[Development] Revisiting high-DPI configuration options

Michael Zanetti michael.zanetti at canonical.com
Wed Jul 20 11:23:06 CEST 2016

On 20.07.2016 11:12, Edward Welbourne wrote:
> Prav said:
>> Another problem will be with icons. They will scale bad. We are used
>> to make icons with versions like _x2, _x3 ... and what we going to do
>> if scale factor will be fractional? ... have icons versions like _1.1
>> _1.2 _1.3?  Probably we need to rethink why in the world we make so
>> many copies of one icon in compile time if we can make one SVG icon
>> which can be scaled to any size without loss of crispness in
>> runtime. Especially material design makes this easier because we
>> mostly see only contours in material design icons.  So the next step
>> for Qt can be supporting of SVG-icons as main and preferable way for
>> setting icons. In this case icons can be scaled clearly.
> I am baffled that anyone does the _x2, etc., approach to icons any more,
> when most icons are indeed well-suited to SVG - in most cases, a tiny
> SVG, smaller (in file-size) than any one of the many icons it makes
> redundant, can do an excellent job of presenting the clear visual that
> the icon is supposed to provide.  Making many larger files seems to
> serve no purpose - other than letting web-or-UI designers bill their
> clients for large amounts of pointless make-work.

Well, in smaller icons you can have less details than in bigger icons,
so having multiple icons does make sense. Also rendering svg icons is
slower than bitmaps so in some cases that won't work out either.

What we do in ubuntu is to find the closes available icon that's larger
than the current ui scale and then scale it down. In case no larger one
is available we fall back to the closest available smaller one and scale
it up. And as I said before, we also use icon_x2.svg and icon_x3.svg for
different levels of details in the image.

> Then again, our SVG support is embarrassingly poor,
>         Eddy.
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