MQSugr is a wrapper for Modernizr.load that provides some syntactic sugar for loading CSS and JavaScript files using media queries and browser features. MQSugr was developed as a way for me to learn more about JavaScript.
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MQSugr is a wrapper for Modernizr.load that provides some syntactic sugar for loading CSS and JavaScript files using media queries and browser features. MQSugr was created to help me learn more about JavaScript, media queries, file loading and Modernizr. I don't think it solves any real problem.

Sugar Isn't Always Good for You

Modernizr.load already does a good job of using media queries for loading files. Some reasons why this little project might not be a good fit for you:

  • at 5K minified it's very heavy for something that is probably easier to type out by hand or that you might not even have worry about. compare the MQSugr code that powers the demo vs. Modernizr.load code.
  • if you use this to load CSS files you will experience FOUC. see the demo for a good example of this in action. you probably should load base breakpoint CSS files with a <link> tag and the media attribute.
  • rather than load one minified file or one stylesheet it will make multiple requests. when using the default min-width to test it shouldn't be bad for mobile devices. max-width tho...
  • it's a brittle solution because I may or may not keep up with all the features of Modernizr.load. let's go under the assumption I won't.

Features of MQSugr

List of features:

  • Load CSS & JavaScript files based on media queries & browser features.
  • Simple format. The normal Modernerizr.load format can also be used.
  • Standard file naming convention to help make it easier to organize files based on breakpoints.
  • Attempts to load CSS in order (e.g. general media query CSS should be loaded before specific, test-related CSS).
  • Media queries are continually tested as a user resizes their browser larger or changes the orientation of their device.
  • Uses Modernizr to test media queries & browser features.
  • Uses Modernizr.load to dynamically load files.

Demo of MQSugr

A very simple demo of MQSugr is available.

Using MQSugr

Using MQSugr is fairly straightforward. It can get complicated fast depending on what you want to do though.

Using a Custom Version of Modernizr

Obviously you'll need to include the proper version of Modernizr. Note that the default download of Modernizr does not come with Modernizr.load. You must select it if you don't want to use the full set of tests included with this distribution.

Initializing MQSugr & Checking Breakpoints

Initialize MQSugr and starting the check for breakpoints to load files is really easy. Simply include the following before the closing /body tag:

<script type="text/javascript">
   var mqsugr = new MQSugr();			
   var breakpoints = { 
       breakpoint1: { mq: '600px', tests: 'cssanimations' },
       breakpoint2: { mq: '1025px', tests: 'draganddrop' }

Changing Default Options for MQSugr

The following options are set-up by default to be used when creating media queries and file paths:

cssPath	= 'css/';   // the default path to the css files
jsPath  = 'js/';    // the default path to the js files
mm      = 'min';    // the default value for min-width vs max-width
mt      = 'screen'; // the default value for media type for the media queries (e.g. screen)
lbd     = 'css';    // the default files that should be loaded (can be css, js, both, or none)

These defaults can be overridden by simply including the new values in the call to initialize MQSugr like so:

var mqsugr = new MQSugr({ cssPath: 'stylesheets/', lbd: 'none', mm: 'max' });

You can also override these options on a per breakpoint and per test basis.

File Naming Conventions

If you use the default syntax for MQSugr you shouldn't have to type in any file names and, instead should be able to rely on the standard file naming convention. It works like this:


So two quick examples:

  // if true, loads css/720.css
breakpoint: '720px'

// if true, loads css/720.css and js/720.cssanimations.js
breakpoint: { mq: '720px', js: 'cssanimations' }

Please note, if you use the default settings, the CSS for the given media query will always be requested (e.g. 720.css). There are more examples listed below.

Creating Breakpoints

Breakpoints and their related tests are the core of MQSugr. The names of the tests just match those features detected by Modernizr. I assume that if you use custom tests they'll work. I haven't tried The following are examples of how you could use them to load specific files:

// loads 720.css if min-width is 720px
breakpoint: '720px' 

// loads 720.css & 720.js if min-width is 720px
breakpoint: { mq: '720px', lbd: 'both' }

// loads 720.css if min-width is 720px, loads 720.cssanimations.css if min-width is 720px & CSS animations are supported
// by default, if file type isn't specified CSS is loaded
breakpoint: { mq: '720px', tests: 'cssanimations' }
// loads 720.css, 720.cssanimations.js, 720.borderradius.js
// when separated by a comma each feature, cssanimations & borderradius, is tested individually w/ the media query
breakpoint: { mq: '720px', js: 'cssanimations,borderradius' }
// loads 720.js, 720.cssanimations-borderradius.js
// both features must exist with the media query to be loaded, || also works. you can also add more tests with a comma
breakpoint: { mq: '720px', js: 'cssanimations && borderradius' }
// loads 720.cssanimations.js for devices w/ max-width of 720px	& 720.borderradius.js for devices w/ a min-width of 720px			
breakpoint: { mq: '720px', lbd: 'none', js: [{ tests: 'cssanimations', mm: 'max' },{ tests: 'borderradius', mm: 'min' }]} 

In addition to js: you can use css: and both:. Again, all of the defaults from above can be included as well.

Loading Files Across Breakpoints

If you need to load files across multiple breakpoints just use min-width & max-width to load them across the appropriate breakpoints. For example, by default MQSugr uses min-width & we want the 720.cssanimations.js file to load for an iPad in either portrait or landscape but have separate styles for landscape. The breakpoint tests for that would look like:

breakpoint1: { mq: '600px', js: 'cssanimations' },
breakpoint2: '801px'

If the width of the window is greater than 600px but less than 801px this will only load 600.css & 600.cssanimations.js. If the width of the window is equal too or greater than 801px it will load 801.css, 600.css & 600.cssanimations.js.

Using Modernizr.load Defaults

Obviously the previous examples use the file naming convention. If you don't want to rely on that you can still use Modernizr.load's default behavior to load files. The one trick is that you can also use the default paths that you set-up when you initialized MQSugr by using {cssPath} and {jsPath}.

// loads css2/foo.css and amazing.js w/ the default path if min-width is 720px
breakpoint: { mq: '720px', yep: ['css2/foo.css','{jsPath}amazing.js'] }

// loads snow.js w/ the default path if max-width is 720px and cssanimations are supported
breakpoint: { mq: '720px', mm: 'max', js: [{ test: 'cssanimations', yep: '{jsPath}snow.js' }] }

nope:, both: (as mboth:), callback: & complete: are also supported. load: isn't currently supported but I can always add it or add a pull request with the fix.

Suggested Breakpoints

In case you're curious here are some breakpoints that you might want to keep in mind. They were provided by @ryanve on Stack Overflow:

/* regular breakpoints
min-width: 320px  // smartphones, portrait iPhone, portrait 480x320 phones (Android)
min-width: 480px  // smartphones, Android phones, landscape iPhone
min-width: 600px  // portrait tablets, portrait iPad, e-readers (Nook/Kindle), landscape 800x480 phones (Android)
min-width: 801px  // tablet, landscape iPad, lo-res laptops ands desktops
min-width: 1025px // big landscape tablets, laptops, and desktops
min-width: 1281px // hi-res laptops and desktops

/* 960 grid systems
min-width: 320px  // smartphones, iPhone, portrait 480x320 phones
min-width: 481px  // portrait e-readers (Nook/Kindle), smaller tablets @ 600 or @ 640 wide.
min-width: 641px  // portrait tablets, portrait iPad, landscape e-readers, landscape 800x480 and 854x480 phones
min-width: 961px  // tablet, landscape iPad, lo-res laptops ands desktops
min-width: 1025px // big landscape tablets, laptops, and desktops
min-width: 1281px // hi-res laptops and desktops


Thanks to the guys behind Modernizr (Faruk Ateş, Paul Irish, & Alan Sexton) and YepNope (Alan again & Ralph Holtzmann) for giving me some fun libraries to play with.