Default font size in gnome

Felix Miata mrmazda at
Fri Feb 27 02:43:16 UTC 2009

On 2009/02/26 17:33 (GMT-0600) Ryan Hayle composed:

> Yes, and DPI will continue to increase.  This should result in sharper 
> fonts, NOT larger or smaller fonts.  That's the whole point of this 
> effort.  We need a sensible default which looks good "out of the box" on 
> the majority of systems.

You're right both about it getting better and needing to be sensible. That's
the main issue. Sensible has two components:

1-how it works
2-how it looks

> I believe a sensible default needs to appeal to the majority of users, 
> not cater to the visually impaired.  I support accessibility 100%, but 

"Visually impaired" is most older users, which you will probably be someday,
and and shouldn't be equated to handicap. They don't necessarily consider
themselves impaired. Many have the money for the better stuff, and aren't
pleased to pay more for an inferior experience.

> the majority of users with good eyesight should not have to decrease 
> their fonts in order to accommodate those who need extremely large fonts 

I think your majority is a majority of young people. We're not talking
extremely here. Scientific studies (hard to find, but they're out there) have
shown that most people (not a group skewed to the younger than average, with
their better average vision) prefer 12pt, and recommend 10pt as a minimum.
Funny how 12pt (which on Windows by default is usually 16px, on Mac always
16px) is by far the most common default web browser default font size.

> to see.  You're absolutely right that it's an easy change, however the 
> 1st impression people get of Ubuntu (and all the screenshots which will 
> be posted to the web) is extremely important.  And sadly, defaults are 
> more about marketing than usability.  I think we all agree that we want 
> the system to be as usable and customisable as possible.

True. In making the decision, it needs to be kept in mind the difference in
comparative impact, and the side effects. Fedora, openSUSE & Mandriva I also
use, and they all have long and still default to 10pt as the primary desktop
and menu font size. If *buntu uses 9, you induce older users gravitate to the
others, and/or induce those older users who try *buntu say it's too hard to use.

"Big" is good:
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your
mouths, but only what is helpful for building
others up."			Ephesians 4:29 NIV

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata  ***

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