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Eric Portis

@David Bushell

The bigger “fix” is avoiding design that requires overlay indulgent decorative styles.

Indulgent, wasteful design is a huge problem! But it’s not the one I’m looking to a responsive image solution to fix.

As someone who publishes more images than words, I bristle whenever the implicit assumption is made that all images are presentational and all text is content (this assumption runs deep, as deep as the alt=”“ attribute).

The minimal, flat, content-first, content-out, typographically thoughtful and gorgeously legible aesthetic that’s emerged over the last few years has been a revelation and a delight. Ruthlessly purging decoration and promoting content is what we’re all after. The content I’m dealing with simply happens to be photographs, drawings, prints and stop motion animations. I want to be able to serve these in an efficient, scalable, standard, simple way, and right now, I’m using awful <noscript> hacks, four versions of every image, a pile of <video> MQs/sources, and hopefully googling for “JPIP browser support” every few days.

FWIW I agree with all of Paul’s criticisms of the currently proposed solutions and that a new file format should be a “north star.” And with all of the practical reasons why <picture> and srcset=”“ may be the best we can do in the short term (as long as we want to prefetch! See Matt Wilcox’s comment). I just find the notion that the problem can be fixed with “fewer images” preposterous (and “fuzzy images” isn’t much better).

Clutter is a design problem; serving scalable bitmaps cleanly and efficiently is a web problem.