[whatwg] Media queries, viewport dimensions, srcset and picture

Scott Jehl scott at scottjehl.com
Mon May 28 10:21:35 PDT 2012

Matt Wilcox's first two points are fair, though I see them as inconveniences rather than blockers.

To his third point, however: 

I see the suggestion mentioned on occasion that content image sizes and design breakpoints should be coordinated, but in practice, I personally haven't found much of a need for that coordination.

In the responsive layouts I've worked on, content image sizes and their breakpoints were chosen for completely different reasons than the design (CSS) breakpoints: the former for sensible jumps in file size to match screen dimension and/or density, and the latter for how content modules are visibly designed at given viewport dimensions.

Design breakpoints can be plentiful, especially when factoring in all the minor and major tweaks in multi-column responsive layout. Yet for content images, I've found the need for fewer breakpoints, or even entirely different breakpoints than the design. In a site like the bostonglobe.com for example, 2-3 image sizes provide sensible jumps in file size, and because the images live a fluid layout, they scale to fill the layout gaps as the CSS breakpoints shift much more frequently around them.  If an image needs finer coordination than that with its design, perhaps it might be considered a design asset that should be handled in CSS with background images; I guess I'd need to see some examples of where this problem could occur. 

There are sure to be gray areas here. I'm just not sure I agree that the redesign problem is all that much of a real concern for this feature. Matt, if you disagree, do you have any examples you could provide?


On May 28, 2012, at 12:29 PM, Matthew Wilcox wrote:

> Personally I think it's better than either <picture> or srcset alone.
> But I don't think it's good enough even so, it still has problems:
> * It's verbose (but less-so than <picture>).
> * It has two attributes that could easily be confused as doing the
> same job. There's little clear logic as to why they're split, from an
> authors viewpoint.
> * It bakes design properties into the mark-up. They will be the wrong
> breakpoints come any re-design.
> That last one is killer for me. And I've no idea how to address it either :s
> -Matt
> On 28 May 2012 17:23, Mathew Marquis <mat at matmarquis.com> wrote:
>> On May 24, 2012, at 3:58 AM, Florian Rivoal wrote:
>>> On Wed, 23 May 2012 21:18:25 +0200, Scott Jehl <scott at scottjehl.com> wrote:
>>>> With this proposal, could "src" be used on a source element if you don't need the features srcset provides?
>>>> Or maybe, would that just be equivalent to srcset with a single source listed?
>>> I have no strong preference for src vs srcset with a single source and no density
>>> qualifier, but yes, one of them should be available.
>> I’m a little uneasy at the silence following Florian’s proposal. I’d love to hear the WHATWG’s thoughts on this compromise.
>>> - Florian

More information about the whatwg mailing list