A Deeper Look at Generic Font Names in CSS

A Deeper Look at Generic Fonts in CSSIf you’ve been writing CSS for some time, then you’ve certainly done something similar to the following, and likely multiple times in a single stylesheet:

The lone declaration in the rule set above is what’s commonly referred to as a font stack. This line defines the font that the browser should use for the specified element (in this case, for the <body> element). The stack is “Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”. This instructs the browser to take the following steps:

What’s the Status of the ::selection Pseudo-element?

::selection pseudo-elementEver since HTML5 Boilerplate put the ::selection pseudo-element on the map, so to speak, most CSS developers nowadays have been including this selector as part of their universal styles.

To get cross-browser support, the ::selection pseudo-element (which is used to change styles on highlighted, or selected, text) is declared like this:

CSS Things That Don’t Occupy Space

CSS Things That Don't Occupy SpaceIn most cases, when you place an element on the page in your markup, if you don’t specify any special styles, it will occupy exactly the same space that it appears to occupy visually.

In other words, if you place a box sized at 200px by 200px on your page, anything you place after it in the source order, with no further styles added, will occupy the space below or beside the green box, outside of those set boundaries.

But not everything on an HTML page occupies space that is honored by other elements. I thought it would be interesting to list and describe all the things in CSS that don’t occupy this kind of physical space in an HTML document.

Dropping -ms- Vendor Prefixes for IE10

Dropping -ms- Vendor Prefixes for IE10The upcoming IE10 will continue to have strong support for a number of CSS3 features and HTML5 APIs.

But if you haven’t yet heard, many of these features will be supported in IE10 unprefixed. These include gradients, animations, transitions, and more.

Creeps and Weirdos in the CSS Spec

Creeps and Weirdos in the CSS SpecWhen I look at new modules in the CSS spec, it makes me feel like singing the chorus from a popular Radiohead song from the ’90s: “But I’m a creep. I’m a weirdo. I don’t belong here.”

If web standards could talk, I think a lot of them would be humming that regularly.

CSS: The Good Parts

CSS: The Good PartsIn March I wrote about some of my least favourite parts of CSS. Admittedly, that was a pretty negative post, and I’ve even slightly changed my opinion of a few of those things, thanks to the comments.

But I like CSS a lot. So as a follow-up, I thought it would only be fair to list some of the things in CSS that I think work very well and thus are valuable to know and use often.

Browser Support for CSS3 Selectors

Browser Support for CSS3 SelectorsNow that the numbers for IE6 and IE7 usage are diminishing rapidly, more and more development teams are starting to weed out support for those older browsers.

Most readers will probably have removed IE6 completely from the equation and soon IE7 will follow. Despite IE8 still having the highest share of any single browser version, the demise of IE6/7 now allows us to be more creative with CSS selectors.

This post will provide a comprehensive review of support for CSS3 selectors in the most troublesome browsers (guess which ones?). Each selector links to the appropriate location in the CSS3 spec.

Every Time You Make a Good Business Decision, a Puppy Gets Cloned

Puppy Gets ClonedA List Apart’s Issue #344 went live yesterday with a focus on the recent vendor prefix drama. I didn’t get a chance yet to read the entire Meyer/Tantek interview, but I did read Lea Verou’s piece.

First of all, congratulations to Lea for getting published in ALA. She’s certainly one of the most talented web developers I know, and deserves to be featured in such a context. I hope Zeldman and company continue to use new and fresh authors like her.

So what’s the point of my post here? And what’s the deal with the hyperbolic title that resembles Lea’s? Well, in many ways, this post is a response to what Lea wrote in her article. But this is not to say that what I’m going to write necessarily contradicts or opposes what she’s written. For the record, I agree with the spirit and forward-thinking approach in her post.

New CSS3 Properties to Handle Text and Word Wrapping

New CSS3 Properties to Handle Text and Word WrappingAbout a year and a half ago, I wrote about CSS3’s word-wrap property. The angle of the article was the fact that it was a feature that was new in CSS3 that didn’t exist in CSS2.1 and it worked in just about every browser, including old IE.

Well, now that’s all changed, which I discovered while researching additions to my CSS3 Click Chart. The word-wrap property has been removed from the CSS3 spec and other related properties have been added.