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.

HTML9 Boilerstrap: The Story and the Unexpected Explosion

HTML9 BoilerstrapFor a while now I’ve been wanting to set aside some time to do some sort of web development parody. I’ve done this sort of thing before and it’s fun to see people’s reactions.

I knew it had to be something centered around the ‘framework’ movement, mainly poking fun at the well-known HTML5 Boilerplate project. So on Tuesday night this week, I took the idea of HTML9 Responsive Boilerstrap JS from concept to creation. I finished it that night, including registering the domain, setting up the site, and gritclonemerging its own bogus repo.

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.

Ancient Cringe-worthy Posts on Your Favourite Web Design Blogs

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Ancient Cringe-worthy Posts on Your Favourite Web Design BlogsI think everyone should be willing to look back at their older work and laugh and realize how far they’ve come. Even the best designers, developers, and bloggers have past work that they cringe at today. Heck, I cringe at stuff I wrote six months ago!

So with the help of Archive.org and WordPress’s easy-to-navigate paging system, I thought it would be fun to cause a whole bunch of people tons of embarrassment by rounding up some of the earliest articles I could find on various popular web design blogs. Enjoy.

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.