[Pharo-dev] The HiDPI Issue

Eliot Miranda eliot.miranda at gmail.com
Mon Feb 18 14:18:21 EST 2019

Hi Eric,

On Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 8:53 AM Eric Gade <eric.gade at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> I know that others have posted about this before but I wanted to get the
> current status.
> I've recently had to buy a new laptop that came with a HiDPI display.
> Generally (especially on Linux systems) this makes Pharo unusable. Though
> there are font size increase and scaling options in the Pharo system
> settings, these do not work as a solution -- buttons are still tiny, there
> is inconsistent scaling behavior across morphic, etc. The overall problem
> can be described as: in Pharo, one pixel equals one "point," and so the
> interface is incredibly small on these HiDPI screens (3k etc).
> These HiDPI screens are becoming more common, both as laptop and as
> external displays. Their main advantage is that they can render text very
> crisply. In the HN post announcing the release of P7, there were one or two
> complaints about this issue. It does make it hard to demonstrate to others
> (as I do often) the power of developing in Pharo.
> Here are some questions I have about this issue:
> 1) What is the current state of affairs in dealing with this issue, if any?
> 2) Would this require VM changes (I assume it would)? If so, what might
> those entail?
> 3) If this does require VM changes, I assume the Squeak people would want
> in on it?
> 4) Is the current plan to wait for Bloc to resolve these issues and/or
> would switching to Bloc resolve these issues at all anyway?
> 5) Related -- where can one start to learn about current VM architecture
> and development practices?

In the CONTRIBUTING.md and README.md and the HowToBuild files in each
build.??? directory in the repository (
https://github.com/OpenSmalltalk/opensmalltalk-vm.git).  On the
opensmalltalk-vm mailing list (
http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/vm-dev).  In several
blog posts and papers on the VM.

> That said I'm not here to just bellyache. While I don't have any VM
> experience, I'm willing to jump in and try to work on it if someone can
> point me in the right direction. Or perhaps this is too specialized a
> task...

No it is not :-).  It is a learning task, but VM development is performed
by humans for humans ;-)

> Thanks
> --
> Eric

best, Eliot
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