some seriously high DPI screens ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Resolution independence
by hobgoblin on Thu 7th Aug 2008 16:20 in reply to "Resolution independence"
hobgoblin Member since:

i could have sworn that gnome's default icons would be tango SVG's.

as for what others choose to use for their gtk based apps, thats their problem...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Resolution independence
by cerbie on Fri 8th Aug 2008 15:17 in reply to "Resolution independence"
cerbie Member since:

*shrug* Icons look fine at any size, and most have been vector for ages, now.

Badly designed websites will look bad, which is also nothing new. I don't let websites make their own choices. It was one of the many things that got me using Linux more often. Too many Windows apps break with bigger/different (Bitstream Vera Sans 12 for all UI widgets) fonts...most everything in X gets bigger, and everything is fine.

This seems like something very different...not resolution independence, but setting dimensions as fractions of display size. If everything but decorative edges on widgets were determined as points of DPI, it wouldn't be needed, would it? It would just happen from setting font and icon sizes...

Reply Parent Score: 2