Re: layout/screen units mess

From: Joaquin Cuenca Abela (
Date: Thu Aug 08 2002 - 10:41:27 EDT

  • Next message: Dom Lachowicz: "Re: layout/screen units mess"

    You should be reading my mind.

    Yesterday I started deletting InLayoutUnits variants
    and leaving only 1 units, and I changed the only unit
    I left to floats.

    So I think that we are both in sync but for the type
    to represent the units: float or integer calculations.

    Here are the advantages/incovenients as I see them:

    1) Speed: here it's a draw. Contrary to common
    knowledge, floating point operations are not a
    bottleneck since the 486SX days, and for those
    "machines FPU impaired" our speed is probably sucking
    there anyway. A few years ago (at the pentium I rise)
    rumors said that floating point calculations were
    *faster* than integer calculations, because the
    processor had more oportunities to parallelize

    2) Easy to use: floats gain for a wide margin. If we
    go the integer way, prepare yourself to deal with
    macros/inline functions for almost everything:
    multiplication, div, rounding, etc.

    3) Pango: here integer calculations win (if we choose
    the same units as pango). I'm not expecting that to
    be a big deal with floating units, but I may be

    4) layout independance for the years to come: if we go
    the integer units way, we prevent any numerical
    problems. If we go the floating point way, slight
    changes in the way we calculate something, may change
    the result due to numerical instability, and thus it
    may affect layout. Before you consider this point as
    a fundamental one, take in account that we've already
    changed the layout of the user documents from version
    to version for much lamer reasons, and we've not
    changed it in "subtle" ways, but in rather radical

    I will not consider this point as important until I
    see a real committement to render documents the same
    way in any abiword document.

    To me, 2 is heavier than the other points, except
    maybe 4, but I still have to see 4 giving real


    I will keep speaking of some related problems that the
    removing of layout units will give us, and how to
    remove these problems, in another email.


    Joaquin Cuenca Abela

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