[whatwg] Forcing orientation in content

Glenn Maynard glenn at zewt.org
Fri Jul 12 21:17:15 PDT 2013

On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 10:25 PM, Jonas Sicking <jonas at sicking.cc> wrote:

> If the content is sized better for portrait or landscape, then it's
generally good for the user if the mode is forced by the application.
> Otherwise the user will have to scroll, or will see content that is
> smaller than it otherwise would be.

I disagree completely.  Even for landscape videos, I'd strongly prefer that
a video not force my phone to portrait.  Leave my orientation alone, and
vertically letterbox the content, despite that giving a small viewing area.
 That lets me rotate the device at my convenience, rather than rotating the
device on its own, so browser controls don't suddenly jump to a different
place (eg. if I decide to back out instead of viewing), and not forcing me
to rotate the device if I don't feel the need (eg. if it's a short clip and
the small viewing area is sufficient).  Changing orientation is disruptive.

I can hardly imagine how obnoxious Web browsing would be on a mobile
device, if every second page I navigated to decided to flip my device to a
different orientation.  This feels like the same sort of misfeature as
allowing pages to resize the browser window: "best viewed in 800x600" (so
we'll force it), "best viewed in portrait" (so we'll force it).

Glenn Maynard

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