[theme-reviewers] Theme requirements for adaptive vs. responsive themes

Justin Tadlock justin at justintadlock.com
Sun Aug 25 21:29:32 UTC 2013

It sounds like you're venturing into plugin territory there.  If a user 
wants a mechanism for displaying or not displaying specific pieces of 
content based on screen size or some other factor, that's probably best 
left to plugins.  I actually think that might be a pretty cool plugin to 

On 8/25/2013 4:02 PM, Bruce Wampler wrote:
> I don't think it is possible for a theme to decide using CSS only 
> whether or not to include specific content to be downloaded to the  
> browser. It can decide whether or not to display the content, agreed. 
> I brought this up because of a user who had this exact problem. The 
> site in question had some large images to display - and the user 
> wanted to display them by default on desktop sites. But on mobile, 
> where even a 100K image could significantly impact site load time on a 
> phone, the user wanted to prevent downloading the large image 
> completely, and display alternate content on the phone.
> The latest info I was able to find says only Opera Mobile will use 
> display:none; to prevent the actual image from downloading, so CSS is 
> not a solution to this issue. CSS does a lot, but not everything.
> And while you can likely use CSS only for adaptive mobile design, my 
> take on it is that most adaptive sites use user agents to detect 
> mobile devices.
> And I will always contend that there is a very large percentage of 
> WordPress site builders who are totally capable of making their own 
> decisions to use whatever options they want to build a site that works 
> how they want - even to the level of understanding what adaptive 
> rendering is, and a desire to optimize the mobile user experience by 
> reducing load time on phone with a slow connection. Maybe you all have 
> state of the art 4G phones and service, but there are plenty of people 
> still with 2G and other slow connections, and load speed is still 
> important.
> As a theme designer, I'm just not smart enough to know when to 
> generate or not generate an <img> (or song, or video, or...) for a 
> mobile device, and exactly what alternative to provide. As a site 
> designer, I would know that much more exactly, and would like my theme 
> to allow me that ability.
> On Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 1:59 PM, Chip Bennett <chip at chipbennett.net 
> <mailto:chip at chipbennett.net>> wrote:
>     I don't think there's anything that *has* to be left up to a
>     shortcode, even for adaptive design. The developer should make
>     those decisions, based on the supported screen sizes - i.e.
>     decisions, not options.  Making those decisions has nothing to do
>     with a Theme creating or modifying content; rather, those
>     decisions merely impact the *presentation* of that content. The
>     implementation of those decisions can be handled in a manner that
>     is 100% consistent with maintaining the
>     presentation-vs-functionality segregation.
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