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Re: User Agents Do Not Implement Absolute Length Units, Places Responsive Design in Jeopardy

From: Ambrose LI <ambrose.li@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 11:53:15 -0400
Message-ID: <CADJvFOUqbN4GTsyjdhg6ZBWHiZPZWxM9bnuX9J80xJaQMju_hg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Brian Blakely <anewpage.media@gmail.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
This was discussed to death last year, when hardly anyone was
convinced that absolute units were useful. Now we have a compelling
(and important) use case and it’s too late.

If you don’t implement it, of course no one will use it.

2011/10/5 Brian Blakely <anewpage.media@gmail.com>:
> See spec for a refresh: http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-values/#absolute-lengths
> As far as I know, UAs have never actually implemented this, but always
> pretended to anyway.  If you size something as "1in", you're more than
> likely going to get 90px, regardless of the accuracy of this output.
> This is important because physical screen dimensions are going to become
> very crucial in the near-term for content and layout delivery, especially in
> regards to Media Queries.
> The problem which was years away is now an impending reality: the day when
> 720p+ mobile devices become the norm.  Unless these devices are all
> pixel-doubling and -quadrupling without exception, using Media Queries for
> the most common responsive design practice — horizontal resolution detection
> in pixels — won't work anymore.  They will simply cease to be a solution,
> leaving no replacement.
> We need a new way to do generic device detection, or we need absolute length
> units to work.
> Anyone from representative groups (Mozilla, Chrome Team, Apple) want to
> comment?  Does the spec need to be changed?
> Best,
> -Brian

Received on Wednesday, 5 October 2011 15:53:51 UTC

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