W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2013

RE: Media Queries and optimizing what data gets transferred

From: Fred Andrews <fredandw@live.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2013 22:59:19 +0000
Message-ID: <BLU002-W197D108C1A2EE9E18343F9DAA1E0@phx.gbl>
To: Yoav Weiss <yoav@yoav.ws>, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
CC: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>

I propose that the 'async' flag only make access from JS asynchronous and that it not dictate the load order, rather just remove a constraint allowing the UA to optimize the load order.  This gives the UA room to delay or defer loading style sheets that do not apply.  Let's not conflate removing a constraint with a proposal that requires the UA to enforce a dictated load order.  In your example, all the <link> elements could be 'async' if your JS accesses the CSSOM using the async interface.


Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2013 22:01:19 +0100
From: yoav@yoav.ws
To: jackalmage@gmail.com
CC: hsivonen@iki.fi; dajdavies@gmail.com; www-style@w3.org; ilya@igvita.com
Subject: Re: Media Queries and optimizing what data gets transferred

I may have failed to make myself clear, so I'll try to explain myself better with code :)
Let's say I have the following styles:   <!-- High priority CSS. should be loaded before paint for all viewport sizes -->
   <link href="common_for_all_breakpoints.css" rel="stylesheet" media="screen">   <!-- High priority CSSes for the relevant viewport. The one which media matches is needed as close as possible to first paint. The others can be deferred, possibly forever -->
   <link href="small_screen.css" rel="stylesheet" media="screen and (max-width: 599px)">   <link href="medium_screen.css" rel="stylesheet" media="screen and (min-width: 600px and max-width: 899px)">
   <link href="large_screen.css" rel="stylesheet" media="screen and (min-width: 900px)">   <!-- Low priority CSS. Need to be loaded if JS brings in content that needs it. -->
   <link href="styles_for_lazy_loaded_content.css" rel="stylesheet">   <!-- Low priority CSS that can be deferred, possibly forever -->   <link href="print.css" rel="stylesheet" media="print">

As far as I understand, the `async` attribute accommodates the "styles_for_lazy_loaded_content.css" use-case.Using `async` on the viewport specific high priority CSSes will result in the relevant ones deferred with the irrelevant ones, and will also create a JS dependency for these CSSes, if we actually need to load them.
I believe there is a place for a different attribute that indicates only "no JS inspects this CSS, it can be deferred if irrelevant", but without deferring CSS which media matches and without creating a JS dependency.


On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 7:16 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:

On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 5:59 AM, Yoav Weiss <yoav@yoav.ws> wrote:

> This sounds like a great proposal that will enable browsers to avoid

> downloading excessive CSS.

> What bothers me about it is that if I understand correctly, `async` CSS

> which `media` matches the current viewport/dpi/etc risks resulting in FOUC.

> What does the `async` attribute mean as far as authors are concerned? "No JS

> inspects this CSS"? "No need to download before first paint"? Both?

> Something else?

Both.  If you use async on a stylesheet, there is *no* guarantee that

it will be downloaded by the time the page is first painted, and in

fact it's likely to not be.  And in my proposal, it's not accessible

via JS until you explicitly request it to be so.  In general, you

can't assume it will *ever* be downloaded until you request it in JS.

> IMO, RWD authors often need to define a set of "essential" CSS files, from

> which only one of them applied to the current responsive breakpoint, and the

> others are (at least currently) irrelevant. In this case, only the relevant

> one should be downloaded with high priority and possibly block the first

> paint to avoid FOUC (as CSS is loaded today), while the irrelevant ones can

> download later/never. I'm not sure this proposal answers that need.

It does.  All the async ones are "low" priority according to your

categorization, and then you can just run through and request the

"essential" ones via JS on page load.  It'll still request them

"slowly", so as to not interfere with the rest of the page, but

they'll be guaranteed to load in a reasonable amount of time, while

the rest might not ever.

In other words, normal stylesheets are "high" priority.  Async

stylesheets are "low".  Async stylesheets that have been explicitly

requested through the JS API are "medium".


Received on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 22:59:48 UTC

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