[maemo-users] writing HTML for tablets

From: Andrew Daviel advax at triumf.ca
Date: Sat Apr 12 20:20:23 EEST 2008
I write the occasional web page, and I was thinking about screen size as 
it relates to web content. In the past I had not given it much 
consideration, except that when I made some pages for a cellphone 
(128x128 pixels, $0.02/kb data charges) I made them much smaller with no 
or tiny graphics.

The Nokia tablets are 800x480, and I can't see pocket PC displays getting 
much bigger than 1000x500. If they were physically larger, they would not 
fit in a pocket, and if the pixels were smaller you would need reading 
glasses (I already need 3 diopter glasses; I only need 1.0 for a PC 
screen or paperbacks in good light...).
Regular laptops have about reached the limit; too. Any bigger and they 
would not fit in a briefcase or on an aircraft tray.

On the other hand, desktops can get physically larger (we have some 2x4 
panel arrays) and wall displays can get even bigger. Mainstream LCD 
panels are changing to 16x9 aspect ratio and HDTV 1920x1080 for single 

So what are we to write content for ? Not so much a problem for 
legacy HTML which just flows to fit the width, but the modern 
graphic-rich stuff assumes a width of about 1024 or more.
Maybe we can dynamically adjust the images to fit. I was playing with 
this at http://andrew.triumf.ca/js/alternate.cssxi.html
But really, we don't want to send so much data over 3G in the first 
place, so the content needs to be available in smaller pages for tablets 
and cellphones. Which needs some kind of size-sensitive CMS system to
handle it.

Andrew Daviel, TRIUMF, Canada

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