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Re: Technolog Agnostic / Independent

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2017 20:43:15 +0100
To: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0877b272-890d-210e-b320-b85bdd8c59cc@splintered.co.uk>
On 10/04/2017 19:34, David MacDonald wrote:

> I agree with this sentiment. I realize there are strong opinions that
> there is "no such thing as mobile", I think we could solve a lot more
> problems than we'd create if we took this approach in this 2.1 version.
> Maybe in 5 years there will be accurate, elegant, well supported and
> well known sniffing techniques for fine/coarse pointer types and user
> distance, but in the meantime my preference would be to decide on a
> mobile break point and provide some separate requirements (such as
> target size) if there are breakpoints on the page. (Most sites these
> days have breakpoints)

They have breakpoints defined by the viewport width/height, which is 
anchored on CSS pixels...which goes back to my point above.

Also, breakpoints are fluid in environments where you can resize the 
browser viewport/window ... such as on desktop (by either resizing the 
window, or by using browser zoom which changes the size CSS pixels are 
rendered, which in turn changes the viewport dimensions).

So, defining an SC that only applies for a certain breakpoint (e.g. only 
if width is below or equal to 320px) is certainly possible...but then 
you end up with a site where the SC doesn't apply if the user happens to 
have their browser window larger than 320px, but applies as soon as the 
user makes the browser window smaller or zooms in.

And for the sake of clarification, since you still seem confused by the 
"there is no mobile" statement: of course there are devices called 
mobiles. But what you (in the discussion about target sizes) use 
"mobile" for is a shorthand for "has small screen and a touchscreen" and 
pit it against "non-mobile" meaning "everything else, liked esktops 
devices, which don't have a touchscreen and have a large screen".

Small screens and touchscreens are not exclusive to mobile devices, and 
that's my point...the thinking of "mobile web" vs "desktop web" has long 
passed. You can have large screens with touchscreen, you can have 
desktop computer users who resize their window or zoom, triggering a 
small viewport, etc. Trying to pigeonhole all the various technologies 
into rigid "desktop vs mobile" categories is inappropriate today  (in 
the context of modern responsive web design etc), and a new set of 
guidelines that tries to use this distinction will be frowned upon, if 
nothing else, by modern web practitioners for exactly that reason - it 
betrays the thinking which has long become obsolete in the industry.

Now, by all means, let's discuss technology - do we need SCs that vary 
depending on viewport width? do we need SCs that only apply to devices 
that have touch, and can this be detected? But don't use inappropriate 
"mobile", "desktop", "tablet", "phablet", etc categorisations.

Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke
Received on Monday, 10 April 2017 19:43:47 UTC

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