For a moment I thought browsers found a solution to this issues... I did some more tests, and it turns out they didn't really did. So I'm getting back on this project as I need to do some mobile websites again.
Here is a post about my findings at the moment. I didn't get to try all the possibilites yet but it looks like a lot of images get downloaded for no reason and that sucks.
The issue right now is that I feel it is too difficult to use, and does more than it should resulting in a huge pile of code. I'm now in the process of making it cleaner and simpler to use, and as soon as I'm happy with the result, I'll be working on a demo website to show it's power (assuming it has some...).
These are classic HTML files, the only "new" thing is the code written in comments. This will be un-commented in JS so that only content you want to show is loaded in the visitor's device.
I decided that trying to make it easy to use in "bare" CSS and LESS was simply too much work, and a bit pointless so thses files will simply be the raw exports LESS creates. If you want to use those, the only files you will have to work in are base.css and style.css
base.css is the file loaded "by default", it contains the reset, the mobile style and some more code such as third-party libraries.
style.css is the complete one with media-queries, and all the device-specific styles.
If (like me) you like LESS, than you'll have the benefit of using separated files to code (while they will be exported in base.css and style.css automatically when compiling). The file names are pretty straight-forward, but here is a short list :
base.less imports all the files needed for the base style loaded if JS isn't enabled, including reset, mobile and plugins.
style.less imports all the files of the project including reset, plugin and all the size-specific stylesheets
mobile.less tablet.less desktop.less bigscreen.less and hdtv.less are size-specific stylesheets and contains the media-queries to target the specified sizes.
plugin.less contains the styles you may have to/want to use for third-party scripts such as a JQuery plugin.
For more informations about LESS see http://lesscss.org/
If you're on Mac and like GUI applications more than commande line tools, I recommend Less.app ( http://incident57.com/less/ Mac only) which is great and will allow you to use LESS simply without remembering command line stuff (cman, we all know designers prefer pretty simple things that work rather than the Terminal :p ).
The JS probably is the only really new thing this framework provides... To put it simply, it brings media-queries to HTML.
I know what you're thinking : "It's possible to show and hide content with CSS so what the point of it ?" Well the thing is, lots of browsers wil load content even if it's hidden in CSS, if it's a big image you wanted to use on desktop, chances are mobiles will load it too even if it doesn't appear, and this really sucks because mobile phones don't always have good internet connection, and it's useless bandwidth used.
So what mrf-functions.js does is allow you to make some code visible depending on the size of the screen, like I said, media-queries for HTML. To make it simpler, it's using the sizes already set in the CSS media-queries and some keywords so that you don't need to remember the numbers.
The framework by default comes with pre-set media-queries and uses sizes from 978.gs for mobile.less tablet.less desktop.less and bigscreen.less... Unfortunately nothing was provided for bigger than that so I made hdtv.less's size myself.
You can download templates for those layouts on www.978.gs
This is a quick overview of how you can create cross-devices websites with different experiences, features and elements based on the viewport with MRF.
I won't go into details about how to design, this is up to you (or the person designing the website you're working on)... Here are few things you need to keep in mind :
- Except the HDTV version (the largest one, > 2018px wide) all the templates can be found on http://978.gs if you want to use their pre-defined grids
- The mobile version is the one that will be showed to mobile phones but also older browsers that don't support Media-Queries. It's better to make it fluid instead of fixed.
- You are free to use different images with different sizes for each one of your designs, so don't limitate yourself or force you to re-use elements... you don't have to !
- Of course you don't have to use all the pre-defined sizes
This is the first step of the coding process.
The code of the mobile version will be in mobile.less (or base.css and style.css if you're not using LESS). There is not much specific here, just keep in mind that the smaller the files are the better, if you don't need to, don't load any JS framework or big images, we'll add that for bigger devices in the next step.
This is now the fun part.
In your markup, placce the elements you want to add in comments, starting with the name of the layout it must be showed for.
<!-- Desktop <div id="test">This will appear if the visitor is using a desktop</div> -->
Resize your browser to the targeted size and style your page with it's old elements from the mobile version and the new ones for the desktop version. Here is a list of the different layouts :
- Mobile (the default one)
- With inheritance : versions smaller or equals to the visitor's are loaded
- Without inheritance : only the exact version is loaded
(js/mrf-functions.js MRF.settings['inheritance'] true or false;)
This will depend on how you want to code, if you're more about progressive ehancement, you will most likely want with inheritance, if you really create different versions for the different layouts than without might be simpler to manage for you.
Of course, always keep in mind that a user might resize his browser several times and load various layouts on a single page, it is up to you to handle this the right way (some classes are coming to help with that)
Another thing you can change is the delay between the checks of the browser size.
To prevent the script for using too much ressources, the delay between each test gets longer if the size hasn't change. You can change that by setting the delay setting to the delay you want in millisecond. If you use your own value, than the time will always be the same even if no changes are found.
(js/mrf-functions.js MRF.settings['delay'] 0 for auto or a number in ms)
If you have a problem using MRF, an idea to make it better or anything, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to answer you as quick as I can.
Made by Justin Marsan ( www.justinmarsan.com ) Original idea form Kahlil Lechelt ( http://kahlillechelt.com/ ) Discussion on Forrst ( http://forrst.com/posts/Perfect_All_Around_Bullet_Proof_CSS_Framework_F-gj4 ) JQuery ( www.jquery.com ) LazyRender ( http://webbricks.org/bricks/jQuery.lazyRender/ ) this isn't used anymore but have been a good ressource to help me code the actual (raw) JS lazy loading functions
Copyright (C) 2011 by Justin Marsan
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