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The same image scaled in Safari and the Finder Another quirk that always irritated me in Safari: It's image scaling abilities are quite poor. This could be blamed on Cocoa, which delivers the same results, instead of Safari as Safari simply seems to use Cocoa's algorithms. But it's still a problem which is particularly visible in Safari and a design choice of the application – or WebKit presumably.

The image displayed shows the same graphics file scaled down in Safari (top) and in the Finder, which iirc uses QuickTime for the previews in generates on the fly (bottom). Two Apple technologies capable of the same task delivering inconsistent results – and in my opinion Safari chose the wrong one.

The example suggests that Safari/Cocoa's scaling doesn't blur things enough to make them look nice and smooth. Looking at my (enlarged) logo image at the top left of this page, however, suggests that it blurs things too much.That image, in turn, seems to be displayed with the same degree of excessive blurring in the Finder. And both images are displayed with just the right amount of blurring in Camino. Odd, isn't it?

While making the screenshot above, I silently agreed with the rant that PDF isn't the smartest file format for screenshots. However, I hardly consider that a problem, as I mostly want to do some cropping or colour reduction or compression on the images before sending them away. Thus I simply put them straight on the clipboard (hold down Control key) and run them through GraphicConverter, which has a handy feature to generate new images with the clipboard content.

With a bit of enthusiasm, it's probably possible to replace /usr/sbin/screencapture by a script, that first runs that very program with it's store-on-clipboard option and then uses an AppleScript to convert the clipboard's contents to whatever you consider appropriate. Far from being well done by Apple – particularly when considering that you could choose the screenshot's file format in earlier version of OSX – but perhaps a way to deal with it for people who take a lot of screenshots.

While looking at the help text of the screencapture program, I saw that when doing an 'interactive' screenshot (Command-Shift-4) you can use the space bar to toggle to 'capture window' mode. A feature that I had believed to have vanished in the transition to OS X. It doesn't seem to be too smart about the windows' round edges and shadows, though.

Somehow this is linked to a post with the catchy title PDF: Unfit for Human Consumption. That's of course nonsense and should read: 'Don't use PDF on the web where HTML would do as well', which in turn is trivial. Of course making a web site that consists of PDF files is as bad an idea as exclusively using Flash. PDF is still very fit for human consumption, though. Show me a better way to read maths preprints on the web, for example. With Adobe's plugin – and hopefully with X.3 as well – you even have decent navigation for the table of contents and cross references in there.

July 16, 2003, 1:52

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Trackback “2003/07/15 17:08” from 2lmc spool:

A small PDF rant

July 16, 2003, 10:25

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