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Comment on Sprites for MWABP

From: Francois Daoust <fd@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 12:03:40 +0200
Message-ID: <4C4422FC.90600@w3.org>
To: public-bpwg-comments@w3.org

This is a small comment on section 3.4.6 Aggregate Static Images into a Single Composite Resource (Sprites) of the second last call working draft of Mobile Web Application Best Practices:

The best practice does not explicitly restrict its usage to "decorative" images. It does so implicitly through the use of examples "icons, buttons".

When applied to informative images that appear as <img> tags within the markup, this best practice would result in a mix between content and layout, since CSS then becomes mandatory to render the correct portion of the image and thus to carry the information.

I suggest to clarify the current text in the "What it means" subsection:
"Web applications often depend on a number of *decorative* images to provide icons, buttons, etc."
... instead of:
"Web applications often depend on a number of static images to provide icons, buttons, etc."

I also suggest to start the "How to do it" subsection by:
"Define candidate images as CSS background images and combine them into a single image for transfer (spriting)"
... instead of:
"Combine images into a single image for transfer (spriting)"

This has been discussed back in May 2009 from an accessibility angle, which essentially boils down to the same thing, but although there seemed to be agreement that restrictions to decorative images for this technique was a good thing, it doesn't seem to have been integrated in to the document:
... started from Jo's question and Alan's response:

Received on Monday, 19 July 2010 10:04:08 UTC

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