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The future is bright, because the future is static

November 20th, 2019

I’ve been doing this web thing for money for 10 years this year and although I haven’t been around as long as some folks, I feel like I’ve seen a few cycles come and go now, so let’s say that hot new things are often cynically viewed, initially. This milestone of mine has also got…

The Typed Object Model

November 20th, 2019

I help write technical documentation and one feature I’ve been writing about this year that has really stood out is the Typed Object Model (or Typed OM). If you haven’t come across it yet you would be forgiven as it’s pretty new. It falls under the CSS Houdini suite of API’s and on the surface…

Techniques for a Newspaper Layout with CSS Grid and Border Lines Between Elements

November 20th, 2019

I recently had to craft a newspaper-like design that featured multiple row and column spans with divider lines in between them. Take a look at the mockup graphic here and see if it makes you sweat at all. If you’re like me, you have been around a while and know just how difficult this would…

Variations on Theme: Reinventing Type on the Web

November 20th, 2019

If anyone knows anything about me, it’s usually one of two things: that I have two outrageously fluffy dogs, or that I like fonts and typography. Like, really really like them. So while I am super excited about how well Tristan is doing with his hydrotherapy —we’re walking 50% further than he was able just…

No, Absolutely Not

November 19th, 2019

I think the difference between a junior and senior front-end developer isn’t in their understanding or familiarity with a particular tech stack, toolchain, or whether they can write flawless code. Instead, it all comes down to this: how they push back against bad ideas. What I’ve learned this year is that web performance will suffer…

How Do You Remove Unused CSS From a Site?

November 19th, 2019

Here’s what I’d like you to know upfront: this is a hard problem. If you’ve landed here because you’re hoping to be pointed at a tool you can run that tells you exactly what CSS you can delete from your project, well… there are tools out there, but I’m warning you to be very careful…

Teaching CSS

November 18th, 2019

I’ve been using CSS as a web developer since CSS became something we could actually use. My first websites were built using <font> tags and <table>s for layout. I remember arguments about whether this whole CSS thing was a good idea at all. I was quickly convinced, mostly due to the ability to easily change…

The Best Cocktail in Town

November 18th, 2019

I admit I’ve held in a lot of pent-up frustration about the direction web development has taken the past few years. There is the complexity. It requires a steep learning curve. It focuses more on more configuration than it does development. That’s not exactly great news for folks like me who consider themselves to be…

Finally, it Will Be Easy to Change the Color of List Bullets

November 14th, 2019

In my germinating years, the general advice was this: <ul> <li><span>List item</span></li> <!– … –> </ul> li { color: red; } /* bullet */ li span (color: black; } /* text */ Not terrible, but not great. You’re “resetting” everything at the span level, so it gets more complicated the more you do. Things are…

Oh Hey, Padding Percentage is Based on the Parent Element’s Width

November 13th, 2019

I learned something about percentage-based (%) padding today that I had totally wrong in my head! I always thought that percentage padding was based on the element itself. So if an element is 1,000 pixels wide with padding-top: 50%, that padding is 500 pixels. It’s weird having top padding based on width, but that’s how…