RE: Re: MQ Aspect Ratio

I would like to avoid the term "aspect-ratio" when it refers to width and hight of a page, screen or other output. The reason is that there are some devices that have non-square aspect ratios. For example, on inch could be 72 dots horizontally and 68 dots vertically.

We already have defined 'height' and 'width' which will work quite well for authoring content for any device. One could use @media set to 'handheld' and have a style sheet that does a beautiful job with presenting content in an appropriate manner. There is no need to create something new.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of fantasai
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2007 2:11 PM
Subject: Fwd: Re: MQ Aspect Ratio

Forwarding discussion to www-style (with Timur's permission) per

Timur Mehrvarz wrote:
> Håkon Wium Lie wrote:
>>Timur Mehrvarz wrote:
>>> MQ says: "The 'device-aspect-ratio' media feature describes the aspect
>>> ratio of the output device.
>>> Does output device refer to the browser window, or to the actual screen
>>> pixel resolution?
>> It refers to the aspect ratio of the device, not the browser window.
>>> (The distinction may seem irrelevant in cases, where the browser is
>>> being shown in fullscreen mode by default (on most mobile devices,
>>> TV's, etc.). But on the desktop, it's really the browser windows
>>> aspect ratio, that is the relevant criteria. No?)
>> I agree. The name of the media query would also be simpler:
>> "aspect-ratio" instead of "device-aspect-ratio".
>> Making this change, however, would mean that we have to go back to
>> last call. I'm unsure if it's worth it.
>> How valuable is is to know the aspect ratio of the browser window?
> Very valuable. Let's assume, we use "device-aspect-ratio" to provide  
> two stylesheets, one for portrait mode devices (N80, P1, etc.) and  
> one for landscape mode devices (E61, Blackberry, etc.)
> Voilá, the same content lays out nicely on all of these handheld  
> devices. Because the browser on these devices usually runs in full  
> screen mode. And the device-aspect-ratio and the browser window  
> aspect ratio are usually the same (or almost the same).
> But when you run the same content then on the desktop (where the  
> device-aspect-ratio is usually >1), your content will always be  
> rendered with your "landscape mode" stylesheet. So even if a user  
> sizes her browser window to match the screen of a portrait mode  
> mobile device, the landscape mode is being rendered for her. This is  
> a pity.
> We really like to provide the same content to a wide range of  
> devices. So I am asking the CSS group to consider adding "aspect- 
> ratio" to the MQ specification. Thank you.

My position is, the window's dimensions are more relevant than the
device's dimensions. Therefore if the aspect ratio is a useful media
query we should add 'aspect-ratio' to go with 'width' and 'height'.
If it's not and we don't want to add 'aspect-ratio' then we should
also remove 'device-aspect-ratio'.


Received on Saturday, 11 August 2007 22:47:52 UTC