[webkit-dev] The SrcN responsive images proposal

Yoav Weiss yoav at yoav.ws
Wed Nov 6 15:13:13 PST 2013

On Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 9:00 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:

> (b) I am dubious of some of the use cases proposed as essential for src-N
> that ratchet up the complexity. For example, your case #2 of
> viewport-switching

Viewport switching is very common in almost any responsive design.

> , in particular its headlining use case of a multi-column view that
> changes number of columns at different viewport widths, was not addressed
> or even meaningfully discussed in the N years that srcset and <picture>
> were being developed.

This case was brought
one of the cases previous proposals did not address. Admittedly, it
wasn't discussed enough, even though it breaks one of the assumptions of
previous viewport switching proposals - that a smaller viewport necessarily
means a smaller image.

> This makes me doubt somewhat that addressing this use case is now
> absolutely critical. It seams kinda neat, but is it really a showstopper to
> address this in version 1.0 of the feature?

There are other advantages to the viewport-url syntax over the previous
viewport-switching proposal, srcset's 'w' syntax, that were thoroughly
* The fact that it enables to define viewport width using relative units
enables it to match responsive designs that are based on relative units,
without breaking the design or the images for users with an non-typical
default font-size (e.g. Kindle, or users that have set a preference)
* The fact that it enables authors to define either min or max-width as the
breakpoints (or for that matter, any MQ, if the author chooses to do so, at
the expense of verbosity), makes it compatible and easy to author with any
responsive design approach (the classic example is "mobile first" vs.
"desktop first"), by defining the image's variable width percentage,
instead of a fixed width. That makes it much easier to author any
responsive design with "fluid images" where the image dimensions are not
linear (i.e. the image dimensions as percentage of the viewport vary
between breakpoints, which is a common case), when compared to srcset's 'w'

So, I'd say that the viewport-url syntax is important for ease of authoring
and making sure images match their layout, as well as the "varying column
number as image width" case.
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