Over the last decade, one web platform feature has had an outsized impact on the way we think, work, and build: Media Queries. Layouts that adapt to fit varied browsing contexts have allowed the web to flourish throughout the mobile revolution; more deeply, our industry’s wholehearted embrace of “responsive” adaptability has been a huge win for the web’s most fundamental goal: universal access to information.
And yet! Keying our responsiveness on the state of the entire viewport, rather than on the bits and pieces that fill it up, has felt increasingly like a kludge. The ability to adapt components’ designs based on their own state is an obvious next step.
The concept of “element” or “container” queries has enjoyed universal support for years, but a standard solution hasn’t even been spec’d yet, never mind implemented. What’s the hold-up?
In this talk, we’ll explore the use cases for container queries, survey current, experimental solutions, and chart a course through the surprisingly tough roadblocks that are keeping container queries from being as ubiquitous as Media Queries are today.
Container queries, it turns out, raise questions about much more than just how we build web pages. Our deepest concern, in this talk, will be how we advance the web platform as a whole.