When it was first introduced, responsive design was one of the most exciting web layout concepts since CSS replaced tables. The underlying technology uses media queries to determine the viewing device type, width, height, orientation, resolution, aspect ratio, and color depth to serve different stylesheets.
Media Queries in CSS
In the following example, cssbasic.css is served to all devices. But, if it’s a screen with a horizontal width of 500 pixels or greater, csswide.css is also sent:
<link rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="cssbasic.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" media="(min-width: 500px)" href="csswide.css" />
The possibilities are endless and the technique has long been exploited by most websites out there on the Internet. Resizing the width of your browser triggers changes in the layout of the webpage.
- Most browsers support
window.innerHeight. (IE before version 10 in quirks mode required
- All the main browsers support
document.documentElement.clientHeightbut it’s inconsistent. Either the window or document dimensions will be returned depending on the browser and mode.
Even if you successfully detect viewport dimension changes, you must calculate factors such as orientation and aspect ratios yourself. There’s no guarantee it’ll match your browser’s assumptions when it applies media query rules in CSS.