Computing notes 2022 part one

This document contains only my personal opinions and calls of judgement, and where any comment is made as to the quality of anybody's work, the comment is an opinion, in my judgement.

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2022 January

20220107 Fri: Trends in computing in the past 20 years

Twenty years ago the first crash ended, and many things have changed since. There have been some major trends:

Also some minor trends:

2022 February

2022 March

20220305 Sun: Changing DPI in X-Windows, 2022 edition

Over time there have been many different ways to change DPI in X-Windows, whether it means to change the reported DPI of a screen, or the rendering DPI of a GUI library. Originally there were just:

But other ways have been added: the RANDR extension added very clumsily (as I think is often done by Keith Packard) a way to change the display's reported DPI, and various ways to set the rendering DPI for various GUI libraries.

Therefore I have written a simple script that I call xdpinow that attempts to set the reported and rendering DPIs for the most common relatively new ways of setting it:

These usually work relatively well, but with some limitations:

Note: as to the latter point their code is arguably poorly designed, because changes font or icon logical size should not result in changes in window size, but changes in DPI should result in proportional changes in physical font or icon size and physical window size: a change in logical font or icon size is a decision to alter the appearance of windows (with smaller or larger fonts or icons) but a change in DPI is decision to adapt to a different physical setting (for example switching from a 1920x1080 24in display to 3840x2160 27in one) while maintaining the same appearance.

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