HTML5 Summer Dev Fest

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I attended the HTML5 summer dev fest yesterday and it was awesome. They had a great line up of speakers. If you’re in the Vancouver area, I highly suggest you join the Vancouver HTML5 Meetup Group. They just started up and wow are they starting with off on the right foot. I’m really looking forward to more meet ups from this group.

There was a presentation on CSS3 Media Queries and I haven’t quite made up my mind on the idea of responsive web design. In theory it sounds great, in reality my gut tells me it’s going to add a whole new dimension of headaches and complexity to any website.

  • Will the business give us more time to design multiple layout options as the site scales up and down?
  • Will we then be given the time to create the html/css properly?
  • When changes are made, will the none-designers know to make sure that nothing in the other display sizes break?
  • If you thought testing your site on FireFox, IE7/8/9, Chrome and the Mac was bad, now imagine having to do it for all of those plus different display resolutions and devices.

I work on a team with 3 other developers, and I don’t always get a chance to Q/A their stuff. I don’t even know that they’ve made changes a lot of the times because they are “minor”. They don’t always remember to check all the browsers after they’ve made a change, and now we’re asking them check multiple display sizes too? HAH!

I’m just not that optimistic that adding this level of complexity to a website is a good idea. You’re also no longer serving mobile optimized code to the mobile devides that really need it.  If you simply hide things for smaller displays you’re still forcing the devices to download everything.

This might not seem like such a big deal if they’re on WiFi but using my Telus 3G is still the suck. I have the HTC Desire on Android 2.2. and websites download very slowly.

Maybe I’m having so much trouble wrapping my head around the idea of using responsive web design for EVERYTHING is because it goes against everything I believe a website should be:

  • You’re supposed to keep websites lean and mean – no extra bloated code and unnecessary images with lots of js forking which forces your users to download what they don’t need.
  • You’re supposed to optimize your websites for download speed – if you go through all the effort of making your website optimized according to the Yahoo Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Website or Google’s Web Performance Best Practices only to turn around and make your site 200kb, what was the point?

Here’s a really good article that pretty much sums up how I feel about CSS Media Queries for Mobile Web Development.

I also belong to a few more meet up groups in the Vancouver area but the ones I most frequent are VanJS and the Vancouver Webdesign Meetup.