W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-respimg@w3.org > March 2016

Finishing touches & new foundations

From: Eric Portis <lists@ericportis.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 14:56:38 -0700
To: public-respimg@w3.org
Message-ID: <A79FFB25-7247-4813-908D-BE3F57C0EBEC@ericportis.com>
# Finishing touches & new foundations

## `picture` just shipped in Safari 9.1

A long time ago, in a newsletter far, far away*, I reported that 
`picture` would be shipping in Safaris in “the fall.” Good news 
everybody! Apple shipped a webdev-focused Safari point release this 
afternoon, and [the headlining 
feature](https://developer.apple.com/library/prerelease/mac/releasenotes/General/WhatsNewInSafari/Articles/Safari_9_1.html) 
is `picture`!

And with that – every major browser is shipping with support for every 
respimg feature.

![We did it.](https://ericportis.com/etc/wedidit.gif)

*Caveat implementor*: Apple’s implementation still suffers from some 
fairly severe bugs. Two biggies: 1) double downloads 
[sometimes](http://jsbin.com/fikizogapu/1/edit?html,output), 2) it 
doesn’t respond to viewport changes.

## Hey! What’s up with container queries?

Tab “The Catalyst” Atkins Jr., who outlined a technical plan for 
how [container 
queries](http://alistapart.com/article/container-queries-once-more-unto-the-breach) 
could work at the RICG meeting a year ago in Redmond, [provided a status 
update in the RICG 
IRC](http://ircbot.responsiveimages.org/bot/log/respimg/2016-02-08#T158122). 
TL;DR: he wants to see this feature evolve from the ground up, rather 
decreeing it from the top, down. 
[Extensible-Web-Manifesto](https://extensiblewebmanifesto.org)-style.

So:

1. Give authors the tools to create their *own* solutions. Namely: 
element-level resize events, custom CSS @-rules, and (maybe) an explicit 
way to break out of some of the thorny [circular-dependency 
issues](http://www.xanthir.com/b4VG0).
2. Nudge authors to create (JavaScript-dependent) libraries and see if 
any of them gain traction and mature.
3. If/when a given solution wins sufficient hearts/minds and achieves a 
degree of maturity: pull it into the platform; make it native.

To me, this sounds more or less like the path we (eventually) took to 
get from `picturefill.js` to `<picture>`. (Frustratingly) slow, 
(reassuringly) steady, and (happily) democratic. While we wait for 
various foundations to be laid, I say we all spend some time thinking 
about how to implement CQs as a *progressive enhancement*?

For the impatient: nitty-gritty discussions (and 
[specifications](https://drafts.csswg.org/css-containment-3/#containment-layout)!) 
about those pesky circularity issues have been [kicking up again 
recently](https://github.com/ResponsiveImagesCG/container-queries/issues/3#issuecomment-169471593). 
Read up and chime in!

## Managing complexity

Efforts continue on all fronts to make the creation, management, and 
delivery of responsive images as easy as possible.

The coolest tool released during the newsletter’s long haitus: 
Cloudinary’s [responsive images breakpoint 
generator](http://www.responsivebreakpoints.com). A living, breathing, 
(and free!) answer to [Jason Grigsby’s 
koan](http://blog.cloudfour.com/responsive-images-101-part-9-image-breakpoints/): 
how many differently-sized versions of a given image do we really need, 
and exactly what should their resolutions be?

It seems like I’ve mentioned this in every newsletter for the last six 
months, but – responsive images landing in WordPress 4.4 Core was a 
Big Flippin’ Deal, and has made respimg deployment completely 
automatic for *millions* of sites. Tim Evko wrote up [a great explainer 
of how the implementation actually works on 
SmashingMag](http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/12/responsive-images-in-wordpress-core/).

Speaking of great explainers on SmashingMag, Jon Arne Sæterås penned 
[a great intro to Client 
Hints](https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/01/leaner-responsive-images-client-hints/). 
If you want to do more respimg heavy lifting on your server and in HTTP 
headers and less in markup, Client Hints are the ticket.

Finally, I wrote a little thing on the Cloudinary blog about how to use 
their smart-cropping features for [automatic art 
direction](http://cloudinary.com/blog/automatically_art_directed_responsive_images).

## Grab bag

- The excellent and under-appreciated spec intro for respimg features 
[now sports a few snazzy (and helpful!) 
illustrations](https://html.spec.whatwg.org/multipage/embedded-content.html#introduction-3), 
courtesy of editor Simon “Non-Normative” Pieters.
- While most of us are only just now dipping our toes into generating 
WebPs and JPEG-XRs, the *next* next generation of image formats 
continues to take shape. The FILF folks [wrote a few 
words](http://flif.info/lossy.html) about their new `--lossy` mode, and 
the Daala crew (whose in-development video codec [includes an innovative 
still image 
coder](https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/daala/update1.shtml)) is 
getting [awfully 
close](https://arewecompressedyet.com/?r%5B%5D=x265_1.6_ntt-short-1&r%5B%5D=master-2016-03-16-20af6e2&s=ntt-short-1) 
to their stated goal of outperforming the royalty-encumbered, 
[world-beating](https://people.mozilla.org/~josh/lossy_compressed_image_study_july_2014/#y-ssim-data) 
HEVC/H.265.
- Expect the unexpected and [style your broken 
images](http://bitsofco.de/styling-broken-images/).

See you in a couple weeks!
—eric

\* Sorry, by the way, for the extended haitus. Turns out: quitting your 
job, leaving the country for three weeks, and then moving from the 
Mile-High City to a cabin by the sea is fairly disruptive, re: timely 
newslettering.
Received on Monday, 21 March 2016 21:57:06 UTC

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