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

From: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 14:37:46 +1300
Message-ID: <CAOp6jLZOwAsxeJBBabbEfDHqNDQBdYUZo8TyX1QwBC7XCR1iQw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Brian Blakely <anewpage.media@gmail.com>
Cc: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>, Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu>, Alex Danilo <alex@abbra.com>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 6:33 AM, Brian Blakely <anewpage.media@gmail.com>wrote:

> If display makers worldwide agreed to keep virtual resolutions low on small
> screen devices, then this wouldn't be a problem.  To my knowledge, this has
> not happened, and in my opinion it's a kludgy solution.

It's not a display maker issue, it's entirely up to the UA to decide how to
map CSS pixels to device pixels.

The bottom line is that if UAs do not intend to implement real inches and
> centimeters, then they should be completely deprecated, to be succeeded by
> something more useful for responding to display size.

Legacy compatibility issues are not the only reason to leave CSS units the
way they are. For normal desktop printing, we guarantee that 1in is one
physical inch. It's very useful to have units that are guaranteed to map to
given physical dimensions on paper, and also guaranteed to give a good
viewing size on all kinds of screen devices.

I don't know why you (and other people) say that the current definitions are
not useful for "responding to display size". It's the old definitions of
"in" etc that were completely useless if the content is rendered on both a
Jumbotron and a contact lens.

"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in
us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our
sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned,
we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us." [1 John 1:8-10]
Received on Friday, 7 October 2011 01:38:17 UTC

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