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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RE[2]: Resolution independence
by nutshell42 on Thu 7th Aug 2008 16:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Resolution independence"
nutshell42
Member since:
2006-01-12

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

RE[3]: Resolution independence
by leos on Thu 7th Aug 2008 16:18 in reply to "RE[2]: Resolution independence"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I'm on a 21" display at 1280x1024


That is really poor resolution for such a large monitor.

and most web pages have by default ridiculously small text.


Something is very wrong. You shouldn't have any problems with small text unless you're running really high resolutions, which you aren't.

In any case, if the DPI of your display is set properly, font size won't be a problem. Remember that pt is a physical size. So 8pt font size should be the same physical size on any screen if it is set up correctly.

Even better they completely ignore your selected font size and continue to use 5pt Comic Sans.


You can force override that in any browser. Most webpages choose reasonable fonts though.

The result is that I have to use a minimum font size of 20 which breaks half the pages out there


Your DPI is incorrect. In X, set the DisplaySize to the physical dimensions of your monitor (google for more info on how to do that).

Either that, or use FF3/Opera and use full page zoom to get bigger font sizes without breaking layouts.

Reply Parent Score: 5

nutshell42 Member since:
2006-01-12

That is really poor resolution for such a large monitor.


a) It's the best compromise between size and crispness. I wouldn't want to know how all those tiny fonts web pages are so fond of look in higher resolutions

b) It's the highest resolution that allows 100Hz. I'm sensitive to flicker and probably the only person in the world who notices the difference between 85Hz and 100Hz



and most web pages have by default ridiculously small text.


Something is very wrong. You shouldn't have any problems with small text unless you're running really high resolutions, which you aren't.


There are quite a few pages out there that use 0.7em and less or happily ignore your chosen font size altogether.

In any case, if the DPI of your display is set properly, font size won't be a problem. Remember that pt is a physical size. So 8pt font size should be the same physical size on any screen if it is set up correctly.


Unfortunately all kinds of things start to break in unexpected ways when you play around with DPI on Windows (e.g. buttons on .Net apps vanish, etc.), while Linux distros make it a game of hide and seek (Ubuntu sets a fixed dpi in the xserverrc, something that was done in Debian ironically enough to fix the problem of too-small fonts)

You can force override that in any browser.


I do. Unfortunately it breaks the layout on a lot of pages.

Most webpages choose reasonable fonts though.


Most people don't steal. I nevertheless lock my door because those that do ruin it for everybody else. The same with web pages.

Your DPI is incorrect. In X, set the DisplaySize to the physical dimensions of your monitor (google for more info on how to do that).


That was Windows. I've written above why I don't change the dpi value there. In X the font sizes have more reasonable numbers, after I've searched my way through 4 config files to allow that DisplaySize value to actually work (aside from the xserverrc Nvidia also had a setting that by default overrode your chosen values). So it's not like Linux makes changing your DPI to the correct value easy. Beware of the Leopard.


Either that, or use FF3/Opera and use full page zoom to get bigger font sizes without breaking layouts.


But then I have to scroll sideways. What I want is a Firefox extension that pretends I'm on a 1024x768 display, layouts the page accordingly, then scales everything to 1280x1024 (refresh rate, remember? =) or 1600x1280 or whatever and renders the fonts at the final size.

Reply Parent Score: 2

alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

I totally agree with leos, something is quite wrong with your monitor/system.

Unless you have sight problems (which would explain why you need low-resolution on a big display -- using a screen magnifier like xmag sucks terribly), things shouldn't go that wrong on your monitor. I had a 21" CRT myself (switched to a 22" LCD due to space and power consumption issues -- that beast took half of my desk and sucked more power than my computer itself). I used it in the largest resolution available (2048x1536) and didn't have any problem reading text. In fact, I don't have any problem now either -- but I'm in a lower resolution (1680x1050).

If you're under GTK, there's a known issues related to font sizes; or there used to be a while ago, just google for it. If fonts seem to small in general, try to see if, for some funky reason, your system isn't set up to use very small sizes.

Reply Parent Score: 1

nutshell42 Member since:
2006-01-12

Unless you have sight problems


I don't and I wanna keep it that way but I read on-screen quite a lot and large fonts are a way to do that. If I let web pages render the way their retar.. errr designers want them to then most just waste 80% of the screen size on a white space at the right or ads/5000 sidebars anyway.

Reply Parent Score: 3