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Big Doin’s

From: Eric Portis <lists@ericportis.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2015 14:05:56 -0600
To: public-respimg@w3.org
Message-ID: <E5ABFF22-2C07-4D35-8443-69B31D70459D@ericportis.com>
# Big doin’s

## Let’s “change the way we all write CSS,” forever!

Mat Marquis got the last couple of weeks off to a cracking start with 
[an A List Apart article][cq-ala] about element-oops-I-mean container 
queries.

Here’s the pitch: wouldn’t it be great if we could adaptively style 
elements based on their *own* sizes, rather than having to bake a bunch 
of facts about everything that surrounds an element into a ham-fisted, 
totally unportable media query? Yes! It would! Mat turns that vague 
notion into a concrete example using an experimental prollyfill, 
explains why “element” queries died and why “container” queries 
succeeded them, and makes an impassioned plea to anyone out there with 
an interest in the future to take part in the exciting work of shaping 
it, by making [prollyfill-based demos][cq-demos] of their own. Concrete 
examples will allow us to identify and communicate use-cases, figure out 
if container queries are actually a viable way forward, and – if 
they’re not — figure out what comes next.

Mat weaves the RICG’s experiences with responsive images into the 
whole article; it ends on a particularly introspective note:

...the RICG isn’t a decision-maker in the world of web standards, and 
we don’t aim to be one. We want to be a rallying point—to provide 
ways for designers and developers who might not want to wade through 
arcane listservs and IRC channels to get involved in the standards that 
affect their daily work.

There would be a lot more to say about that, this week.

[cq-ala]: 
http://alistapart.com/article/container-queries-once-more-unto-the-breach
[cq-demos]: https://github.com/ResponsiveImagesCG/cq-demos

## Let’s “change how the web itself is built,” forever!

[The Web Platform Incubator Community Group][wicg] has launched. Before 
I can talk about what that means, some backstory:

Two years ago, a bunch of the most influential people in standards 
published the [Extensible Web Manifesto][ewm]. Their goal was to 
“tighten the feedback loop between the editors of web standards and 
web developers.” They argued that the best way to do this was to 
expose low-level HTML and CSS primitives in Javascript, which could be 
used to explain and extend the web’s functionality. This would allow 
work-a-day developers to ideate and iterate new high-level features 
themselves, rather than waiting for them to be spec'd and implemented 
from on high.

In short they wanted things that looked a lot like 
[Picturefill][pf-docs], the aforementioned [container queries 
prollyfill][cq-demos], and the RICG.

But, [as Mat pointed out over on the Bocoup blog][bocoup] earlier this 
week, the experience of the RICG was not all moonlight and roses. We had 
a clear set of use cases, a large and vocal group of developers crying 
out for solutions, and a widely-used prototype. And yet clearing all of 
the technical and political hurdles that stood between us and a broadly 
implemented native solution has taken three-and-a-half years of 
extraordinary effort from a tiny, core group of dedicated individuals. 
We fumbled forth into this brave new world of developer-driven 
standards, making mistakes and discovering enormous barriers to entry 
the whole way. Our experience cannot be the model if the goal is to move 
the web forward via frequent contributions from a broad spectrum of 
engaged folks who *also* have day jobs.

Enter the WICG. The RICG pledged to fight for the needs of the average 
developer; the WICG is an attempt to make the process of contributing 
easy enough that the average developer can be their own best advocate. 
If you can articulate an idea and click “I agree” on a form that 
says you won’t sue anybody who implements it, you can join a community 
of peers and experts who will support you as you seek to turn that idea 
into a reality.

I could go on about the details, but that’s the pitch. It’s time I 
stopped writing and started linking:

- The community group’s official page is [here][wicg].
- Marcos Caceres outlines the group’s mission and methods [on the W3C 
blog][wicg-blog].
- Yoav Weiss tells the story of his transformation from a guy who’d 
built WebKit once in 2008 to core Blink contributor/folk hero, and how 
this experience drove him to co-found the WICG [on his blog][yoav].
- Mat wrote an [excellent post][ricg-blog] over on the official RICG 
page, detailing the relationship between the RICG and WICG. For 
starters: the RICG will be shepherding all of our spec work through the 
WICG process from now on.
- Last but not least, the WICG is [on Twitter][wicg-twitter].

TL;DR the web wants *you*; [watch this space and get involved][wicg].

[wicg]: https://www.w3.org/community/wicg/
[ewm]: https://extensiblewebmanifesto.org/
[bocoup]: https://bocoup.com/weblog/extensible-web-manifesto/
[wicg-blog]: http://www.w3.org/blog/2015/07/wicg/
[yoav]: http://blog.yoav.ws/by_the_people/
[ricg-blog]: https://www.w3.org/community/respimg/2015/07/09/wicg/
[wicg-twitter]: https://twitter.com/wicg_

## Grab bag

- [Picturefill 3 is in beta][pf-3b]. You’d think we’d be in the 
“refinement and bug fixing” part of the product cycle by now, but 
no: v3 is a near-complete-rewrite which brings heretofore-unthinkable 
levels of compatibility with native implementations and a performance 
boost, too. And! New, beautiful, comprehensive [documentation][pf-docs].
- It’s official: [`w` descriptor and `sizes` support are “in 
development” in Microsoft Edge][edge].
- Need 2x resources but don’t have 2x originals? Give [this magical 
upscaler][upscaler] a shot. It was made for “anime/fan” art but (in 
*very* limited testing) I had a lot of success with anything graphic 
(rather than photographic).
- We’ve done stickers, hoodies, and tees. [Rugs][rugs] are the final 
frontier of community group swag.

[pf-3b]: 
https://github.com/scottjehl/picturefill/releases/tag/3.0.0-beta1
[pf-docs]: https://scottjehl.github.io/picturefill
[edge]: https://github.com/MicrosoftEdge/Status/pull/241
[upscaler]: http://waifu2x.udp.jp
[rugs]: https://twitter.com/derSchepp/status/617284417107705856


See you in a couple of weeks!

—eric
Received on Monday, 13 July 2015 20:06:36 UTC

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