GNOME Fonts Broken By Default

by havoc

Apparently someone has decided to be pedantic and set my font DPI to
50 by default. Without changing some number of other things, this is
a regression, and broken. To avoid the many problems this creates the
decision was made long ago to simply make the DPI always 96. This is
also what Windows does, I believe.

If people want to be pedantic, they need to solve the problem that on
a perfectly normal laptop, when I log in by default, the desktop looks
terrible until I go into the Advanced tab of the Font dialog
and fix the DPI to be 96 again.

This is not something to be documented with some FAQ on the wiki about
going into the Advanced tab. It’s something that needs to be fixed by
default.

I have no idea of the history, but I bet some theory about “scalable
user interface” was involved here. Maybe that idea makes sense
someday, but for the screen sizes most people have today, the desktop
looks bad unless it’s drawn mostly pixel-by-pixel. It’s cool to play
with scalable UIs, but it needs to be done while continuing to use the
pixel-by-pixel code for traditional screen resolutions.

(I’m assuming Fedora 8 inherited this; though hopefully we patched a
fix into the spec file to override busted upstream decisions, or will
soon in an update if it doesn’t get fixed upstream. I’m testing with a
jhbuild from GNOME svn right now.)

(And no, I don’t care about any counterarguments unless they involve a
near-term patch that makes the desktop look good by default again.)

(This post was originally found at http://log.ometer.com/2007-11.html#8)

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