I think it would be good for everyone if someone made a mod that allows minecraft to load a different texture per block (or per chunk).
This would allow the not-so-rich and/or dont-have-a-job-yet users to easily use high res texture packs and GLSL shaders on lower quality machines (For example, people who use an ATI Radion HD 4600 graphics card (me ) cant easily use a 256x pack with Sonic Ether's shaders mod...)
With the new texture pack system coming up it would be (somewhat) easy(er) to make texture packs scale (Although to be honest... I think it would be WAY easier using the current system... Less files that way).
In order to keep from making mistakes you would have to name each file by either its resolution or simply putting a 1 2 3 4 or 5 (and so on if you are lucky enough to find a 1024x texture pack) next to it...
(Adding just digits to the name could cause some problems with HD texture pack patches like MCPatcher or Optifine so it would probably be better to add the resolution to the end of the name instead.)
2) If you dont set rules for when to load textures you will end up with a mess!
Obviously you need rules, otherwise how could you break them and cause mass panic?
This is how I think the texture loading should work... (per chunk!)
Chunk player is in to 2 chunks from player: Highest res textures availabe
3-5 chunks from player: Second highest res textures availabe
6-8 chunks from player: Third Highest res textures availabe
9-11 chunks from player: Third Lowest res textures availabe
12-14 chunks from the player: Second lowest res texture available
15-Infinity chunks from player: Lowest res textures availabe
I am fairly certain that a few people, maybe almost everyone (most likely almost everyone), who plays Minecraft knows that the block of dirt at the edge of your loaded world is being rendered with the same resolution as the block of dirt under your feet, even if said block of dirt is floating in a cave and you cant see it without making every other block see-through... In other words, every face on a block of dirt that is loaded and "visible" to the computer uses the same amount of resources as other blocks of dirt no matter how far away it is in your view, or whether you can readily see it or not (because we are talking about a floating block of dirt (in a cave that you have not explored yet) that is at the edge of your view...).
Another view: Lets say that to load a single block (all faces of the block) that has a x512 texture on each face takes 20.48 kilo bytes. It isn't that much... untill you try loading 289013 block faces of the same or higher texture (in this scenario it takes about 5.64478515625 Gigabytes of ram to load those block faces).
That isn't even an acurate number (too low) of how many visible block faces are loaded in the active chunks (player view).
Short description: A mod that increases computer performance and reduces lag by applying progressively lower resolution textures to blocks as you get further away from them and applies progressively higher resolution textures to blocks as you get closer to them.
My forum name is "ForestGuardian" but my Minecraft name is Spirit_Guardian!
(Someone stole my name! D:<)
Tell me what you think of my Idea/request!
EDIT: I will pay a modder $10 to do this (I can't afford to pay more :[... ) and that same modder should also put it on adf.ly and let others download it too.