Width-Based Layout

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Another CSS/Javascript article is making the rounds today called: Width-Based Layout. The premise is that the page auto-resizes the width based upon how wide your browser is. Included with the post is a 38 line piece of Javascript (and I’m being generous) to get the job done. I’m going to save you the break-down of their code, and just show you the improved code, below.


function setWidth() {
  var de = document.documentElement;
  var w = (window.innerWidth || (de && de.clientWidth)
    || document.body.clientWidth) < 990 ?"alt":"main";
  $("#wrapper").addClass( w + "wrapper" );

A live demo of this new code can be found here. Ironically, they're using a piece of code that I wrote, but didn't credit me for.

Definitely my favorite part about the above code is the short-circuiting that I have going on. The original code, for that portion, is from this evolt article. I don't know what it is, but everytime I see an IF statement with multiple assignments, it just makes my skin crawl. So, the following:

if (window.innerWidth)
	theWidth = window.innerWidth
else if (document.documentElement 
  && document.documentElement.clientWidth)
	theWidth = document.documentElement.clientWidth
else if (document.body)
	theWidth = document.body.clientWidth

Gets changed to:

var de = document.documentElement;
var w = window.innerWidth || (de && de.clientWidth)
  || document.body.clientWidth;

If you're curious as to why this works, try running the following statements:

alert(1||0); // You get 1
alert(0||2); // You get 2
alert(0||(2&&1)); // You get 1
alert(0||(3&&4)||2); // You get 4

And you'll have a better feeling as to what is actually happening in that (previously) very-verbose piece of code.

One thought on “Width-Based Layout

  1. Some guys I trust basically sent me the script to help me work out the problem. As their is a credit in place within the script (see the link to Peter-Paul Koch’s article) I assumed the bits not written by the guys were his, and that everything was covered.

    I hate it when folks don’t get credit for their work, so please email me and tell me how I should credit you, and exactly which lines of code.