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Re: ACTION-994: Some evidence of CSS MQ in the wild

From: David Storey <dstorey@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 12:01:49 +0200
Cc: "Eduardo Casais" <casays@yahoo.com>, public-bpwg@w3.org
Message-Id: <73280BCF-CF5A-4D04-9E82-1D4B4C7ECA73@opera.com>
To: Bruce Lawson <brucel@opera.com>

On 10 Jul 2009, at 11:36, Bruce Lawson wrote:

> On Thu, 09 Jul 2009 15:37:45 +0100, Eduardo Casais  
> <casays@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>>> We ran the Opera MAMA webcrawler and analysis tool and have a list  
>>> of
>>> 16,000 URLs that use them.
>>
>> Two questions come to my mind:
>> 1) 16'000 URL out of how many? Proportions make the difference  
>> between
>>   an emerging, still marginal practice and an established one.
>
> I think 3 million, but will get the figures next week.
>
>> 2) What is the target of these queries, and the techniques used?  
>> These
>>   questions would require quite some work, of course, so I do not  
>> expect
>>   them to be answered here. However, just taking the proportion of  
>> CSS
>>   links with queries that include the string
>>       "screen and (max-device-width: 480px)"
>>   should suffice to reinforce or dispell my hunch that the main  
>> utilization
>>   of media queries at this point in time is to deliver customized  
>> style
>>   sheets to iPhones.

I'm not sure about the main use, but I was using Media Queries long  
before the iPhone even existed, and it certainly doesn't require the  
viewport meta tag to be useful.  There is something wrong with the MQ  
spec if it does as viewport isn't a standard.  When I've created media  
queries I also used the 480px cut off, as it just happened to be a  
useful size to say anything under this is a mobile sized display.  It  
caught the iPhone and everything smaller, which at the time as almost  
all phones.  In hindsight that was quite short sited, as I assumed  
anything bigger would likely be big enough for the regular stylesheet  
with little issue.  I forgot about the issue of mobile phone makers  
ramping up the pixel density while keeping the screen small (even the  
Touch Diamond has a higher pixel count than the iPhone, but a quite a  
bit smaller screen - the HTC HD is even more dense this this  
respect).  Using actual screen width in cm/mm/inches would probably be  
better if those are implemented properly.

>
> I don't see how we can tell that a media query is designed to offer  
> custom style sheets to iPhones rather than any other phone or mobile  
> device.

We can't, unless the file name is iphone.css or such.

> The fact that Opera and (recently) Firefox support them, but are not  
> on the iPhone, means they are suitable for any phone.

It is only one source, but if you take http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_browser-ww-daily-20080701-20090710-bar 
  then ~80% (or more) of the browsers are based on Opera or WebKit and  
thus support Media Queries.  I can only imagine this going up as  
things like Android, Palm Pre and Win Mob phones become more popular.


>
> (On a side-note, I  disagree that Best Practices must be derived  
> from widely-used techniques. Otherwise we'd say "use tables for  
> layout, font tags and make sure your code doesn't validate".)
>

David Storey

Chief Web Opener / Product Manager, Opera Dragonfly
W3C WG:  Mobile Web Best Practices / SVG Interest Group

Opera Software ASA, Oslo, Norway
Mobile: +47 94 22 02 32
Received on Friday, 10 July 2009 10:02:31 UTC

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