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Bug#237877: should xdm still force a dpi 100 by default?

tag 237877 + wontfix

On Sun, Mar 14, 2004 at 12:34:44AM +0100, Frank Murphy wrote:
> Package: xdm
> Subject: should xdm still force a dpi 100 by default?
> Version: 4.3.0-5
> Severity: wishlist
> Tags: patch sid
> xdm's Xserver file overrides all DPI settings with 100. The old
> Netscape font HOWTO recommended that the Xserver's DPI be set to 100
> to get bigger fonts, but with the recent changes to XFree's font
> handling, that shouldn't be needed anymore.

I didn't know the Netscape Font HOWTO said that; I made the decision to
have xinit and xdm default to 100dpi for a few reasons:

1) the 100dpi fonts looked better;
2) some drivers back in XFree86 3.3.6 would calculate the dpi for
   themselves, but the rotten font rasterizers distributed with X at
   that time would result in truly illegible glyphs;
3) in my experience, most users were using display modes for their
   monitors that were far closer to 100dpi (often exceeding it) than
   75dpi; and
4) the 100dpi defaults are manifest only in conffiles, so if people
   think I'm a wrong and evil person for going with 100dpi, they can
   always change it (see the Debian X FAQ[1] for more on this).

I do admit that Xft is driving a nail through #1, and XFree86 4.x has
probably rendered #2 moot.

Nevertheless, I haven't changed my thinking on this quite yet.  IMO, the
ideal fix is to add a "-softdpi" option to the X server, which is *only*
used if the underlying driver is unable to figure out a DPI by querying
the monitor (and if the DisplaySize configuration keyword is not used in

If implemented, I absolutely would switch the conffiles to using that
instead of -dpi.

> If you agree, please apply the attached patch. If not, please explain
> why here and close this wishlist bug.

Because this decision is a judgement call, I am tagging the bug
"wontfix" instead of closing it.

Hopefully my reasoning is clear to you, even if you do not agree with my

Thanks for your report.

[1] http://necrotic.deadbeast.net/xsf/XFree86/trunk/debian/local/FAQ

G. Branden Robinson                |    Optimists believe we live in the
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    best of all possible worlds.
branden@debian.org                 |    Pessimists are afraid the optimists
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    are right about that.

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