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RE: question on spec

From: Ian Tindale <ian_tindale@yahoo.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 20:40:58 +0100
To: <www-svg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NFBBJAKBAMNBCEAHLICEMELACDAA.ian_tindale@yahoo.co.uk>
I'm wondering if it's worth trying to discourage people from specifying
pixel related values in the outermost viewport specifying part. I say this
mainly with a view to a wider device base than simply desktop computers with
version 4,5,6 browsers. I know that the Adobe viewer renders a sort of
intermediate 'high enough' resolution bitmap with which to pump a printer to
keep it busy when printing some SVG, but strictly speaking, if a printer
were to recieve SVG which has been explicitly specified as being a certain
amount of pixels wide and high, it should, strictly speaking, attempt to
render a pointlessly small version on paper, based on who knows what
resolution your printer happens to have been left on last.

Only my opinion, but the unit 'pixel' is one of the most pointless and yet
overly confusing aspects of the design space yet to muddy the waters. It's
an internalism. In an ideal world (yeh righT) where (like the Mac OS ideal)
you can attach a graphic device to a computer, and it would know that it's
dealing with a 72dpi device or a 96dpi or whatever device scaling, and still
give you the required amount of inches or cm on your pasteboard when
designing. I don't know what went wrong where, perhaps when PCs tried their
hand at design tooling, and let anyone and their dog attach any monitor they
like to any hardware with a video DAC, somewhere about there, the
correlation between device space 'pixels' and any meaningful concept of
measurement as a result of this knowledge, totally flew out the window.

I'd hope that the right attitude is to ignore device space units and go for
real world ones. Let the devices sort this internal cogs-and-wheels stuff
out with the OS themselves. Of course, this may not be possible, but I'd
hope that we could get people to think of specifying pixel measurements as
very low down there in the list of choices.

Ian Tindale
Received on Wednesday, 27 June 2001 15:39:34 UTC

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