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[csswg-drafts] [mediaqueries-4] do `hover` and `any-hover` only make sense for *pointer-based* input mechanisms only?

From: Patrick H. Lauke via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 23:48:57 +0000
To: public-css-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <issues.opened-202347851-1485042536-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
patrickhlauke has just created a new issue for 

== [mediaqueries-4] do `hover` and `any-hover` only make sense for 
*pointer-based* input mechanisms only? ==
Following the discussions in 
https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts/issues/737 and taking a step back,
 I think I may have had a slight shift in perception on how I could 
reconcile my most fundamental/philosophical issues with what the spec 
seems to be trying to do...

One of the scenarios that I felt very uncomfortable with for a long 
time was the fact that keyboard-type inputs aren't sufficiently 
covered by the spec. My fear in this context is that authors may do 
something like querying `pointer:none`, `hover:none`, 
`any-pointer:none`, `any-hover:none` and if those did *not* evaluate 
to true, assume that there was no keyboard (or similar non-pointer, 
non-hover-capable input).

Now in the case of `pointer` / `any-pointer`, I've been able to 
reconcile this in https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts/pull/842 with 
the note I added

> 'any-pointer' is used to query the presence and accuracy of pointing
 devices. It does not take into account any additional non-pointing 
device inputs, and can not be used to test for the presence of other 
input mechanisms, such as d-pads or keyboard-only controls, that don't
 move an on-screen pointer. 'any-pointer:none' will only evaluate to 
true if there are no pointing devices at all present.

I'm now wondering if something similar (clarifying text/wording) could
 also help in the case of `hover` / `any-hover`, and this would depend
 on the following: does the concept of "hovering" only really make 
sense in the context of pointer-based inputs? Inputs that have an 
on-screen or physical pointer/cursor?

I can't think of a situation where an input *would* or *could* be 
hover-capable if it didn't have the concept of a pointer.

And if we can agree on that, perhaps the cleanest way to address my 
concern about keyboard/keyboard-like input mechanisms not being 
covered would be to, instead of talking about "input mechanisms" in 
the spec (which is quite a broad, generic term, which *would* cover 
keyboards), the spec text should quite explicitly talk about something
 like "pointer-based input mechanisms". By using this more specific 
language, it would be immediately clear that these media features are 
not even *meant* to help authors detect if there are other input 
mechanisms, like keyboards, present. pointer-accuracy and 
hover-capability would only apply to any pointer-based inputs, and 
authors would still need to use their judgement to know that there may
 be other non-pointer-based input mechanisms present (and this could 
be reinforced in a note).


If the above makes sense, I'm happy to file a PR that will try to 
refocus the wording and add a note, as described.

(note that this does not invalidate 
https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts/issues/841 which is still 
pertinent even when we focus purely on pointer-based input mechanisms)

Please view or discuss this issue at 
https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts/issues/967 using your GitHub 
Received on Saturday, 21 January 2017 23:49:04 UTC

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