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    Re: Celestial Tools V4.0.0 Beta5
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2013 May 15, 14:14 -0700

    Since I brought up the UI issue, I will add some details, which I've already discussed with Stan. The problem occurs in recent version of Windows. That's not surprising since the development environment Stan is using is many years out-of-date. Of course, software developed using an old tool works in Windows XP. That makes sense! The problem only occurs on a fraction of these newer systems, though, specifically those with larger display screens. It's fundamentally caused by an older "bitmap" font ("Microsoft Sans Serif" if anyone's curious) which was still acceptable in Windows until about five years ago. The old bitmapped fonts are now considered obsolete and have been replaced by vector fonts. They were deprecated over a decade ago, but they are now officially unsupported. Software that used them will break under some circumstances. This is normal in nearly all computing environments.

    So here's the question facing the software developer, speaking generally now: do we worry about users with recent versions of Windows who have larger displays? Now in nearly every software development case, the answer would be "of course! They're our most important user group." For newer graphics-intensive software, this group might constitute 50% of expected users. But for people trying to learn celestial navigation, these users with new computers and larger displays are much less important. Users who would encounter this issue may amount to only 5% of potential users (arguably just another symptom of the near total lack of interest in celestial navigation among younger people). It may well be reasonable to write them off. Of course, it's possible to adjust system settings. For example, on my computer if I switch to "big" fonts, the UI in Stan's software then looks right. But that's certainly a show-stopper for most users. You don't change system settings just to run one piece of software.


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