The Breakroom

Chickens and Eggs

June 8, 2007

By Webmaster


As developers prepare for our week in San Francisco, many thoughts turn towards what we might see on Monday. Some are good, some are not.

It’s no secret that we’re on the cusp of a major revolution in how UI is presented: resolution independence. But there’s a major problem with the adoption of this technology: there are no high density monitors to develop and test high resolution interfaces.

I think this situation is about to change. In a big way.

As John Gruber notes, last week’s announcement of the 17” MBP includes a 133 DPI display. The iPhone includes a 160 DPI display. It’s been several years since new desktop displays have been announced—so the time is right for new ones that are denser than anything we’ve seen before. We may even see DPI as way to market these new displays, much like HDTV (consumers understand that 1080p is better than 720p even if the size is 46” diagonally.)

Display densities are getting to the point where resolution independence becomes a necessity. But it could also play a major role in filling in the TOP SECRET details of Leopard.

Once you make a commitment to scale interfaces dynamically, a lot of cool things become possible. Imagine being able to work with windows while Exposé is engaged. Or having the Control-Scroll feature not get blurry.

Apple could turn up the WOW factor, too. Maybe we’ll see applications with different scaling factors. Want to have iChat with a small UI and iPhoto with a big UI? No problem.

Tie all of this together with Core Animation and I think you would end up with something that’s a revolution in usability and cool to look at. We might not even care if they FTFF. (Just kidding.)

I’ll be using Twitterrific throughout the conference, so check my tweets to track me down and say hello as Wolfgang and I roam the hallways of Moscone.

UPDATE: Posted a couple pictures of Craig waiting to enter the keynote over at our Flickr account. Gives you a sense of the number of people at this year’s WWDC.