[whatwg] So if media-queries aren't for determining the media to be used what are they for?

Jeremy Keith jeremy at adactio.com
Tue May 15 16:23:19 PDT 2012

Odin wrote:
> It's heavily optimized for the usecase that will happen most often: for
> "retina" type displays:
>    <img src="odin-in-suit.jpg" srcset="odin-in-suit at 2.jpg 2x">

Okay. This is also what Ted said about the srcset proposal and it makes a lot of sense for that use case.

But it seems far less suited to the use-case of "art-directed" image decisions i.e. allowing the author to specify which image should be displayed (based on some criteria, possibly the viewport size).

Jason does a good job of differentiating both use-cases here:


> 1. How do we enable authors so that they can display different images under different conditions based on art direction?

> 2. Enabling authors to provide different resolutions of images based on a variety of conditions.

The srcset proposal that has been thrown into the spec looks like a good answer for that second use-case but it doesn't attempt to tackle the first use-case.

Now ideally we'd find one solution that solves both use-cases but after the discussion here and in IRC I think that's looking increasingly unlikely.

So if we can agree that srcset is a good solution for handling "retina" displays and other "secret sauce" conditions (like bandwidth, as Tab blogged about), can we move on to trying to find a different solution for the other use case?

I *suspect* that the solution for the art-direction use-case could look almost exactly like media queries (because the use-case is so similar to common use-cases for media queries).


Jeremy Keith

a d a c t i o


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