[whatwg] Features for responsive Web design

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Wed May 16 05:25:29 PDT 2012

On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 2:46 PM, Jeremy Keith <jeremy at adactio.com> wrote:
> You're right. I was thinking that the values (Nh Nw Nx) described the *image* but in fact they describe (in the case of Nh and Nw) the viewport and (in the case of Nx) the pixel density of the screen/device.
> I suspect I won't be the only one to make that mistake.

Indeed. I made the same mistake initially. The what's currently in the
spec is terribly counter-intuitive in this regard.

> I can see now how it does handle the art-direction case as well. I think it's a shame that it's a different syntax to media queries but on the plus side, if it maps directly to imgset in CSS, that's good.

It seems to me that Media Queries are appropriate for the
art-direction case and factors of the pixel dimensions of the image
referred to by src="" are appropriate for the pixel density case.

I'm not convinced that it's a good idea to solve these two axes in the
same syntax or solution. It seems to me that srcset="" is bad for the
art-direction case and <picture> is bad for the pixel density case.

(I think the concept of dpi isn't appropriate for either case, FWIW. I
think "the number of horizontal and vertical bitmap samples doubled
relative to the traditional src image" works much better conceptually
for Web authoring than making people do dpi math with an abstract
baseline of 96 dpi. Anecdotal observation of trying to get family
members to do dpi math for print publications suggests that it's hard
to get educated people do dpi math right even when an "inch" is a real
inch an not an abstraction.)

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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