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

From: Brian Blakely <anewpage.media@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2011 16:10:09 -0400
Message-ID: <CAJGQg4Hp4af=8Xwz_FhRdgBpvM0dir+VnLQ2cHM=s=EGEUq7zQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Cc: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu>, www-style@w3.org
This is an idea I strongly believe should be a separate unit or solution

It's super-useful for something like Sony's wearable
wherein the viewport is physically small but apparently (I haven't tried it)
functionally equivalent to a big-screen display.

However, I feel that is a corner case, and in most cases authors will want
to use linear physical data, to then arrive at their own design conclusions
about legibility and appropriate use.


On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 2:28 PM, David Singer <singer@apple.com> wrote:

> Perhaps size detection should be based on the angle subtended at the eye?
>  That's what we are basing other stuff on.  I think the linear size is much
> less relevant (and meaningless in some cases).
> To do it well, you probably need to know "how much is subtended by the
> display" .  You probably should not need to know "what is the pixel count in
> that range" as the equipment designer should have made it that 'normal'
> sizes like 10pt text are, in fact, readable.
> On Oct 5, 2011, at 10:28 , Boris Zbarsky wrote:
> > On 10/5/11 1:21 PM, Brian Blakely wrote:
> >> The problem isn't resolution detection.  The problem is that we're using
> >> pixel resolution to do *size *detection.  Adjusting a layout for
> >> small-size displays is currently achieved by defining max-width MQs at
> >> about 640 *pixels*, when it really should be 3.5 *inches* (ballpark).
> >
> > The problem is that to be web-compatible, UAs more or less have to fix
> 1in == 96px.
> >
> > And again, just to be clear, are you trying to detect _linear_ size, or
> _angular_ size of the screen?
> >
> > -Boris
> >
> David Singer
> Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Friday, 21 October 2011 20:10:57 UTC

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