[whatwg] RWD Heaven: if browsers reported device capabilities in a request header

Ryosuke Niwa rniwa at webkit.org
Mon Feb 6 12:13:19 PST 2012

On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM, Ashley Sheridan
<ash at ashleysheridan.co.uk>wrote:
> I think the idea of some device capabilities is useful, like the
> multi-touch capability of certain devices browsers (i.e. iPad, Firefox4
> +, etc) but the ways in which code gets written to take advantage of
> these very separate devices it isn't that much of a leap to sniff the
> capabilities and use some clever CSS/Javascript to tailor the content
> appearance and behaviour to suit the environment it's used in.

Right. On the other hand, the distinction between tablets and actual PCs
are getting blurry each day. e.g. I used Fujitsu P1510 throughout my
college to take notes during classes. It had 8.9" screen was fully capable
of running Windows XP and Vista to some extent.

But browsing regular websites on that machine was somewhat painful due to
most websites assuming every desktop computer to have at least XVGA or
above. I suspect I might have had a better UX if I could choose to view
tablet-version of websites on my laptop instead (there were iPad back then).

I agree with others on the list who've said that sending across
> resolution (of any kind, be it actual, available or other) is the wrong
> approach, and it will lead to browsers intentionally sending the wrong
> information just to get the content they think they want.

While I do agree with this statement, I have to admit that there are cases
where the screen resolution of a device gives a better hint on how to
layout your website than the type of the device.

- Ryosuke

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