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Re: Fonts (Firefox/Windows & Firefox/Linux)

Todd Zullinger:
>> the gnome font setup now uses some heuristic to
>> try and divine a proper dpi from the monitor size or other details

Tom Horsley:
> Yep. It uses the info the monitor provides about its size and
> resolution. For me, that meant that it found I was hooked up
> to a 1920x1080 42 inch HTDV monitor, and it concluded that it
> obviously should be using 53 DPI, which resulted in most fonts
> showing up about 5 pixels high. It took quite a while to find
> the fonts setting dialog so I could manually switch to 96 DPI
> and get fonts I could actually read :-).
> As soon as I could finally see what I was doing, I submitted
> this bugzilla:
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=377651

Strictly speaking, what you're complaining about is right, and what
you're complaining for is wrong.

DPI means dots per inch.  i.e. How many dots are there for displaying
something within an inch of display space.  This value should be what
the display actually is.  Once set, the system can display things at
their real sizes upon demand.  e.g. If you have to draw a 1 cm circle,
you can do so.  Likewise for other precise, and absolute sized, fonts.

There's an argument for setting a greeking level, where the system knows
its pointless trying to render something that small.  But that's another
thing, again.

The problem lays with how the system renders fonts and how you get to
pick the sizes you want.  If I pick to use 12 point text, it's a
specific actual size, and the system should adjust the number of dots it
uses to render the font, according to my DPI, so that the font always
appears the same physical size.  It just has greater or poor resolution
(is drawn with finer curves, or has steppy lumps like an old dot-matrix
printer).  This is really how we should be asked to set fonts (with
point sizing).

The trouble is that a lot of software gets you to set font sizes in
pixels, which is a problem in itself.  As either they genuinely mean
pixels, so 12 pixel fonts on a 100 dpi screen is a font 12/100 of a inch
high.  Or they make some presumption about pixel sizes being some size
completely unrelated to the actual pixel size, so people who would have
picked 12 point text on their word processor get something similar sized
when they pick 12 pixel text (though it's usually not described as being
"pixels" just *size* 12), and it uses DPI as a scaling factor, giving
you a completely variable font size.

Font sizing choosers (web browsers, for your desktop, or whatever)
should not ask you to choose a font size in pixels.  That's the real

[tim bigblack ~]$ uname -ipr i686 i386

Using FC 4, 5, 6 & 7, plus CentOS 5.  Today, it's FC7.

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