[whatwg] RWD Heaven: if browsers reported device capabilities in a request header

On Feb 6, 2012, at 12:20 PM, James Graham <jgraham at opera.com> wrote:

> On Mon, 6 Feb 2012, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
>> On 2/6/12 11:42 AM, James Graham wrote:
>> Sure.  I'm not entirely sure how sympathetic I am to the need to produce "reduced-functionality" pages...  The examples I've encountered have mostly been in one of three buckets:
>> 1) "Why isn't the desktop version just like this vastly better mobile one?"
>> 2) "The mobile version has a completely different workflow necessitating a different url structure, not just different images and CSS"
>> 3) "We'll randomly lock you out of features even though your browser and device can handle them just fine"
> The example I had in mind was one of our developers who was hacking an internal tool so that he could use it efficiently on his phone.
> AFAICT his requirements were:
> 1) Same URL structure as the main site
> 2) Less (only citical) information on each screen
> 3) No looking up / transfering information that would later be thrown away
> 4) Fast => No extra round trip to report device properties
> AFAIK he finally decided to UA sniff Opera mobile. Which is pretty sucky even for an intranet app. But I didn't really have a better story to offer him. It would be nice to address this kind of use case somehow.

It'd be nice to have those requirements on the desktop as well! Doesn't this fall into the first bucket?

I'm sympathetic, and I do understand many developers have a goal of using pure-CSS. That said, for the past couple years I've stuck with the concept that onresize and onload are sufficient. Though some hacks are needed to get dpi ratio; on the desktop, Microsoft's window.screen extensions are the only ones to just expose the data in a nice manner.

I think this issue is about a deficiency in HTML markup semantics. I've not had an issue on TV, Handheld and desktop, when I'm scripting.

One slightly related example: big PDF documents. PDF can be loaded in chunks, streamed. I think that Ace (was Bespin) handles chunking of large documents.

We all remember when mobile phones used gateways or otherwise split documents into several pages. It seems relevant to understanding the scope or the problem.


Received on Monday, 6 February 2012 12:35:08 UTC