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Resolution independence in Leopard confirmed by Apple

post #1 of 185
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Apple Computer's next-generation Mac OS X Leopard operating system will indeed make use of resolution independence, the company confirmed in a posting to its developer website.

The technology, which has been lingering beneath the surface of Mac OS X since early betas of Mac OS X Tiger, essentially breaks the software assumption that all display output is to be rendered at 72 dots per inch (DPI).

"The old assumption that displays are 72dpi has been rendered obsolete by advances in display technology," Apple said in an overview of Leopard posted to its Developer Connection website. "Macs now ship with displays that sport displays with native resolutions of 100dpi or better."

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said the number of pixels per inch will continue to increase dramatically over the next few years, making displays crisper and smoother.

"But it also means that interfaces that are pixel-based will shrink to the point of being unusable," Apple said. "The solution is to remove the 72dpi assumption that has been the norm. In Leopard, the system, including the Carbon and Cocoa frameworks, will be able to draw user interface elements using a scale factor."

The technology will allow the Mac OS X user interface to maintain the same physical size while gaining resolution and crispness from high dpi displays.

"The introduction of resolution independence may mean that there is work that youll need to do in order to make your application look as good as possible," the Mac maker told its developers. "For modern Cocoa and Carbon applications, most of the work will center around raster-based resources. For older applications that use QuickDraw, more work will be required to replace QuickDraw-based calls with Quartz ones."

Apple's intention to support resolution independence with Mac OS X was first detailed in an Aug. 2004 AppleInsider report. Following the release of Leopard Preview in Aug. of this year, bloggers discovered that the feature would be made more accessible to developers working with Leopard.

The Quartz-driven technology will allow developers to author applications that offer users the choice of viewing more detail (more pixels per point, but fewer points on the screen) or a larger user interface (fewer pixels per point but more points on the screen) without altering the resolution of the computer's display.
post #2 of 185
I just have 1 word: AWESOME! This will be great for when I want to hook my computer up to an HDTV.
post #3 of 185
As far as I've seen its fine for Apple to have wait on resolution independence. Pixel density has not been a big problem. I imagine this signals pixel densities in Apple displays will greatly increase, 1920x1200 in the 17" MBP coming soon.

When someone showed me what resolution independence in Windows XP looked like, I was not impressed at all. Its fine for Apple to wait for the technology to mature and actually become usable.
post #4 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

When someone showed me what resolution independence in Windows XP looked like, I was not impressed at all. Its fine for Apple to wait for the technology to mature and actually become usable.

MS can often claim they've done something first and that others copied...but MS puts out so many inept implementations that it would be stupid to say MS put it out first.

It's always the same old story on Mac/PC boards such as Ars Technica. "MS had Exposé first". This last example is someone talking about the Windows feature that allows one to tile windows on screen without any overlaps. Can you imagine? There are countless examples where people compare shitty implementations to OS X implementations and claim they were the first to do it.

Apple will get it right...it won't bring us some dastardly interface that offers a few different sizes with pixelated icons and window content that doesn't even scale with the rest of the interface widgets.
post #5 of 185
Another interesting tidbit from the same technology overview, opengl 2.1 is included with Leopard, as well as the following:

"Leopard also provides a dramatic increase in OpenGL performance by offloading CPU-based processing onto another thread which can then run on a separate CPU core feeding the GPU. This can increase, or in some cases, even double the performance of OpenGL-based applications."
post #6 of 185
uh....can someone actually tell me what da heck this means? i suppose it's a good thing but I have no idea what it actually does or what it is talking about.
post #7 of 185
The most interesting problem here is Adobe.

With the new Creative Suite use this tech (resolution independence; OpenGL) or will Adobe maintain the single codebase and try to recreate it all themselves?
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post #8 of 185
How or why would Creative Suite leverage this?
post #9 of 185
Why would it even matter if Creative Suite supports this or not? I doubt that it will become a concern for Creative Suite customers for years to come.
post #10 of 185
Can't wait to get my hands on some 300dpi displays!
post #11 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker

How or why would Creative Suite leverage this?

Just thinking out loud here, but Adobe has been prone to almost ignoring advances in MacOS for several generations due to their preference for a single codebase.

I think higher resolution displays would definitely be of interest to publishers and using multiple CPUs more efficiently with be a prime issue with the Photoshop market once CS3 is out and Power Macs have four cores.

I guess my real question is whether Leopard's functions and features will be fully supported with CS3 or CS4.
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post #12 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777

Just thinking out loud here, but Adobe has been prone to almost ignoring advances in MacOS for several generations due to their preference for a single codebase.

I think higher resolution displays would definitely be of interest to publishers and using multiple CPUs more efficiently with be a prime issue with the Photoshop market once CS3 is out and Power Macs have four cores.

I guess my real question is whether Leopard's functions and features will be fully supported with CS3 or CS4.

Right, I get that, but:

1) the scale factor (for resolution independence) is implemented in a way that CS3 should take advantage of it automatically, whether Adobe wants it to or not.

2) OpenGL likely won't be used by CS3 at all, since Adobe has been reluctant so far to use GPU acceleration.
post #13 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker

the scale factor (for resolution independence) is implemented in a way that CS3 should take advantage of it automatically, whether Adobe wants it to or not.

Cool. Very cool.
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post #14 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by syklee26

uh....can someone actually tell me what da heck this means? i suppose it's a good thing but I have no idea what it actually does or what it is talking about.

Yup : currently everything assumes 72dpi (dots (aka pixels) per inch). This means that if your window defines its width as 144 dpi, then on a screen that has a resolution of 72dpi your window will be 2 inches wide. If you you increase the DPI, then you reduce the visual size of your window. For example if your screen has 144 pixels per inch, then your window is now only 1 inch wide, when it was intended to be 2 inches wide.

Resolution indepence would define lengths differently. This means instead of indicating your window takes up 144 pixels, you would say it is 2 inches (or cenimetres if you want) wide. This means that no matter the resolution of your screen you window would stay the same size - you could use a ruler and find that your window is two inches wide, whether your screen is 72dpi or 144dpi.
post #15 of 185
So would this mean you could build applications with vector-based interfaces?
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post #16 of 185
what are you doing in here? new mackbook pros just hit at apple all have firewire 800!!!!!!!
post #17 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol

It's always the same old story on Mac/PC boards such as Ars Technica. "MS had Exposé first". This last example is someone talking about the Windows feature that allows one to tile windows on screen without any overlaps. Can you imagine? There are countless examples where people compare shitty implementations to OS X implementations and claim they were the first to do it.

There is a difference between first to do it and first to do it well. I wouldn't be surprised if Tile was in BeOS, X11 or something like that before Windows picked it up. The problem with that is that it doesn't preserve the window in the Tile mode, though you can undo Tile. There is still no reasonably obvious way to put that to a hot key or hot corner, which is what makes it useful to me. I did manage to assign a hot key to the "Show Desktop" icon.
post #18 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catman4d2

what are you doing in here? new mackbook pros just hit at apple all have firewire 800!!!!!!!

I'm already on a MBP 17".
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post #19 of 185
Tiger already has some vector-based UI, and it has res-independent UI (if you use Quartz Debug to enable the half-completed feature).

For example, the More Info button in Tiger's Column View is vector-based, and remains a crisp, shaded oval even when zoomed to higher DPIs with Quartz Debug. (The new iTunes, sadly, shows no sign of this.)

Even though not easily enabled in Tiger, it IS pretty cool, and fun to play with as a glimpse of things to come. (If you don't want to install all of the dev tools, use Pacifist to install just Quartz Debug. And Ars had some screenshots a while back.)

More details are in this year-old page from Apple:
http://developer.apple.com/releaseno...pendentUI.html
post #20 of 185
yeah. i'm not getting why adobe would be all that interested in resolution independence. i think it's more of a system feature that would just apply to cocoa apps without any additional work. it's not as if this technology would make photoshop capable of blowing up rasters any better. and the publishing apps are already resolution independant with their vectors. photoshop can't be resolution independant because the resolution is already built into the raster file.
post #21 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catman4d2

what are you doing in here? new mackbook pros just hit at apple all have firewire 800!!!!!!!

I didn't notice that, that's very nice. There was a sense that it might come back. All I really want is an EC/34 interface card so I can slap a FW800 port to an existing machine.
post #22 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777

Cool. Very cool.

I get the feeling that you don't quite know what it is. Resolution independence is simple being able to have displays with high pixel density without having everything on the screen be super-small.

Think of it this way: look at an inch of screen space on your screen. This is a square that's roughly a hundred by a hundred pixels, which is an inch because the density of most Apple displays is 100px/inch, where for every inch you measure across the screen, that's 100 pixels end-to-end.

Now, imagine if the density were 300px/inch: that the pixels are so small that it takes 300 of them to form the same inch as the 100 on the other display. This results in gorgeously seamless display quality, where it's nearly impossible to see individual pixels because there are so many of them per square inch, over 90,000 versus the current 10,000.

But now imagine this: look at the red, yellow, and green buttons at the upper-left hand corner of each Mac OS X window. These are each about 15 pixels tall and 15 pixels wide.

On your 100px/inch display, that means they're a bit under a sixth of an inch when displayed onscreen.

On a 300px/inch display though, they'd be just a few millimeters and nearly impossible to use!

Thus it's necessary for Mac OS X and other operating systems to have a way of changing all interface elements onscreen to be bigger or smaller, independent of the resolution, so what works just fine on a standard display won't be microscopic on a high-density display.

Hope you get it.
post #23 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme

For example, the More Info button in Tiger's Column View is vector-based

Incorrect. OS X does not use any vector-based widgets. Rather, with Tiger and Leopard, Apple has been introducing much-higher-resolution widgets, to the point that you simply can't tell any more that they're scaled pixel graphics.
post #24 of 185
Well, you could sort of say it's vector-based because it uses a live font for the text instead of rasterizing it. But the same applies to pretty much all text in Mac OS X, since all interface elements with text on them are editable in the Interface Builder.
post #25 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker

Incorrect. OS X does not use any vector-based widgets. Rather, with Tiger and Leopard, Apple has been introducing much-higher-resolution widgets, to the point that you simply can't tell any more that they're scaled pixel graphics.

Not everything is defined in terms of bitmaps. A large part of the OS uses vector commands. If you do something like drawLine(0,30,30,30), then you have just executed a vector command and much in the operating does stuff like this. In fact the only things that don't use vector operations are things were it is much easier to draw a picture, and aren't likey to be well suited to vector operations, like icons for example. In also happens that some things are converted from vector to a bitmap if this yields performance improvements, but this is likely done on the fly and cached as necessary.

The fact that the final presentation is a massive bitmap in the graphics card, doesn't change the fact that there is plenty of rasterization going on. What changed between true raster systems and currents systems, is that the rasterization is done on the graphics card and not the screen.
post #26 of 185
My nearsightedness is getting nearer and nearer, so I'm happy for this. I'll set it so a 12-pt font is about two inches tall on my screen.
post #27 of 185
You know what this means, don't you?

Photo-quality displays next Tuesday!

Okay, totally kidding, but DAMN! Could you imagine a display with a resolution so fine that it looked like a photograph? Think about it! I mean, even now with 300 DPI screens, we'd be nearing the 1MPixel range... oooooh!

Photoshop and FinalCut users rejoyce!

-Clive
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post #28 of 185
Will this have a good effect or any effect on the Zoom feature in Mac OS X? You know the nifty one with the Mighty mouse scrollball. In other words will text be clear when you Zoom in on it?
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post #29 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland

Will this have a good effect or any effect on the Zoom feature in Mac OS X? You know the nifty one with the Mighty mouse scrollball. In other words will text be clear when you Zoom in on it?

Resolution independence doesn't help there. But higher resolution displays would.
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post #30 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

As far as I've seen its fine for Apple to have wait on resolution independence. Pixel density has not been a big problem. I imagine this signals pixel densities in Apple displays will greatly increase, 1920x1200 in the 17" MBP coming soon.

When someone showed me what resolution independence in Windows XP looked like, I was not impressed at all. Its fine for Apple to wait for the technology to mature and actually become usable.

It isn't only the OS that needs it to work well. You might note that Apple has said that it would be more work for developers to do this for their programs. If they don't do it properly, it could actually look worse.
post #31 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by West

Can't wait to get my hands on some 300dpi displays!

You'll wait a long time.
post #32 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Placebo

...tutorial...

Hope you get it.

I believe that I do, however, I thought I'd heard that Apple had put a version of Resolution Independence in Tiger (but didn't turn it on) for developers to test their apps against.

So I figured that apps would have to be rewritten to specifically take advantage of the feature. If it's just enabled on everything by default, then my earlier speculation about CS3 is unwarranted.
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post #33 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas

Yup : currently everything assumes 72dpi (dots (aka pixels) per inch). This means that if your window defines its width as 144 dpi, then on a screen that has a resolution of 72dpi your window will be 2 inches wide. If you you increase the DPI, then you reduce the visual size of your window. For example if your screen has 144 pixels per inch, then your window is now only 1 inch wide, when it was intended to be 2 inches wide.

Resolution indepence would define lengths differently. This means instead of indicating your window takes up 144 pixels, you would say it is 2 inches (or cenimetres if you want) wide. This means that no matter the resolution of your screen you window would stay the same size - you could use a ruler and find that your window is two inches wide, whether your screen is 72dpi or 144dpi.

Actually, it would use percentages. There is no way for the software to know how big the screen is, only the number of pixels available to it.
post #34 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by New

So would this mean you could build applications with vector-based interfaces?

In most cases, you would have to. The only things that can't be defined that way are raster images. They would have to be interpolated.
post #35 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by admactanium

yeah. i'm not getting why adobe would be all that interested in resolution independence. i think it's more of a system feature that would just apply to cocoa apps without any additional work. it's not as if this technology would make photoshop capable of blowing up rasters any better. and the publishing apps are already resolution independant with their vectors. photoshop can't be resolution independant because the resolution is already built into the raster file.

For menus.
post #36 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H

Resolution independence doesn't help there. But higher resolution displays would.

no, actually i think that's exactly where it would be of benefit. the display zooming in osx is a nice feature but it looks like hell right now because all the text and widgets are displayed as rasters. so display zoom up to the toolbar or in a webpage and the text gets bitmappy looking. resolution independence would keep all of those elements perfectly smooth at any magnification.
post #37 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777

I believe that I do, however, I thought I'd heard that Apple had put a version of Resolution Independence in Tiger (but didn't turn it on) for developers to test their apps against.

So I figured that apps would have to be rewritten to specifically take advantage of the feature. If it's just enabled on everything by default, then my earlier speculation about CS3 is unwarranted.

It's really something that only applies to interface elements. It's not like some new kind of vector feature, or CoreImage II or something like that. Just icons and buttons that scale without getting ugly.
post #38 of 185
Mostly everything in the computer world is going to move to resolution-independence at some point, including the internet.

We can already see things starting to slowly creep toward that in forward-looking statements and posts by Dave Hyatt of the Safari team.

Adobe really does need to be planning for this - but not in the way you're thinking . . .

Eventually, Vector or scalable-based imagery/fonts, etc are going to commonplace and interchangable (photos will still have a fixed size for the forseeable future, though).
Meaning that at some point Illustrator is either going to become more important or it will merge or overlap with Photoshop to a larger degree.

Honestly, right now, our tools for building webpages are terribly rudimentary - everything you're comping in Photoshop is mostly hacked together - it's not based on any reality other than how things should ideally look before the Dev builds stuff.

I can't wait to see the new generation of Adobe apps - I just hope Adobe can hold it together with their face firmly squared towards marketing, rather than actually developing their applications . . .
Most likely, in the next few years (if they're smart) Adobe will ditch the marketing guru CEO and hire a CEO with a background in Development. They will have to get back to what they should really be doing, which is making their software leaps and bounds better.

We're gonna be waiting a while for other industries and applications to catch up to Apple's move into Res-I.
(or whatever cute term we should make up for it)
post #39 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinder

Mostly everything in the computer world is going to move to resolution-independence at some point, including the internet.

We can already see things starting to slowly creep toward that in forward-looking statements and posts by Dave Hyatt of the Safari team.

Adobe really does need to be planning for this - but not in the way you're thinking . . .

Eventually, Vector or scalable-based imagery/fonts, etc are going to commonplace and interchangable (photos will still have a fixed size for the forseeable future, though).
Meaning that at some point Illustrator is either going to become more important or it will merge or overlap with Photoshop to a larger degree.

Honestly, right now, our tools for building webpages are terribly rudimentary - everything you're comping in Photoshop is mostly hacked together - it's not based on any reality other than how things should ideally look before the Dev builds stuff.

I can't wait to see the new generation of Adobe apps - I just hope Adobe can hold it together with their face firmly squared towards marketing, rather than actually developing their applications . . .
Most likely, in the next few years (if they're smart) Adobe will ditch the marketing guru CEO and hire a CEO with a background in Development. They will have to get back to what they should really be doing, which is making their software leaps and bounds better.

We're gonna be waiting a while for other industries and applications to catch up to Apple's move into Res-I.
(or whatever cute term we should make up for it)

There is a great deal of vector capability in PS right now, and the next version will have even more.
post #40 of 185
Am I missing something here?

Wouldn't Photoshop have a problem with resolution independence? If Leopard let's me set-up my display as taking advantage of 150ppi resolution screen then what is Photoshop to do with it? Especially at 100 % magnification which is supposed to be 1 pixel = 1 pixel display -- wouldn't that mean that a 72 ppi photo would take up roughly half the screen real estate that the same photo would take up on a 72 ppi screen? It would seem that editing a 72 ppi icon for a website would become very difficult on a screen that was running at 150 ppi.

If I don't get it, please explain it to me.
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