Large displays - windows

Bastiaan Olij bastiaan at basenlily.me
Thu Jun 16 20:29:30 EDT 2016


Hey All,

I've been having some 'fun' lately with Windows answer to display scaling.

On OSX/iOS Apple introduced scaling when they came out with the retina
displays. Basically the OS tells the application its running at 1440x900
while in reality you have a 2880x1800 screen and it scales everything
up. Older applications like Studio 6 that are unaware of the new
technology look a bit crappy due to the scale-up being a bitmap scale-up
but newer applications like Studio 8 actually render at the proper
double resolution.
The advantage for us developers is that we can design our application
without having to worry about how it scales up for users with high
resolution screens preventing everything from looking very very tiny.

Microsoft followed suit in Windows 7 but as far as I've been able to
find out their original solution is very questionable. We never had
issues until last week because we decided to start using larger fonts in
the new version of our application and because Microsoft in a recent
patch added intelligent logic to their display that would default the
scaling to 125% or even 150% on high resolution monitors while
previously it would remain at 100% scaling. Suddenly our clients were
reporting things look funny.
What they have done is simply scale up all the core fonts. So when you
are using a 9pt font, you're actually rendering an 11pt font. Everything
is nicely larger, but your windows and fields are all still the same
size! The result is a lot of overflow of text and an unreadable interface.
What I've done to work around it is detecting the zoom settings by
checking the font height (using fontops) of a 9pt font and comparing to
what it should be at 100% zoom. So at 125% zoom I end up with a 7pt
font, which Windows ups to a 9pt font, and everything looks just like
before. Its a dirty trick but it works (long live field styles!!).

Microsoft seems to have seen the error in their ways because in Windows
10 they've drastically changed their approach and from what I've read so
far they've gone for a solution very similar to Apples. Omnis is thus
behaving just fine on Windows 10 as it is blissfully unaware of the OS
scaling up the entire window. I haven't tried Windows 8 yet as we have
no Windows 8 machines left here so I am not sure if it behaves like
Windows 7 or 10.
The only issue for us are our XCOMPs. Most of the XCOMPs we use use off
screen drawing and the bitmap created for this is at the assumed
resolution, not the real one, Windows scales the bitmap and the result
is slightly pixelated.

Now we're still running the 32bit version of Studio 6.1.3 on Windows and
I haven't tried the 64bit version yet nor Studio 8. With TigerLogic
stating they have improved the HD support I was wondering if anyone has
played around with this yet and can tell me what direction they have
taken and whether XCOMPs have support for this.

Cheers,

Bas




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