Display info in HTTP -- Was: Frames Are Improving

William F. Hammond (hammond@csc.albany.edu)
Fri, 23 Aug 1996 10:31:26 -0400 (EDT)

From: "William F. Hammond" <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 10:31:26 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199608231431.KAA29181@phoebe.math.albany.edu>
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Display info in HTTP -- Was: Frames Are Improving
Cc: marc@ckm.ucsf.edu

Marc Salomon <marc@ckm.ucsf.edu> writes in reply to Murray Altheim

: Murray Altheim <murray@spyglass.com> wrote:
: |I'd caution against making ANY assumptions about screen size or resolution
: |(which noboby has mentioned yet).
: There's a draft before the HTTP-wg [1] that attempts to address this issue:
:                                  ABSTRACT
:      User-Agent Display Attributes Headers provide a means for an HTTP
:      client  and server to negotiate for content dependent on the
:      client display capabilities.  This memo describes the syntax for
:      introducing this information into an HTTP transmission.  The
:      intent is to present resource variants when available  such
:      that a capable server may present documents in a preferred form to
:      a client.  If such a preferred form is not available, the server
:      should still provide the requested documents.

While I do not wish to speak either for or against this proposal as
an extension to HTTP protocol, I do wish to make a few comments:

1.  One does not want to assume that the rendering agent is for any
particular content-type (such as "text/html").

2.  The proposal will only be useful when "display" is visual and

3.  When the user has sized a rendering window, it is impolite for the
underlying application to re-size that window.  "Client display"
capability can only be assumed to refer to display territory allocated
to the renderer.

4.  On a sufficiently large monitor of sufficiently high resolution a
display of pixel size 640 x 480 has the visual impact of a postage stamp
on a large mailing envelope.  The pixel is not really meaningful across
the network.

                                   -- Bill