Here is a gross generalization, but it helps in understanding the function of scale lengths:
smaller/shorter instruments are often tuned to higher pitches and octaves and have thinner strings. (think violins and mandolins)
larger/longer instruments are often tuned lower pitches and have thicker strings. (think 'cellos and double-basses)
There are many combinations of string gauges, tunings, and VSLs that will 'function' for various goals, but keep in mind that as you stray further and further from the ideal gauge for a given length and note, the more unsatisfactory the result will be. Extreme examples of this concept are: 1) putting thin violin strings on a cello and trying to tune it to the same violin high notes, and 2) putting thick cello strings on a violin and trying to tune it to the same low cello notes. Hope this helps.
Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990