Proposal: reduce base font size from 10pt to 9pt for Karmic Koala release

Remco remco47 at
Sun Oct 11 01:55:39 UTC 2009

On Sun, Oct 11, 2009 at 03:21, Felix Miata <mrmazda at> wrote:
> On 2009/10/11 00:03 (GMT+0200) Remco composed:
>> On this setup, with the correct DPI set, 10pt looks *huge*. 9pt is
>> still too much for my tastes. 8pt feels very natural.
> And without leaning forward you can touch the screen with your elbow too,
> right? And over 55? :-) I can't even come close with my fingertips. :-p

I'm not over 55, but I do have 1-2dpt nearsightedness. This means I
can't use Ubuntu 9.04 by default. Even 10pt won't do on a 133 DPI
system that tries to be a 96 DPI system. But if by fixing that, Ubuntu
will by default be using 1/7th of an inch for each letter... that is
way out of proportion. That's for people with an actual visual
disability. In my nearsighted situation, but with a correctly set DPI,
I can read 8pt text comfortably when it is 60-70 centimeters away from
my eyes.

I'm not saying that Ubuntu shouldn't be accessible by default. I think
that would be a great idea. But accessibility settings have a strong
impact on the user experience. One size certainly doesn't fit all. And
this particular accessibility setting is difficult to disable. I can
assure you that the font settings is about the scariest place of
Ubuntu configuration. And it requires 5 navigation steps: System >
Preferences > Appearance > Fonts tab > Details. This is *very* hard to
find. Any accessibility feature should be easy to find, but it should
also be easy to turn off.

So, to ultimately fix all aspects of this, I would really like a
future Ubuntu where:

* text to speech is activated by default
* speech to text is activated by default
* the DPI is set 10 dots higher than the physical DPI
* a high-contrast theme is used by default

This would mean Ubuntu would be usable -- out of the box -- by the
blind, the illiterate (including young children), the nearsighted, the
farsighted, the people with limited motor functions... the whole lot.

And since nobody would want to use the system with all of those
options enabled at the same time, an important aspect of this would be
a welcoming screen that would make it easy to turn any of these
options off. This kind of in-your-face presentation of features should
not be used for anything besides accessibility, of course.

>> Screenshots:
>> 10pt:
>> 9pt:
>> 8pt:
> 10pt is the best of the lot here:

For you, maybe. ;)


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