Recently in CSS Category

The Web is ruled by Geeks

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How many times have we seen Star Wars used to help us learn about the Web?

There's the mnemonic to help us remember the proper order of CSS states of a link:

a:link {}
a:visited {}
a:hover {}
a:active {}

L,V,H,A or 'Lord Vader Had been Anakin'. (Or to include the :focus, it's: 'Lord Vader's Former Handle, Anakin' attributed to Andrew Krespanis)

And there's the brilliant way to explain specificity numbers with Stormtroopers and Emperors:

Designers who can't code

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With all the old 'architects don't need to know how to do the plumbing' arguements. True, but they better know how a person sits on a toilet or their designs aren't going to work.

To restate my position, as a web builder, I don't care if the designer handing me a .psd knows about the double margin float bug. What I do care about is that they know not to shove tiny lorem ipsum into a fixed height layout. They must understand what happens when the browser, content or font size scales, and design for it. 

All to often design decisions have to be made after the comp is approved. When it's a developer making those decisions, the designer has failed. 

If I have to ask whether a design will be centered in the browser, or what happens when the copywriter gives me a headline with more than two words, their failure has nothing to do with ignorance of CSS.

Designing with lorem ipsum in Photoshop is a flawed process, and it's beyond that the designer doesn't know CSS, it all to often shows the designer has a weak knowledge of the medium itself.

Things I need to read

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"Ketchup is a slim jQuery Plugin that validates your forms."

Pros And Cons Of 3 Popular CSS Meta Frameworks "Frameworks like 960 and Blueprint focus on how things look and where they are placed on a page. [Meta] Frameworks like SASS and Less focus on the logical representation of styles and the augmentation of the CSS language."

Wow, there's a whole lot more going on about HTML5 politics than I want to know about. The Widening HTML5 Chasm.

And why didn't I know that there was a CSSquirrel Comic? SVGorillas and rgba jokes!

CSS reading

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Eric Meyer is posting lots of feedback on the WaSP Community CSS3 Feedback 2008.  Both of those links help explain the rationale, limitations and functionality of whatever the hell they're saying over at the CSS Working Group.

Object Oriented CSS, "Object Oriented CSS is a different way of approaching CSS and the cascade. It draws on traditional software engineering concepts like extending objects, modularity, and predictability. " Good slideshare presentation on that page too. Some interesting ideas here - and conventions that really should be followed - like limiting the use of ID for styling or not specifying elements on classes and other tips to keep your redundancy to a minimum.  The OOCSS Framework is pretty nice - like most frameworks, it uses presentationally named selectors (left & right columns) and source code order that puts stuff before the main content, but I understand the logic of why they're used.

I'm not sure what to think about the webkit proprietary properties for Safari to do graphical stuff like rotating elements, fading or animated image rollovers etc. Cool and all, especially for iPhone app developers, but are we once again stepping into the muck of proprietary property browser wars? I'm not versed enough in the proposed properties to understand what 'usually' means when Apple says "Properties in CSS that begin with -webkit are usually proposed standards".  

As far as other future CSS support, like CSS3 web fonts, CSS canvas and CSS image retouching - get back to me in a week or so, and maybe I can comment on what it means.

Whatever the opinions on those webkit properties, I'm sold on Safari 4 (beta) soley for it's 'Develop menu', which, while not quite as rich as the Firefox developer plug in, has all the inspection and debugging tools I need. Although I can't find the vital 'view generated source' command. I have a feeling Firefox might be sitting dormant on my machine for awhile.

What all this stuff above means is that it's time to keep up on all this stuff again. There's lots of stuff to be excited about and try to learn, and try to teach. Maybe it's just me, but for the last couple of years, CSS growth seems to have been all about the newest image replacement or clearing method and the discussions were all about things like whether CSS frameworks are evil or not. Now it looks like I have some real learning to do again. 

Some links

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Cederholm: How I Might Deal with IE6 - is it time to hide all styles from IE6 users? I'd say not before the release of IE8 for most sites.

Eye-tracking studies: more than meets the eye. Google shows what some of the eye-tracking data they collect looks like.

Reading Assignments

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The $300 Million Button How Changing a Button Increased a Site's Annual Revenues by $300 Million

The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web

Design Meltdown An incredible collection of examples of design principles, elements, techniques, color usage and site types.

PVII Equal Height CSS Columns "This article covers one way of doing equal-height CSS columns, using our javascript solution."

CSS Naked Day

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CSSnkd.gifYesterday was CSS naked day. A demonstration of what an HTML document should look like without styles - readable, semantic, properly structured.

See the Annual CSS Naked Day site by Dustin Diaz, to learn more.

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