W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 2013

Re: [css-om] Issues with width and resolution media queries

From: Kenneth Rohde Christiansen <kenneth.christiansen@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2013 21:17:50 +0100
Message-ID: <CAEC208ucUXT=2XGFPFQ2s7BLT9viYvGjBLWaOR9nWrYMANNynA@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Mellor <johnme@google.com>
Cc: Peter-Paul Koch <pp.koch@gmail.com>, www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
I really liked your reply John.

I think it is confusing to talk about the ideal viewport, as the specs
talk about the initial viewport (which might be affected by the page
zoom or default device dependent upscaling).

Definitions taken from CSS Device Adaptation and CSSOM Views (with a
few extra notes added).

Initial viewport
This refers to the viewport before any UA or author styles have
overridden the viewport given by the window or viewing area of the UA.
Note that the initial viewport size will change with the size of the
window or viewing area, and is affected by page scale.

Page zoom and pinch zoom
There are two kinds of zoom, page zoom which affects the size of the
initial viewport, and pinch zoom which acts like a magnifying glass
and *does not* affect the initial viewport or actual viewport.

Actual viewport
This is the viewport you get after the cascaded @viewport descriptors,
and the following constraining procedure have been applied, or after
any viewport meta tag has been applied, such as "viewport",
"handheldoptimized" or "mobilefriendly".

Cheers
Kenneth

On Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 8:31 PM, John Mellor <johnme@google.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 1:27 PM, Peter-Paul Koch <pp.koch@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Recently I published a few articles where I point out what I think are
>> bugs in the media query implementation of the desktop browsers. It was
>> suggested I move the discussion here, so I do now.
>>
>> I saw the resolution discussion has already started. This mail does not
>> connect to any of the previous ones but just summarises my starting point.
>>
>> It is my belief that the desktop browsers break compatibility with the
>> mobile browsers in two instances detailed below. In order to explain how the
>> mobile browsers currently handle the three viewports and related concepts I
>> created a quick-and-dirty overview page at
>>
>> http://quirksmode.org/mobile/overview.html
>
>
> Thanks for putting this table together! There are a few bugs though:
>
> - physical screen: screen.width has always been defined as returning CSS
> pixels[1]; it merely appeared to return physical pixels because for a long
> time most devices had 1x screen density.
>
> - ideal viewport: screen.width does *not* return the ideal viewport width.
> screen.width returns the width of the screen in unscaled CSS pixels, which
> happens to correspond to the ideal viewport width for web browser that take
> up the full width of the screen. But web developers should not rely on the
> browser being full width! Ditto device-width/device-height refer to the
> screen size not the ideal viewport size when used in a media query. Only in
> the meta viewport tag, for legacy reasons, do the terms device-width and
> device-height refer to the size of the ideal viewport (I can see why this
> might lead to confusion!).
>
> - resolution: similarly, this isn't the ratio between the physical screen
> size and the ideal viewport size. It's the ratio between the physical window
> (inner) size and the ideal viewport size (or the ratio between physical
> pixels and unscaled* CSS pixels).
>
> - orientation: Non-webkit/blink browsers don't support window.orientation
> (certainly Firefox doesn't). Also, window.orientation doesn't return
> "portrait"|"landscape", instead it returns -90|0|90|180 (the Screen
> Orientation API[2] is trying to clean this up by introducing
> screen.orientation which would return a string, though the strings don't yet
> match the media query...).
>
> One thing that's notable, is that there is in fact no cross-browser
> compatible way of reading the ideal viewport width (i.e., if your page
> doesn't use a width=device-width viewport, finding out how wide the page
> would have been if you had done so). This is a serious omission in the
> current mobile CSSOM View APIs. It should probably have been provided by
> window.innerWidth, but historical accident has led window.innerWidth to mean
> the width of the visual viewport taking into account pinch zoom.
>
> [1]: http://www.w3.org/TR/cssom-view/#css-pixels
> [2]: http://www.w3.org/TR/screen-orientation/
>
>> The articles where I describe the problems I feel desktop browsers are
>> having are at
>>
>> - http://quirksmode.org/blog/archives/2013/12/desktop_media_q.html (width)
>> - http://quirksmode.org/blog/archives/2013/12/desktop_media_q_1.html (DPR
>> and zoom)
>>
>> Summarised, these are my findings. All of them are explained in more
>> detail in my blog posts.
>>
>> - Currently, the width media query in the desktop browsers is slaved to
>> window.innerWidth (except in Safari), while all mobile browsers slave it to
>> document.documentElement.clientWidth. This may cause problems in a few
>> instances; notably when clueless web developers would use window.innerWidth
>> as an equivalent for the media query. On mobile, this would break horribly,
>> since there window.innerWidth is the width of the visual viewport, and not
>> the layout viewport.
>> Besides, this is just a compatibility issue.
>
>
> It is indeed unfortunate that the width MQ returns the width of the layout
> viewport *including* the scrollbar[3], and
> document.documentElement.clientWidth returns the width of the layout
> viewport *excluding* the scrollbar[4]. We should investigate whether these
> can converge on a single definition...
>
> [3]: http://dev.w3.org/csswg/mediaqueries4/#width
> [4]: http://dev.w3.org/csswg/cssom-view/#dom-element-clientwidth
>
>> - I feel the recent attempts to define desktop devicePixelRatio as the
>> current zoom factor are misguided, for the following reasons:
>>
>> - Zoom level is not the same as DPR. For better or worse, the definition
>> of DPR is now fixed as a device-based constant, and for reasons of
>> cross-browser compatibility I feel desktop browsers should not change that
>> definition.
>
>
> To clarify, I think you're talking here about desktop page zoom (Ctrl-+),
> which is different from both pinch zoom and the scaling that occurs when you
> use a viewport width other than device-width.
>
> However it's wrong to pitch this as an incompatibility between mobile and
> desktop. Having desktop browsers incorporate page zoom into devicePixelRatio
> actually increases compatibility between mobile, since devicePixelRatio now
> has the same meaning on mobile and desktop: it gives the ratio between
> unscaled* CSS pixels and physical pixels, which is indeed affected by page
> zoom (by contrast, neither pinch zoom nor weird viewport widths affect the
> size of unscaled* CSS pixels).
>
>> - On mobile DPR is a constant; on desktop it is a variable. Thus,
>> implementations of DPR in media queries or JavaScript targeting mobile may
>> misfire on desktop.
>>
>> - On desktop, DPR is now de-facto linked to the dimensions of the (layout)
>> viewport. No such link exists on mobile. DPR does not change when the layout
>> viewport width is changed, for instance by rewriting the <meta viewport>
>> tag.
>
>
> To use your terminology, DPR is defined as the ratio of between the physical
> window (inner) size and the ideal viewport size. Modifying meta viewport can
> only affect the layout viewport, not the ideal viewport. This is consistent
> across mobile and desktop.
>
>> - On mobile, DPR is defined as the ratio between the physical device
>> dimensions and the ideal viewport dimensions. Thus, oorting DPR to the
>> desktop also requires the porting of the ideal viewport concept, which has
>> no meaning on desktop. Firefox does so, but the result is that screen.width
>> changes as you zoom - a weird effect, though consistent with the emerging
>> mobile standard.
>
>
> The Firefox approach is correct here. I can propose 3 arguments in favor of
> this:
>
> A) screen.width should correspond to the window width in unscaled* CSS
> pixels you would get if your page went fullscreen. Since page zoom decreases
> the available window width, it also decreases the window width in
> fullscreen, hence should decrease the screen width exposed to JS.
>
> B) Similarly, screen.width * window.devicePixelRatio should equal the width
> of the screen in physical screen pixels, so that you know how large an
> image/canvas you would need if you were to display raster graphics in
> fullscreen.
>
> C) If you combine the following assertions:
>
> C1. screen.width, screen.availWidth and window.outerWidth all need to use
> the same units so authors can move windows around reliably.
> C2. window.outerWidth should be sized in unscaled* CSS pixels, so that if
> you increase the size of your window by one pixel, your web page gets larger
> by one CSS pixel (assuming you have a width=device-width viewport on mobile,
> or no viewport on desktop).
>
> Then together you find that all 3 of these values should be sized in
> unscaled* CSS pixels.
>
> While from a purist perspective, I can understand that it's odd for page
> zoom to modify the screen size, the reality is the screen size is only
> relevant in so far as the page can use the screen (which is consistently
> affected by page zoom).
>
> *: (by unscaled CSS pixel, I mean the size that a CSS pixel would be if your
> UA doesn't support meta viewport, or your page has a
> width=device-width,minimum-scale=1,maximum-scale=1 viewport; such a pixel is
> also called a Device-Independent Pixel, or DIP)
>
>> I feel that for reasons of cross-browser compatibility the zoom level
>> should be exposed in a separate media query, JavaScript property, and event,
>> and that DPR should remain a device-based constant as it currently is.
>
>
> There's already an event: window.onresize (since page zoom affects window
> width).
>
>> --
>> --------------------------------------------
>> ppk, mobile platform strategist
>> http://quirksmode.org/about/
>> +.31.6.29585782
>> --------------------------------------------
>
>
> --John



-- 
Kenneth Rohde Christiansen
Web Platform Architect, Intel Corporation.
Phone  +45 4294 9458 ﹆﹆﹆
Received on Friday, 6 December 2013 20:18:20 UTC

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