W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-respimg@w3.org > February 2015

Crazy Eights

From: Eric Portis <lists@ericportis.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:14:11 -0700
To: public-respimg@w3.org
Message-ID: <D079E2D8-A56D-4339-99F6-FDF96698F9A5@ericportis.com>
# Crazy Eights

## 38 Special

Firefox users! Belatedly elate! Your images will soon be very 
lightweight.

[`picture`](https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1017875) and 
[`srcset`](https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1018389) have 
been [turned on by default in Firefox 
Nightly](https://twitter.com/FirefoxNightly/status/567870148763209728), 
and are slated for Firefox 38 — release date: [May 
12th](http://release.mozilla.org/planning/2015/01/13/release-schedule.html).


What is it about version 38s? Is their greatness innate? The first 
responsive image implementations landed in *Chrome* ***38*** and Opera, 
uh, 25 [back in 
October](http://us8.campaign-archive2.com/?u=c988d9ca55d5d09e73a7dc993&id=58a0665da3&e=[UNIQID]).

The wait for Gecko respimg was a bit longer than anticipated; 
issue-owner John Schoenick left Mozilla for Valve back in November. But 
[Josh Matthews](https://twitter.com/lastontheboat) picked up where John 
left off and succeeded this week in pushing the implementations across 
the finish line.

Huzzah!

## Drupal for your pupils

[Responsive image support landed in Drupal 8 this 
week](https://www.drupal.org/node/2260061). I’ve played with the 
implementation a bit and it’s fascinating to see how it differs from 
[WordPress’](https://wordpress.org/plugins/ricg-responsive-images/) 
— whereas the WordPress respimg plugin tries very hard to keep things 
simple and automagic, Drupal’s support is much more structured, 
providing developers with tremendous control (but requiring more setup).

Next up for Drupal: [a UI](https://www.drupal.org/node/2334387) to make 
that control accessible to people who don’t like mucking around in 
`.yml` files.

## WebKit, slow and steady

Don’t look now, but Yoav is persistently laying the foundations for 
respimg in WebKit. Exhibit A: [microtask 
abstractions](https://html.spec.whatwg.org/multipage/webappapis.html#microtask), 
which saw [a new batch of 
patches](https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=137496) this week. 
Let’s be honest: while I might be able to mumble a few vague words 
about how microtasks enable [asynchronous image 
loading](https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=134488) in response to 
[changing media 
conditions](https://github.com/ResponsiveImagesCG/newsletters/blob/master/RICG-newsletter-2014-07-11.md#responsive-elements-in-blink--complete-picture-implementation-imminent), 
I wouldn’t recognize a microtask abstraction if it hit me in the face. 
But! I trust Yoav when he tells us that microtask-in-WebKit progress is 
respimg progress: slow, steady, and inexorable.

## Client hints in Blink?

[Client Hints](https://github.com/igrigorik/http-client-hints) move the 
complexities of alternate resources, `x` descriptors, and `w` 
descriptors out of `srcset` attributes and into HTTP headers. Using 
Client Hints, markup can point to a single `src`. Browsers may send 
various “hints” — about their `device-pixel-ratio`, the layout 
width of the image, or their maximum download speed — as headers on 
the request for that `src`; the server can then use those hints to 
choose an alternate, more appropriate resource to send in response.

Yoav posted an [intent to implement 
thread](https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/forum/#!msg/blink-dev/vOgv-TqefsA/o_fEsy8RFcwJ) 
about Client Hints over on blink-dev this week. Let’s see where it 
goes!

## Automatically optimal compression

Artisanal-ly “Save for Web…”-ing every image by hand is fine for 
bespoke websites, but automated image compression is the name of the 
game for anything larger. Two great, recent, developments on that front:

1. [imgmin](https://github.com/rflynn/imgmin) — the tool that lets you 
standardize image quality around an objective metric, rather twiddling 
an arbitrary and mysterious 0-100 encoder knob — has [integrated the 
DSSIM metric](https://github.com/rflynn/imgmin/pull/43). [Structural 
(dis)similarity](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structural_similarity) is 
[Kornel Lesiński’s favorite image quality 
metric](https://github.com/rflynn/imgmin/issues/30); therefore it is 
also mine.
2. Dave Newton is constructing a [massive set of 
tests](https://github.com/nwtn/image-resize-tests) for all of 
[ImageMagick](http://www.imagemagick.org/)’s compression and 
conversion options. These tests are the raw material for an upcoming 
[talk](http://www.meetup.com/Toronto-Web-Performance-Group/events/220287399/) 
and article on the subject – I can’t wait!


## Grab bag

- Matt Wilcox wrote up his [fantastically practical 
method](https://mattwilcox.net/web-development/keeping-srcset-and-sizes-under-control) 
for picking image breakpoints and authoring `srcset` and `sizes` markup 
a few months back; I somehow missed it. Oops! Go read it! It’s great!
- SVG savant Sara Soueidan published a great thing on [using `picture` 
to serve SVGs with PNG 
fallbacks](http://sarasoueidan.com/blog/svg-picture/).
- A bit of follow-up from last week: [Wordpress settled on a default 
`sizes` 
value](https://github.com/ResponsiveImagesCG/wp-tevko-responsive-images/issues/51) 
and it’s eminently practical. That default is also [settable by theme 
authors](https://github.com/ResponsiveImagesCG/wp-tevko-responsive-images/issues/30) 
(though they’re [still 
tinkering](https://github.com/ResponsiveImagesCG/newsletters/issues/154#issuecomment-75567634) 
with how that should work), and adjustable on an image-by-image basis 
via a sorta-janky/sorta-genius `data-sizes` attribute. Neat.
- The `srcset` syntax and/or `sizes` attribute [might be useful 
for](https://github.com/ResponsiveImagesCG/picture-element/issues/258) 
`video` `poster`s?
- After his [An Event Apart Atlanta 
talk](http://hookedoncode.com/responsive-images-are-here-now-what-by-jason-grigsby-notes-from-an-event-apart-talk/), 
Jason Grigsby set about writing down a bunch of respimg implementation 
best practices in a series of blog posts. Here’s the 
[first](http://blog.cloudfour.com/responsive-images-are-here-now-what/) 
— an introduction, of sorts — and [here’s the 
second](http://blog.cloudfour.com/responsive-images-audits/), which 
outlines the extremely sensible, constantly-overlooked step of auditing 
what you have before deciding where to go, re: images on a website.
- Here are a couple of Rails respimg helpers — [`srcset` with 
`w`s](https://gist.github.com/mrreynolds/4fc71c8d09646567111f), 
[`srcset` with 
`x`s](https://gist.github.com/henrik/2ddcc6ab8c66e7c49305) — if 
you’re into that sort of thing.

See you in a couple of weeks!

—eric
Received on Monday, 23 February 2015 21:14:52 UTC

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