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The Internet Technology

New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster 161

nerdyalien writes: At some point, haven't all web developers spent an unjustifiable number of hours trying to optimize a desktop site for mobile devices? Responsive web design provides a solution: "develop once, works in every device." However, still it downloads multi-MB images and re-sizes them based on device screen resolution. Retrieving optimized images from the server, based on device (desktop, tablet, phone) and the device's internet connection (fiber, broadband, mobile), has always been an open problem. Recently, a number of freelance developers are tackling this with a new HTML element, <picture>, which informs the web browser to download optimized images from the server. The tag will be featured in Chrome and Firefox later this year. Will this finally deliver us faster web browsing on mobile devices and an easier web development experience?
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New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster

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  • by thebeastofbaystreet ( 3805781 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @03:48PM (#47810109) Homepage
    Think about just how much work is now needed to display a simple GUI on a number of different devices. Something that a single developer could once have cooked up themselves now takes teams of designers, UX people, UI coders, back end coders and the rest to do. Really, we should chuck it all out and just start again.
  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @03:52PM (#47810153)

    " Responsive web design provides a solution: "develop once, works in every device."

    Name one good responsive web design that isn't shit on at least one of desktop or mobile. (And an awful lot of them are shit on both.)

    Anything actually good just builds them separately, and lets you switch between them; and selects as default the right one based on screen size (screen not window) Nothing sucks worse than making a desktop window smaller because you just want to keep one part visible while you work with something else and having the site spontaneously implode into a mobile version -- just one of the countless forms of SUCK thanks to "responsive web design".

  • by oneiros27 ( 46144 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @03:53PM (#47810171) Homepage

    Back in the days of HTML, they decided that it was awful that the people using dial-up had to wait so long for images to load ... so they came up with the 'lowsrc' attribute to the IMG element:

    <img lowsrc='...' src='...' ...>

    Or, you could could go with the 2000s route, and use CSS's media queries so that you don't try to push large images down to small-screen devices.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to just use a known attribute or method rather than trying to come up with yet another solution every few years?

  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @04:47PM (#47810677)

    There are several, but site I was referring to in particular was mashable.com. It came up at work as an example of "good responsive design" to which I argued that it was in fact abysmal.

    These were some of my notes taken at the time (I don't know if they all still apply, but a click glance confirms at least most of them still do)

    Chunks of the site can't be reached from mobile at all - how do I get to "Jobs" or "Advertising" from a smartphone?

    And on the desktop, parts of the site can't be reached depending on the size of the browser window and we're not talking perversely small either: that "more" popup menu on the desktop starts losing sections outright at around 1100px). 1100px is too narrow! Want a job at mashable? They don't have a section for that unless your on a widescreen.

    Worse, if you shrink the page below 1000px wide, you start losing content columns off the home page too -- they're just gone. You can't scroll horizontally to get to them, and unlike the mobile version which displays one column at a time with a column selector to switch, that selector doesn't appear on the desktop. If you shrink your window, you just lose columns. No selector, no scrolling, the content is just gone.

    Additionally the column selector names are different from the desktop column headers... "What's new" is renamed "New" for space and that's fine as the translation is preserved. But "The Next Big Thing" is renamed "Rising" for space -- that's a navigation cue that got lost in translation. If I were to say, 'Look for the article under "The Next Big Thing", ' nobody is going to make that connection.

BLISS is ignorance.