[whatwg] Bandwidth media queries

Matthew Wilcox mail at matthewwilcox.com
Wed May 16 12:15:42 PDT 2012

On 16 May 2012 20:10, James Graham <jgraham at opera.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 16 May 2012, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
>> First off I know that a number of people say this is not possible. I
>> am not wanting to argue this because I don't have the knowledge to
>> argue it - but I do want to understand why, and currently I do not.
>> Please also remember that I can only see this from an authors
>> perspective as I'm ignorant of the mechanics of how these things work
>> internally.
>> The idea is to have something like:
>> <link media="min-bandwidth:0.5mps" ... />
>> <link media="min-bandwidth:1mps" ... />
>> <link media="min-bandwidth:8mps" ... />
> Without going deeper into the specific points, implementation experience
> suggests that even implementing a binary low-bandwidth/high bandwidth
> detection is extremely difficult; Opera has one coupled to the UI for the
> "turbo" feature and it has been somewhat non-trivial to get acceptable
> quality.
> In general the problem with trying to measure something like bandwidth is
> that it is highly time-variable; it depends on a huge number of
> environmental factors like the other users/applications on the same
> connection, possible browser features like down-prioritising connections in
> background tabs, external environmental features like "the train just went
> into a tunnel" or "I just went out of range of WiFi and switched to 3G" and
> any number of other things. Some of those are temporary conditions, some are
> rapid changes to a new long-term state. Trying to present a single number
> representing this complexity in realtime just isn't going to work.

Yeah, that's what I had figured the process I described would be able
to work for - but I accept it must be more complicated than I have
accounted for. Thanks for the feedback :)

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