I’m reading document on Resolution Independence on Mac and will visit MS side of the technology called “High DPI-awareness” and compare it.
To things make short, on Mac old code looks to be used without modification and what you mostly need is to prepare a higher resolution images for UI. ( On the other hand, things on Window is not this hassle-free.) Creating raster images for different resolution is kind of cumbersome. According to the original description of RI (Resolution Independence) was that it doesn’t assume any specific resolution and their backend scales up images nicely. Well, automatic scaling using interpolation surely introduce artifacts. So, it was recommended to provide icons and artwork in different sizes, though.
However, what if they support SVG as well as raster image formats like JPG, PNG, TIFF etc?
Although it is somewhat different, Apple took a similar approach a while ago before Mac OS X.
if you have been a long time developer on Mac, you will remember PICT type. One thing I didn’t understand at that time about PICT was that there is no direct way of editing its pixel buffer. So, for this part I liked Windows (3.0) more, because BMP is purely raster format.
According to Inside Macintosh ( II or III ), PICT contains a series of command on how to draw images. And when it is to be rasterized, the result of issuing those command is copied to a buffer and that it be displayed on a monitor. So, although it could be drawn on any size. I remember that it was not that flexible. Probably at that time there was not so much of necessity required in the market to draw images on many different devices with different resolution.
What I mean is, whether PICT could support different DPI or not, it had foundation for being RI technology. Because PICT are used to be skin for many UI widgets, I believe SVG can be used like that.
So, can we guess that Apple engineers are considering to adopt SVG for their format of choice for UI?
At least the iOS team caught up the Mac OS X team in terms of the OS version now with iOS 6. So, probably they can have more people to utilize and now can bring some enhancement to the both platform at the same time. Then, probably AV Foundation / QuickTime X and this thing can be one of that!