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

Nils Dagsson Moskopp nils at dieweltistgarnichtso.net
Tue Feb 7 12:05:14 PST 2012

Matthew Wilcox <mail at matthewwilcox.com> schrieb am Tue, 7 Feb 2012
19:38:31 +0000:

> Can we not turn this into an option in the same way browsers handle
> requests to get the users location? With configuration too?
> Allow browsers to see my:
> screen size

That would be yet another way to push “This web site was designed for
800x600, 16 colors, IE 5.5 or later.” – only with the added “feature”
of “sucks to be you, get a bigger screen, this content will not
display”. UA sniffing, now even worse! Oh, I would certainly be mad.

> connection speed

This is an interesting case – but today well handled by minimal sites.
OkCupid, Twitter, Wikipedia all have well-known minimal alternatives
that can be used when on a bandwith-constrained connection. Often, they
are arguably better (not full of ads etc.).

Since that type of request is not narrowly constrained to specific
circumstances (e.g. location-based services), there is a possibility
for this to become very annoying.

Externalizing the inability to provide content that works across
multiple devices is a very easy cop-out for developers. I for one
advocate control at the UA level (like with CSS media queries) so there
won't be yet another UA string nightmare.

Also, I am writing this on a laptop via a throttled mobile connection.
Nils Dagsson Moskopp // erlehmann

More information about the whatwg mailing list