Jim Gettys jg at
Thu Apr 9 11:54:26 PDT 2009

On Thu, 2009-04-09 at 11:30 -0700, McDonald, Michael-p7438c wrote:

>   By the same argument, should that "missing one value" also be
> applyable to Coordinates and Dimensions also? I would think a "zero
> width" line would have the same visibility issues as a 8 point font.

Yeah, zero width lines were arguably a bad idea: the point was to allow
a simple Bresenham algorithm at a pixel level.  Then again, the lumpy
line problem in the core protocol (not understood until much later) made
wide lines pretty useless.

> Not that I'm looking forward to the day when I have to define my line in
> milliArcSeconds.

The beauty of Cairo is that you'd just have to mess with the transform
matrix once, and everything follows.

The dichotomy is that most graphics wants device independence, but then
there are times you *really* need to know exactly where the pixels

Would that we got a fresh slate (and all new applications); a design
done today would be very different than what we did in 1986.  But you've
just heard the complaints from others on this thread who have
(*demonstrably*) broken programs from 20 years ago who complain about
any change at all.
                           - Jim

Jim Gettys <jg at>

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