[thelist] A pixel is not a pixel

Peter-Paul Koch gassinaumasis at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 14 09:33:02 CDT 2001

>A couple of recent threads contained notes that pixels were the only way to 
>achieve cross-platform consistency. Anyone who has seriously wedded 
>themselves to this idea needs to have a look

>at Opera 5 for the Mac, which in fact renders pixel text on a Mac 
>considerably smaller than pixel text on a Windows machine.

In my opinion this is still a bug, regardless of the newest pixel theory. I 
look at it from the opposite point of view: all browsers show the same text 
size except for Op5Mac, ergo: Op5Mac does not conform to the de-facto 
standard. Since Opera is still very much a minority, it cannot afford such 
things if it wants to grow. Ergo: they'll change it in a future release.

>Opera doesn't appear to consider this a bug, and in
>reading the CSS spec, they appear to be justified in that assertion, as the 
>CSS spec asserts that the user agent (AKA browser) should in fact *not* 
>consider a pixel as a screen pixel, but rather as a hypothetical unit 
>approximately equal to 1/90th of an inch.

Then text should be exactly the same in Opera 5 on Win and Mac if both 
computers use the same Sony Triniton 19'' screen with 1152x870 resolution 
(which is my current setup). They're not the same, so one of them is wrong. 
Since Op5Mac is the one differing from all other browsers, it is most likely 
to be wrong.

>Which means that if the user agent is not given the video density of the 
>monitor attached, it will assume the platform standard (72 pixels per inch 
>for MacOS) and resize the value accordingly.

If a pixel is defined as 1/90th of an inch and an inch contains either 72 or 
96 pixels (depending on the OS), somewhere something must be terribly wrong. 
These two definitions simply don't go together, only one of them can be 

Sorry, but I still believe the Op5Mac behaviour is a bug.

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