[Webkit-unassigned] [Bug 11644] Absolute lengths assume 96.0 DPI

bugzilla-daemon at webkit.org bugzilla-daemon at webkit.org
Fri Jun 27 08:32:54 PDT 2008


------- Comment #27 from robburns1 at mac.com  2008-06-27 08:32 PDT -------
(In reply to comment #26)
> To be clear, I wasn't advocating enforcement of physical size after scaling the
> page, according to the user's browser or GUI preferences, only that the CSS
> px-per-inch ratio be variable, before any re-scaling is applied.

OK. that's a much narrower issue then. To me this actually undermines
resolution independence since it puts focus on pixel resolution instead of
focussing on absolute units. Ideally the pixel would have never been added to
CSS because it undermines resolution independence. Savvy authors have known to
avoid it whenever possible. When CSS 2.0 made a pixel into 1/96 of an inch it
made pixels into an absolute unit (since regardless of resolution — whether
72dpi or 1200dpi — the pixel is always 1/96 of an inch).

Making the pixel size variable places focus on pixels again when we should
really just let them slip into obscurity (or be used to specify a small unit
like 1/96 of an inch rather than having to type: "0.01041... in").

The second issue of widely varying resolutions for displays will already be
fixed by resolution independence in Mac OS X and presumably other OSs when it
is finally implemented so there's no need to do that at the WebKit level.

The other issue then (the one I thought this bug was about) is that the size of
an inch in  a WebView is different than the size of an inch in an NSView. An
NSRuler must be scaled differently when the client view is an WebView than when
it is a ancestor class NSView. This is due to the history of IE defining a
pixel to be 1/96 of an inch by default in a resolution dependent environment
where one pixel also equals one point).  Authors have become accustomed to this
and have scaled their text and images down compared to other content because
they know that web browsers will scale them back up again.

One thought that occurred to me is that browsers could cheat down this scaling
like 11% every 5 years until 133% became 100% (in 2025 or so).

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