Re: Re: Font size problem #2

rhn rhn at
Sun Nov 16 18:19:52 CET 2008

Od: Stefan Monnier <monnier at>
> The problem is that many programs use "inches" not as a way to talk
> about the size as measured on the screen (i.e. physical size), but as
> a way to talk about the size as seen by the user (i.e. visual size).
> Currently, those two issues are completely conflated (at least for all
> apps I'm familiar with, under X11).  So there's no way to fix one
> without breaking the other.  As it happens, I look at objects on my
> screen a lot more than I measure them, so I don't care about the
> physical size of pixels nearly as much as I care about their visual
> size.  So I ask my FR's X server to lie about its pixel density.
> I originally tried to just adjust the font size, but it's a lot more
> painful: font size is set at too many places, including at places over
> which I have no control (e.g. web pages).
> In theory setting DPI to 100 is the wrong solution, but in practice it
> seems to be the best one.
>         Stefan
I agree. For now, there seems to be no better solution.
I think the problem lies in what you pointed - the visual size, but not quite the way you said.
The visual size should be set by the user, according to his/her tastes. This is done in theory by setting the prefferred font size. Unfortunately, there is the problem with setting it so that all the applications take it into account. Currently, even if you set the font size in all the places necessary, some misbehaving app might set it as it wants, anyway - this results in the illusion of not being able to control the font size of webpages.
But solving it this way (which I unhumbly consider elegant) would require change in the way aplications (and webpages) are created.


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