Web Design Articles

This section of Impressive Webs features articles covering front-end technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Some of these posts are opinion pieces and others are more research-based discussions of standards and best practices, with occasional roundups.

What Do You Want to Learn Next in This Crazy Industry?

What Do You Want to Learn Next in This Crazy Industry?It’s sometimes intimidating and often ridiculous how quickly this industry moves forward. Just when you think you’ve reached “front-end developer” status, you realize there’s so much you still don’t know, or else only know superficially.

Others have expressed their views about our industry and how frustrating it feels, and still others feel that too much is asked of front-end developers.

Should the Standard Property Be Omitted for Some CSS3 Features?

Should the Standard Property Be Omitted for Some CSS3 Features?As many of us have learned, vendor prefixes are a pain in the butt to maintain, and it’s great that CSS preprocessors and client-side scripts are available to help in this regard.

Although I’ve recommended that the standard property be listed after the vendor-specific lines, for “future-proofing” the code, I’m starting to think that might be bad advice in some circumstances.

Weird CSS Color Names

Weird CSS Color NamesWe all know that CSS colors can be declared using hex, RGB, RGBA, HSL, and HSLA. But colors in those forms are not very memorable (unless they’re greys or something).

While I’m sure we all know that common colors like red, green, blue, etc. can be declared by name, CSS has quite a few not-so-conventional color names. Here are a bunch, with their colors represented as backrounds on each paragraph.

Release Histories for all Major Browsers

Release Histories for all Major BrowsersI thought it would be interesting to list the release history for major versions of each of the big browsers.

Two factors that I believe will play a role in eventually abolishing browser version numbers are the rapid release schedule, and auto-updating — both of which, if I’m not mistaken, are Google Chrome inventions.

Each version history table timeline has a single colored row that represents the browser release that took the longest.

CSS: The Bad Parts

CSS: The Bad PartsEvery programming language has its good parts and its ugly parts. CSS (I know, it’s not a programming language, but whatevs) is no different.

In this post, I do nothing but vent. I’ve been coding websites for almost 12 years, and I’ve been doing CSS layouts for nearly half that (yeah, I was a late bloomer). I’ve come to realize what is good and bad about CSS, and here are what I consider “the bad parts”.

CSS Specificity Should Be (Mostly) Irrelevant

CSS Specificity Should Be IrrelevantThere have been numerous articles written by some very reputable people discussing the topic of CSS specificity.

I think it’s great if a CSS developer wants to learn the ins and outs of specificity, because it is an important aspect of how CSS works. But I’m going to put forth an argument here that CSS specificity is quite overrated and, in fact, learning about CSS specificity has the potential to degrade the quality of your code.

Browser Support for CSS3 Selectors

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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

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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.

A Call For Better Fragment Identifiers

A Call For Better Fragment IdentifiersWhere would the web be without links? Links are what hold together what we know as the World Wide Web. Without links, the World Wide Web would be more appropriately called the World Wide Set Of Unrelated Pages, or, incidentally, WWSOUP.

While it’s great how simple and effective the process is of “linking” pages together, I think there’s room for improvement.