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Re: [whatwg] Features for responsive Web design

From: Matthew Wilcox <mail@matthewwilcox.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2012 17:29:41 +0100
Message-ID: <CAMCRKiLW_5d5xN19Eq5Uq50Jek0HhUKr68XbwHUBa05M7tr2qQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Andy Davies <dajdavies@gmail.com>
Cc: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Glenn Maynard <glenn@zewt.org>, Markus Ernst <derernst@gmx.ch>, whatwg@whatwg.org
You have to understand that the <picture> idea was not the result of
idle thought. We went through a *lot* of thinking to reach that point,
and so it's not actually an attachement to that idea so much as *we
know* that idea inside out, what it does, what it doesn't, and why
it's like that. We had thought about it from a lot of angles, thrown
everything we could at it, and determined that <picture> was the most
robust, familiar, and flexible solution out of half a dozen
possibilities - each of which was under similar scrutiny.

Then along comes srcset - which has not been subject to the same
scrutiny by that group. So *of course* it's getting questioned hard,
and *of course* <picture> is being held as answering the needs best.

Until srcset has been properly discussed, inspected, picked apart, and
subjected to the same level of scrutiny as <picture> was, it's not the
trusted thing that <picture> is.

Make no mistake; this is not a pride or attachment thing, this is a
knowing the reasons thing. I personally don't think <picture> answers
things well enough, nor do I think srcset does. Not for general use
cases - but for specific one-off use cases, each has benefits.

Personally I'm coming around to a refined version of the srcset idea
rather than <picture> after some clear explanation. But, again, I only
see it being appropriate for one-off use cases - singular special-case
images within a page. I don't think anyone has yet come up with a good
enough general purpose solution that avoids contaminating the mark-up
with design-dependent properties which will all be invalid come a
re-design - that to me is not acceptable. The closest I've seen that
could possibly address that limitation is <meta> variables, but that
has it's own issues and does not answer the same use-cases as srcset
or <picture>.

-Matt

On 18 May 2012 16:40, Andy Davies <dajdavies@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 18 May 2012 15:28, Glenn Maynard <glenn@zewt.org> wrote:
>>
>> Only if there are actual problems solved by doing so, which there don't
>> seem to be.  Instead, people seem to be hunting for excuses to use parts of
>> the other proposal just for the sake of using them, not to solve any actual
>> problem.  ("That's not a good reason to do it?  Hold on, let me try to come
>> up with another...")
>>
>
> Perhaps but I think the real problem may be this...
>
> The other proposals have been knocked around by various parties who
> wanted to solve a problem, they had time to discuss it, digest it and
> see how it grew to meet their needs.
>
> Now srcset was dropped on them as a surprise, they're still trying to
> understand it, they keep being re-assured it meets their needs but
> no-one who developed the srcset proposal has really come out and
> explained to them how it meets their needs so they keep asking
> questions...
>
> I wasn't involved in the picture discussion so have no particular
> attachment to it, I think both picture and srcset have problems in
> that they move breakpoints into the markup, srcset's "microsyntax" is
> pretty horrible and the picture syntax has issues too.
>
> The thing that really astounds me about the responsive/adaptive images
> hullabaloo is:
>
> The responsive image problem has been discussed for at least a year
> with plenty of ideas / workarounds floated around (only got to look a
> slidedecks form Mobilism, Breaking Development etc. for this) yet
> WHATWG seemed pretty unaware of it.
>
> When WHATWG did decide to do something about it they just dropped it
> on the people who wanted it by surprise without talking to them first
> even just to say "this is our proposal, this is how we think it solves
> your problem, what do you think?"
>
> I can understand why some of the "authors" are upset and I still thing
> the srcset needs explaining clearly rather than them having to chew
> through the spec.
>
> Cheers
>
> Andy
Received on Friday, 18 May 2012 16:30:16 GMT

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