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Bruce Arnold is South Florida's leading Web 3.0 Designer and Front-End Developer

responsive web design (#rwd)

There are three things most people wouldn't want to watch being made: sausage, legislation, and Wikipedia entries. In one of those "truth by consensus" constructs entitled "Responsive web design" we find a number of conflated half-truths (the most effective form of lies) such as "Browser detection and mobile device detection are completely unreliable ... ways to determine whether Javascript and certain HTML and CSS features are supported." Contrary to this canard, the real truth is browser detection was NEVER "completely unreliable" and accuracy rates for mobile device detection can top 99.8%.

Let's accept for now the wiki-truth that "Ethan Marcotte coined the term Responsive Web Design (RWD) in his article in A List Apart." Therein he recommends web designers acknowledge the ascendancy of the Mobile Web and develop presentations that are mobile-friendly to have the broadest possible accessibility. He proposes a solution in which "responsive web design" (#RWD) is the WHAT and fluid grids, flexible images and media queries the HOW.

We agree on the WHAT. We do not agree on the HOW. Here is WHY:

There is a place for fluid grids, flexible images and media queries, but they are NOT a firm foundation for #RWD. When employing the first two, for example, care must be taken not to waste resources doing things a mobile browser does anyway and better. And as Ronan Cremin explains, using CSS3 media queries rather than server-side capability detection relinquishes control over rendering while placing unnecessary load on smartphone CPUs.

WebDev wannabes from Bangalore to Boston are selling #RWD as WHAT and whatever they have to offer as HOW, but the wise will never judge a book by its cover: If responsive web design is what you seek, mobile-friendly Web 3.0 development is what you need.

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