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Re: about the use of pixels as a unit for typography

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2010 12:33:04 -0700
Message-ID: <4CB4B7F0.8050001@tiro.com>
CC: www-style@w3.org
Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> Luckily, this is an area where we can depend on technology to save us.
>  We're currently passing through the most painful transition period,
> where many screens are midway between 96dpi(1 device pixel = 1px) and
> 192dpi(2 device pixels = 1px).  Once we cross this threshold and
> consumer devices are commonly 192dpi or above, the following
> thresholds (288dpi, 382dpi, etc.) aren't nearly so painful.  Once
> we're above 300 dpi you can basically forget that there's a such thing
> as a device pixel at all - the px will be free to be very close to the
> "correct" definition of a px, based on viewing distance and visible
> angles.

These transitions are going to be staggered, though, according to device 
size. Increasing the screen resolution of smaller devices such as phones 
and even tablets is easier and cheaper than increasing the resolution of 
laptop and desktop screens. The rate of attrition from dead pixels and 
other manufacturing problems increases relative to the number of pixels 
in a screen. While we're moving rapidly towards a mobile web for the 
consumer market, the business market is going to involve millions of 
people sitting at desks looking at computer screens for a long time to 
come. In that context, there are good ergonomic arguments to be made for 
larger, lower resolution screens positioned further away from the viewer 
than smaller, high resolution screens positioned closer.

Received on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 19:33:46 UTC

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