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PET PEEVE: A few thoughts on scaling

A lot of people ask questions related to scaling, for example how to
successfully scale a form designed for 640x480 to a larger version
displayed on a higher-resolution screen.

I wonder if these people have really thought this through.

I (like a lot of other people) use a high resolution monitor because I
need more screen "real estate" - I want to be able to run several
applications simultaneously and have all of these application windows
visible at the same time (as opposed to having one on top of the
other, the way one would be forced to have these on a low-resolution
monitor).

Enlarging forms just because I run in high-resolution mode is dumb. If
the applications I use do that, I won't be able to see all the windows
at the same time - in effect, there would be little advantage (or even
no advantage at all) to having a high-resolution monitor.

Consider Delphi. On my monitor, I can see the Object Inspector, Code
Editor, Watches, Breakpoints and several custom forms all at once.
This is a great timesaver that I'm sure a lot of Delphi programmers,
who run in lower-resolution modes, wish they had.

Now imagine what would happen if the guys at Inprise, like a lot of
those who hang around here, had "scaled" all these windows (Object
Inspector et al) to the monitor resolution. I'd have to do a great
many more keypresses and mouseclicks in order to accomplish the same
thing. The guys at Inprise didn't do that, because they know WHY
people go to the trouble and expense of installing 21 inch monitors
and graphics cards that support 1600x1200 and other "high"
resolutions.

No application is so important that I will allow it to dominate my
screen. There are nearly always alternatives designed by better
programmers.

In Delphi, we have a better development tool than anyone else out
there. Perhaps we should use it to develop applications that are
better designed than anything else out there.

 

Re:PET PEEVE: A few thoughts on scaling


Quote
{*word*104}Cat <Mauri...@bellsouth.net> wrote:

: A lot of people ask questions related to scaling, for example how to
: successfully scale a form designed for 640x480 to a larger version
: displayed on a higher-resolution screen.

: I wonder if these people have really thought this through.

: I (like a lot of other people) use a high resolution monitor because I
: need more screen "real estate" - I want to be able to run several

Amen.  I for one don't need to read an application across the room!
I believe it should be left to the user.  I won't use apps that decide
that they need to take all of my 17" monitor.

Brad

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Re:PET PEEVE: A few thoughts on scaling


Quote
jmill...@nmsu.edu wrote in message <6nr9bq$g0...@bubba.NMSU.Edu>...
>{*word*104}Cat <Mauri...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>: A lot of people ask questions related to scaling, for example how
to
>: successfully scale a form designed for 640x480 to a larger version
>: displayed on a higher-resolution screen.

>: I wonder if these people have really thought this through.

>: I (like a lot of other people) use a high resolution monitor
because I
>: need more screen "real estate" - I want to be able to run several

>Amen.  I for one don't need to read an application across the room!
>I believe it should be left to the user.  I won't use apps that
decide
>that they need to take all of my 17" monitor.

I also agree with this.  In practice, what I do is set the form's
Scaled property to False, and always select a font with a positive
Height for all of the components.  Is this the best approach?

Regards,

Raymond Courteau

Re:PET PEEVE: A few thoughts on scaling


On the other paw, I find applications look pretty hideous 1) when someone
flips between large and small fonts (try it now with your display
properties) and 2) if they maximize the form, and all your controls remain
in the corner, and do not size with the window at all.

MY applications respond to sizing messages (as the window is dragged), and
to maximize and restore messages.  I never really got a good handle on the
screen font problem though.  What it really requires is some thought about
how it should handle these things - making buttons large (for example) would
look really stupid, but expanding a tree view, or lengthing edit boxes, or
enlarging a grid simply makes the application more intuitive, friendly, and
professional looking to a user - who happens to pay our bills.

But if these people wanting this information want their forms to
automatically fill the screen on startup though, without user
intervention....well, I hope I can bid against them rather than real
programmers!

Dave Bissett

Quote
{*word*104}Cat wrote in message <35a10d91.3561...@news.mia.bellsouth.net>...
>A lot of people ask questions related to scaling, for example how to
>successfully scale a form designed for 640x480 to a larger version
>displayed on a higher-resolution screen.

>I wonder if these people have really thought this through.

>I (like a lot of other people) use a high resolution monitor because I
>need more screen "real estate" - I want to be able to run several
>applications simultaneously and have all of these application windows
>visible at the same time (as opposed to having one on top of the
>other, the way one would be forced to have these on a low-resolution
>monitor).

>Enlarging forms just because I run in high-resolution mode is dumb. If
>the applications I use do that, I won't be able to see all the windows
>at the same time - in effect, there would be little advantage (or even
>no advantage at all) to having a high-resolution monitor.

>Consider Delphi. On my monitor, I can see the Object Inspector, Code
>Editor, Watches, Breakpoints and several custom forms all at once.
>This is a great timesaver that I'm sure a lot of Delphi programmers,
>who run in lower-resolution modes, wish they had.

>Now imagine what would happen if the guys at Inprise, like a lot of
>those who hang around here, had "scaled" all these windows (Object
>Inspector et al) to the monitor resolution. I'd have to do a great
>many more keypresses and mouseclicks in order to accomplish the same
>thing. The guys at Inprise didn't do that, because they know WHY
>people go to the trouble and expense of installing 21 inch monitors
>and graphics cards that support 1600x1200 and other "high"
>resolutions.

>No application is so important that I will allow it to dominate my
>screen. There are nearly always alternatives designed by better
>programmers.

>In Delphi, we have a better development tool than anyone else out
>there. Perhaps we should use it to develop applications that are
>better designed than anything else out there.

Re:PET PEEVE: A few thoughts on scaling


On Tue, 7 Jul 1998 11:34:04 -0600, "Dave Bissett"

Quote
<dave.biss...@vemax.ca> wrote:
>On the other paw, I find applications look pretty hideous 1) when someone
>flips between large and small fonts (try it now with your display
>properties) and 2) if they maximize the form, and all your controls remain
>in the corner, and do not size with the window at all.

>MY applications respond to sizing messages (as the window is dragged), and
>to maximize and restore messages.  I never really got a good handle on the
>screen font problem though.  What it really requires is some thought about
>how it should handle these things - making buttons large (for example) would
>look really stupid, but expanding a tree view, or lengthing edit boxes, or
>enlarging a grid simply makes the application more intuitive, friendly, and
>professional looking to a user - who happens to pay our bills.

>But if these people wanting this information want their forms to
>automatically fill the screen on startup though, without user
>intervention....well, I hope I can bid against them rather than real
>programmers!

Well, I agree that TMemo, TRichEdit and similar components should be
sized along with the form, but that's easily taken care of by using
panels and setting Align=alClient where required.

But I'm not talking about multi-line controls - what peeves me is that
programs scale single-line controls (such as TEdit, TButton, and what
not) whenever these discover my high-resolution monitor. The large
number of related questions in this very newsgroup indicates how
prevalent this attitude has become.

Re:PET PEEVE: A few thoughts on scaling


I think I made it pretty clear that if the app looked up the resolution,
then tried to full screen itself, that would be bogus.  Perhaps if it
started full screen, realized the the resolution went down, and scaled down,
that would be fine.

I do have edit boxes that size (look at the address bar in ie), but I agree
fully that a button would look horrific.  I just move them around when the
form is scaled.

Where automatic scaling is desperately needed, however, is when the screen
font changes.  I have sent apps out, and due to the windows settings on the
client machine, had vertical columns of buttons pushed off the screen.  They
had wide borders around their windows, and the screen font was about 200% of
what it normally is.  Otherwise, I agree with you - the user should control
the size of the window, not the app.

Dave

Quote
{*word*104}Cat wrote in message <35a3cc0b.10878...@news.mia.bellsouth.net>...
>On Tue, 7 Jul 1998 11:34:04 -0600, "Dave Bissett"
><dave.biss...@vemax.ca> wrote:

>>On the other paw, I find applications look pretty hideous 1) when someone
>>flips between large and small fonts (try it now with your display
>>properties) and 2) if they maximize the form, and all your controls remain
>>in the corner, and do not size with the window at all.

>>MY applications respond to sizing messages (as the window is dragged), and
>>to maximize and restore messages.  I never really got a good handle on the
>>screen font problem though.  What it really requires is some thought about
>>how it should handle these things - making buttons large (for example)
would
>>look really stupid, but expanding a tree view, or lengthing edit boxes, or
>>enlarging a grid simply makes the application more intuitive, friendly,
and
>>professional looking to a user - who happens to pay our bills.

>>But if these people wanting this information want their forms to
>>automatically fill the screen on startup though, without user
>>intervention....well, I hope I can bid against them rather than real
>>programmers!

>Well, I agree that TMemo, TRichEdit and similar components should be
>sized along with the form, but that's easily taken care of by using
>panels and setting Align=alClient where required.

>But I'm not talking about multi-line controls - what peeves me is that
>programs scale single-line controls (such as TEdit, TButton, and what
>not) whenever these discover my high-resolution monitor. The large
>number of related questions in this very newsgroup indicates how
>prevalent this attitude has become.

Re:PET PEEVE: A few thoughts on scaling


On Thu, 9 Jul 1998 11:49:19 -0600, "Dave Bissett"

Quote
<dave.biss...@vemax.ca> wrote:
>I think I made it pretty clear that if the app looked up the resolution,
>then tried to full screen itself, that would be bogus.  Perhaps if it
>started full screen, realized the the resolution went down, and scaled down,
>that would be fine.

Oh, I'm sorry, I should have phrased things better. I was in agreement
with you; that last paragraph was meant for others.

<snip>

Quote
>Where automatic scaling is desperately needed, however, is when the screen
>font changes.  I have sent apps out, and due to the windows settings on the
>client machine, had vertical columns of buttons pushed off the screen.  They
>had wide borders around their windows, and the screen font was about 200% of
>what it normally is.  Otherwise, I agree with you - the user should control
>the size of the window, not the app.

Hm. Makes one think Scaled=False wouldn't be such a bad thing. <grin>

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