W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2010

Re: Making pt a non-physical unit

From: Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net>
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 2010 14:34:37 -0500
Message-ID: <4B46374D.70702@earthlink.net>
CC: www-style@w3.org
On 2010/01/07 10:43 (GMT-0800) David Singer composed:

> (personal opinion)

> It's fairly clear that physical measurements apply to material that is at
> 'normal reading distance' (and I bet there is an ISO standard for that),
> or is back-calculated from its actual distance to what size it would be at
> normal reading distance....We can deem that computer displays are also at
> normal viewing distance, I suspect.

Can we? Is, or should be, normal viewing distance coupled to the definition
of a pt or a px? I should think "normal" might be considerably different for
users of 8" netbooks, 11.1" laptops, 15.4" laptops, 17" SXGA screens, 23"
WUXGA screens, 30" Apple Cinema screens, 46" TVs, or groups of two or more
screens. My normal environment does not permit viewing all four screens at
once from an equal distance. Which one is "normal"? Are they all "normal"? None?

> If manufacturers want to ship small devices that they deem are necessarily
> viewed close-up, and thus have a scaling factor also 'built in', that
> would also be permitted.

Why not the same for extra large devices? If either or both should, why not
all? Really, there's no good reason why every user shouldn't be able to scale
her device's output to her comfort level. Yet, AFAIK, no OS X user yet can.
Windows users can only at significant usability expense. That leaves mainly
only the more astute Linux users (via DPI fudging) or special device users
with that highly desirable ability.

> Zoom means making things bigger or smaller than nominal, so a zoom of 2x
> means that if the page asks for 1in, that distance subtends 2in at the
> nominal viewing distance.  But see below for fonts.
...
> A zoomed version
> of a page should be just that, zoomed;  not re-styled as if the designer
> had asked for fonts at twice the design size.

You mean literal zoom should be a user's only option, with no option for
intelligence to be applied by the UA? Is a personal computer user supposed to
be a slave to web page stylists? Whose computer is it?

> David Singer Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
-- 
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious
people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any
other."                      John Adams, 2nd US President

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/
Received on Thursday, 7 January 2010 19:35:01 GMT

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