"Touch" or "Tablet"?

Showing 1-17 of 17 messages
"Touch" or "Tablet"? Gervase Markham 8/2/12 6:32 AM
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2012/07/12/ie10-user-agent-string-update.aspx

IE10 has introduced the Touch token to the UA string, which overlaps in
intent with our Tablet token.

Dao suggests it would be nice to get cross-browser consistency here.
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=773355

This makes some sense to me. "Touch" is more the matter of interest than
the form factor. If we do switch, we should do it before we ship native
Fennec on tablets.

Anyone want to argue for or against?

Gerv
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Mike Hommey 8/2/12 6:52 AM
My pedantic self would like to argue that Touch isn't a synonym of
Tablet. As a matter of fact, smartphones would fit the bill to have
Touch in their UA, if you read what the MS blog says strictly.

I however do agree that there is a need to distinguish whether the user
agent is touch-capable or not, not only for tablets, but also for the
increasing number of desktop PCs that come with touch screens.

Mike
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Lawrence Mandel 8/2/12 7:09 AM
My argument against is that this change continues the churn on our UAs, which have already been publicized [1]. Unless there is a clear benefit, I think we should avoid shooting ourselves in the foot by making changes that may impact compatibility. However, in all fairness, I have no data on how many sites currently recognize the Firefox Tablet UA.

Lawrence

[1] https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Gecko_user_agent_string_reference
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Jason Smith 8/2/12 8:04 AM
I agree with Lawrence. We know we have had a problem with churn on the user agent and partners have complained about it for being one of the reasons why X site stopped working on Firefox for Android.

As a point of comparison btw - what does the user agent of Safari on the IPad look like for comparison? IPad is dominant on the tablet market right now, so they might be a good point for comparison.
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Jason Smith 8/2/12 8:04 AM
On Thursday, August 2, 2012 7:09:43 AM UTC-7, Lawrence Mandel wrote:
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Mark Finkle 8/2/12 8:59 AM
1. Let's not chase every browser's UA change. UAs _suck_ and I'd rather
leave ours alone now that we fought through the debate.

2. "Touch" is way too ambiguous. I have no desire to add "Touch" to our
smartphone UA as well - just for completeness. Using "Touch" alone for
tablets or desktops with touchscreens is not interesting to me.
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Mark Finkle 8/2/12 8:59 AM
On 08/02/2012 09:32 AM, Gervase Markham wrote:
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Marcio Galli 8/2/12 9:06 AM
I want to just kick a parenthesis here. This thread called my
attention because yesterday I just went through the passage

"Kinect’s remarkable gestural interface, for example, makes clear that
Microsoft no longer insists its customers master multimedia,
multiplayer complexity. Microsoft instead asks customers to become
people who see their entire body as a user inter- face. Kinect is the
kinesthetic antithesis to Windows. As of this writ- ing, the company’s
mainstream management isn’t quite sure what to do with it. For
example, should Microsoft’s leadership bring that kines- thetic
innovator’s ask to the enterprise workplace?"

>From Who do You Want Your Customers to Become? Michael Schrage Harvard
Business Review Press, Boston, Massachusetts.

It seems that this may cause awareness that MSFT shifts from
multimedia complexities, or device, to a touch—human aspect as being
the actual OS experience.

m
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Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? wjohns...@gmail.com 8/2/12 8:54 AM
I'm curious why there's a need here? In fact, I think I'd argue that form factor was much more the driving interest behind the entire thing that sparked including "Tablet" in the UA.

Mobile wanted the word "Mobile" in the UA on small screen devices and not on tablets in order to differentiate the two. Most sites are still sending completely specialized content to small screen devices. Adapting an estabilished site to a responsive design setup isn't going to be easy for them (nor is it always possible), and they don't want to resort to slow stub page tricks to find out form factor info. "Tablet" was added later when other people became involved (and I argued against it at the time).

Touch is a different ball though. Adapting for touch on the fly is (arguably?) much MUCH easier than adapting your sites layout and design for phone vs desktop/tablet. Things sites/we can do to make it better:

1.) Sites can listen for touch events in addition to mouse ones. Its an insignificant bit of extra code, and we should push for jQuery desktop and other widget sets to start supporting touch as well.

2.) We should make sure touch-enabled media selectors are working so that sites can optimize button sizes, layouts, etc. for touch screens if they want. TBH, I haven't seen a strong need for this. Tablets for us are at least 10in devices, and we lay them out at 980px wide by default. With those settings, I've never had trouble with button or link sizes.

3.) We should also provide more reliable script hooks to detect if the device supports touch? Right now I think sites just check for document.createTouch which we turn off on desktop via a pref.
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Marcio Galli 8/2/12 10:00 AM
On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM,  <wjohns...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thursday, August 2, 2012 6:32:30 AM UTC-7, Gervase Markham wrote:
>> http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2012/07/12/ie10-user-agent-string-update.aspx
>>
>> IE10 has introduced the Touch token to the UA string, which overlaps in
>> intent with our Tablet token.
>>
>> Dao suggests it would be nice to get cross-browser consistency here.
>> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=773355
>>
>> This makes some sense to me. "Touch" is more the matter of interest than
>> the form factor. If we do switch, we should do it before we ship native
>>
>> Fennec on tablets.
>>
>> Anyone want to argue for or against?
>>
>> Gerv
>
> I'm curious why there's a need here? In fact, I think I'd argue that form factor was much more the driving interest behind the entire thing that sparked including "Tablet" in the UA.
>
> Mobile wanted the word "Mobile" in the UA on small screen devices and not on tablets in order to differentiate the two. Most sites are still sending completely specialized content to small screen devices. Adapting an estabilished site to a responsive design setup isn't going to be easy for them (nor is it always possible), and they don't want to resort to slow stub page tricks to find out form factor info. "Tablet" was added later when other people became involved (and I argued against it at the time).
>
> Touch is a different ball though. Adapting for touch on the fly is (arguably?) much MUCH easier than adapting your sites layout and design for phone vs desktop/tablet. Things sites/we can do to make it better:

I am not sure about this in the long run. It looks like sites are
going towards being able to DOM-adapt to screens. And based in your
point 3) It makes me think that sometimes UA detection servers as a
temporary, handshake or special condition, for things that are not
there yet in the DOM for all browsers so it feels "touch" tells more
than screen at this point, IMHO.


>
> 1.) Sites can listen for touch events in addition to mouse ones. Its an insignificant bit of extra code, and we should push for jQuery desktop and other widget sets to start supporting touch as well.
>
> 2.) We should make sure touch-enabled media selectors are working so that sites can optimize button sizes, layouts, etc. for touch screens if they want. TBH, I haven't seen a strong need for this. Tablets for us are at least 10in devices, and we lay them out at 980px wide by default. With those settings, I've never had trouble with button or link sizes.
>
> 3.) We should also provide more reliable script hooks to detect if the device supports touch? Right now I think sites just check for document.createTouch which we turn off on desktop via a pref.
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Justin Dolske 8/2/12 10:19 AM
On 8/2/12 8:59 AM, Mark Finkle wrote:

> 1. Let's not chase every browser's UA change. UAs _suck_ and I'd rather
> leave ours alone now that we fought through the debate.

<3

UA changes just seem to be enormous time sinks relative to their value.
I'd also prefer to see us changing it less, with the long-term goal of
freezing / eliminating it (with some better-defined alternative, perhaps).

Justin
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Henri Sivonen 8/2/12 11:53 AM
On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:32 PM, Gervase Markham <ge...@mozilla.org> wrote:
>
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2012/07/12/ie10-user-agent-string-update.aspx
>
> IE10 has introduced the Touch token to the UA string, which overlaps in
> intent with our Tablet token.

Opera and, IIRC, the RIM PlayBook browser say "Tablet".

> Dao suggests it would be nice to get cross-browser consistency here.
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=773355
>
> This makes some sense to me. "Touch" is more the matter of interest than
> the form factor. If we do switch, we should do it before we ship native
> Fennec on tablets.

What if MS ships IE10 for phones with "Touch", too?

Firefox's Mobile and Tablet tokens fit the taxonomy of Apple and Opera
(though Apple spells theirs "iPad"). Microsoft's taxonomy is novel and it's
unclear if it is the taxonomy that authors who UA sniff are interested in.

> Anyone want to argue for or against?

I want to argue against.

--
Henri Sivonen
hsiv...@iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Gervase Markham 8/6/12 4:30 PM
On 02/08/12 11:53, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> Opera and, IIRC, the RIM PlayBook browser say "Tablet".

I love the fact that I can always rely on you to bring data about a
problem to the table :-)

> What if MS ships IE10 for phones with "Touch", too?

I'm assuming that they think that "Mobile" implies "Touch", and so a
device would never have both. I guess that's what we'd do.

> Firefox's Mobile and Tablet tokens fit the taxonomy of Apple and Opera
> (though Apple spells theirs "iPad"). Microsoft's taxonomy is novel and it's
> unclear if it is the taxonomy that authors who UA sniff are interested in.
>
>> Anyone want to argue for or against?
>
> I want to argue against.

OK, that's about everyone, then :-) Let's can this idea.

Gerv
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Gervase Markham 8/6/12 4:30 PM
On 02/08/12 07:09, Lawrence Mandel wrote:
> My argument against is that this change continues the churn on our
> UAs, which have already been publicized [1]. Unless there is a clear
> benefit, I think we should avoid shooting ourselves in the foot by
> making changes that may impact compatibility. However, in all
> fairness, I have no data on how many sites currently recognize the
> Firefox Tablet UA.

I think that sites which are doing whole-UA detection are either deeply
specialized or seriously broken. I would hope that changing "Tablet" to
"Touch" would affect only sites which care about whether you are on a
tablet/touch device!

Gerv

Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Jonas Sicking 8/6/12 5:08 PM
Oh! oh! oh! Can we... table... this idea?

Pun totally intended.

As is the confusion that "table" something means different things in
different en languages.

You're welcome!

/ Jonas
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Asa Dotzler 9/18/12 9:36 AM
I'm late to this discussion. Sorry.

Tablet is soon to become a much less useful token -- especially on
Windows. We are about to see a flood of convertible laptop/tablets as
well as touch-enabled laptops and all-in-one PCs.

Also, we may need this token to be dynamic. For something like
Microsoft's Surface (and the half dozen or so similar convertibles
that'll be released this year,) some of the time the device will be
"touch screen and keyboard+trackpad" and other times it will be "touch
screen only" depending on what configuration is being used.

I think we should go with Touch like Microsoft and not Tablet.

- A
Re: "Touch" or "Tablet"? Gervase Markham 9/19/12 2:43 AM
On 18/09/12 17:13, Asa Dotzler wrote:
> I think we should go with Touch like Microsoft and not Tablet.

The bug on this has been reopened:
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=773355

Gerv