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IMO that is one of the most annoying misfeatures i've seen... on websites it is practically always used to distinguish between mobile and desktop, which misfires completely if you have a 1366x768 monitor and you aren't running a fullscreen browser, whereas on desktop it is always done because the application is ignoring all the screen real estate it gets by padding everything like balloons, using titanic font sizes (ignoring the system wide settings for fonts and sizes, of course), etc.

In theory it should be applications automatically showing and hiding features based on the available allocated area so that you could have (on desktop at least) multiple applications visible at the same time and have a dynamic view of their content's details just by resizing them. Which is a good idea.

In practice however it ends up as a band-aid for self-inflicted deficiencies.




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