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

Chris Heilmann codepo8 at gmail.com
Wed May 16 00:39:18 PDT 2012

On 16/05/2012 00:23, Kornel Lesiński wrote:
> On Tue, 15 May 2012 23:17:54 +0100, Chris Heilmann <codepo8 at gmail.com> 
> wrote:
>> The fetish for brevity is something I never understood. More 
>> understandable code is faster to write than cryptic short code.
> There is significant difference in verbosity for a *very common case* 
> of serving images for high-dpi ("Retina") display (which I suspect is 
> only going to get more common):
> <img src="lowdpi" srcset="hidpi 2x">
> vs
> <picture>
> <source media="(min-device-pixel-ratio: 2)" src="hidpi">
> <img src="lowdpi">
> </picture>
> It will get tiring when it'll have to be used for every image on the 
> page.
> Authors couldn't be bothered to type extra markup for all vendor's 
> prefixes in CSS. Nobody bothered with verbose SVG gradient syntax 
> which was usable before CSS gradients. HTML5 DOCTYPE is loved. Brevity 
> matters.
Now there is a massive list of assumptions. People were happy for YEARS 
to do a:

<object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" 
name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param 
name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed 
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" 
allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

For a video. You know why? Because it worked! SVG didn't work inside 
HTML for a long time that's why these gradients didn't work - not 
because it was too long. HTML5 Doctype may be loved but people even 
forget using that one (case in point - codecademy HTML classes totally 
forget about it - WHEN teaching new people how to write code for the web).

Tooling works around these issues, not making a language shorter. You 
learn that when you teach people to start using the web. Let's not get 
too excited about what the people writing specs use and like but see 
what makes a platform that is understandable and works.

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