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Re: [mediaqueries4] media query v. unit for "ensure minimum hit target size" use case

From: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2012 21:42:37 +0100
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.wpqjtbxff5de51@riboaru-nashiosamus-imac-2.local>
On Wed, 12 Dec 2012 23:21:32 +0100, Edward O'Connor <eoconnor@apple.com>  
wrote:

> Hi,
>
> The primary use case for the 'pointer' MQ seems to be to provide authors
> with the ability to ensure their hit targets are sufficiently large. (On
> 'fine' pointing systems, hit targets can be very small, but on 'coarse'
> pointing systems, their minimum useful size is quite a bit larger.)
>
> I think the Principle of Least Power applies here. Media Queries can be
> used to radically change the layout of pages. But if all we're trying to
> do is let authors put a nail in a wall, we shouldn't give them bazookas.
> A hammer would do just fine. I'd much prefer we have a unit that authors
> could use for min-{height,width} values, as has been proposed on several
> occasions in the past.

I am certainly not opposed to simpler things if possible. However, I don't
think a unit alone will be enough here. Bigger hit targets is indeed a use
case for this proposed MQ, but not the only one. Here are a couple others:

1) The 'pointer' MQ also detects the lack of pointer. There are important
segments of devices lacking a pointer: some well established (non-touch
screen phones), some growing (smart TVs), and some still getting started
(Web-based digital signage). Printed documents also lack a pointer (even
if that's far from the only thing distinguishing them). In my mind at
least, this, more than the distinction between fine and coarse, was
the initial motivation for having a new MQ at all.

2) Imagine a web-based recreation of something like photoshop, with
panels filled with many small click targets. If you merely make the
small click targets big when the pointer is "coarse", the panels
will cover an undue amount of space, so you probably want to switch
to a different layout entirely, and an MQ is appropriate for that.

  - Florian
Received on Saturday, 22 December 2012 20:43:05 GMT

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