This is an interesting tool: mess around with styles on any site inside Chrome’s dev tools, and then hit a button to have the updated styles saved to a URL (a Gist on Github).
A great collection of styled and accessible form elements:
Form controls are necessary in many interfaces, but are often considered annoying, if not downright difficult, to style. Many of the markup patterns presented here can serve as a baseline for building more attractive form controls without having to exclude users who may rely on assistive technology to get things done.
This is really good breakdown of what’s different about CSS (compared to other languages).
These differences may feel foreign, but it’s these differences that make CSS so powerful. And it’s my suspicion that developers who embrace these things, and have fully internalized them, tend to be far more proficient in CSS.
A nice intro to variable fonts.
Good advice on print styles from Rachel. The browser support situation is frustrating; I suspect it’s because the people working on browsers would rather get stuck in on shinier stuff.
Chris takes us on a whirlwind tour of radial gradients in CSS.
Patrick is thinking through a way to implement
:focus-visible that’s forwards and backwards compatible.
Everything old is new again—sometimes the age-old technique of using a 1x1 pixel image to log requests is still the only way to get certain metrics.
While tracking pixels are far from a new idea, there are creative ways in which we can use them to collect data useful to developers. Once the data is gathered, we can begin to make much more informed decisions about how we work.
These experiments with transitioning variable font styles on hover might be silly, but I can see the potential for some beautiful interaction design.
A starter kit of CSS that gives you some basic styles that you can tweak with custom properties.
For when you don’t need the whole boot.
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Oh No! Our Stylesheet Only Grows and Grows and Grows! (The Append-Only Stylesheet Problem) | CSS-Tricks
I think Chris is on to something here when he identifies one of the biggest issues with CSS growing out of control:
The developers are afraid of the CSS.
A smart approach to creating patterns as symbols in Sketch. Sounds like diligence and vigilance is required to make it work, but then, that’s true of any pattern library.
A great piece from Danielle on the different mental models needed for different languages. When someone describes a language—like CSS—as “broken”, it may well be that there’s a mismatch in mental models.
CSS isn’t a programming language. It’s a stylesheet language. We shouldn’t expect it to behave like a programming language. It has its own unique landscape and structures, ones that people with programming language mental maps might not expect.
I believe that this mismatch of expectation is what has led to the current explosion of CSS-in-JS solutions. Confronted with a language that seems arbitrary and illogical, and having spent little or no time exposed to the landscape, developers dismiss CSS as ‘broken’ and use systems that either sweep it under the rug, or attempt to force it into alignment with the landscape of a programming language — often sacrificing some of the most powerful features of CSS.
It’s fascinating to look back at this early proposal for CSS from 1994 and see what the syntax might have been:
A one-statement style sheet that sets the font size of the h1 element:
h1.font.size = 24pt 100%
The percentage at the end of the line indicates what degree of influence that is requested (here 100%).
A nice rundown of some of the fun you can have with viewport units.
Dan describes his approach to maintainable CSS. It’s a nice balance between semantic naming and reusable styles.
Warning: the analogies used here might make you very, very hungry.
Harry clearly outlines the performance problems of Base64 encoding images in stylesheets. He’s got a follow-up post with sample data.
CSS Shorthand Syntax Considered an Anti-Pattern – CSS Wizardry – CSS, OOCSS, front-end architecture, performance and more, by Harry Roberts
Sensible advice from Harry—only style what you mean to style.