biometric pica : Java Glossary

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biometric pica
A biometric pica, abbreviated bp, is a type measure that takes the viewer’s visual acuity into account. It is defined as the minimal vertical leading (distance between type baselines) that the viewer either can or is willing to tolerate. It depends on monitor size, resolution, visual acuity and even font design. It also applies to hardcopy dot matrix, ink-jet, laser or typesetting. For hardcopy, it is defined as the value that would satisfy 90% of viewers. The actual distance of one biometric pica differs for each person on each device. Biometric pica measure can be converted to physical measure e.g. inches or cm, or pixels.

If you designed programs with all units scaled to the biometric pica, then they would automatically scale appropriately for the user who would only have to calibrate his biometric pica measure once to handle all programs.

The problem with designing in pure pixels is that 20 pixels on one screen is huge, yet on another is microscopic.


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