CSS { In Real Life }

Tips, tricks and tutorials on the web’s most beautiful language.

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143 posts
  • My Browser Support Strategy

    As I’ve written about recently, it’s super exciting to see a bunch of new CSS features landing in browsers, and who can blame us for wanting to get started using them straight away?! It’s great to see browsers working to support new CSS features quicker than ever before, and that pace should persist with Interop, an initiative where browser vendors work together to implement features interoperably. And with so-called “evergreen” browsers, most users should see those new features right away, as their browsers update seamlessly.

  • Animated Grid Tracks with :has()

    Somehow it’s already three months since I wrote about the CSS :has() pseudo-class landing in Safari Technology preview. The latest Safari (proper) release has just shipped with support, and can be enabled with a flag in the next Chrome release.

  • Exciting Times for Browsers (and CSS)

    Last month I wrote about some of the exciting new CSS features you can expect to see coming to a browser near you in 2022 for Smashing Magazine. It’s certainly an exciting time to be working on the web right now, with browser support for new features moving along at lightning-fast pace! This month saw Safari drop a new release that includes support for a tonne of new stuff, including :has() (A.K.A. the “parent selector”), accent-color, and Cascade Layers (all of which are covered in my Smashing article), as well as some additional gems:

  • Building an Interactive Sparkline Graph with D3

    D3 is a great JavaScript library for building data visualizations using SVG elements. In this tutorial, learn how to build an interactive sparkline graph that takes inspiration from the NPM website. We’ll also learn how to use CSS custom properties to create multiple color schemes.

  • The Web Doesn’t Have Version Numbers

    You’ve probably heard the term “web3” bandied around quite a bit over the past year or so — along with related terminology like “blockchain”, “crypto” and “NFTs”. If you’re a web developer you’d be forgiven for thinking that this technology is something you need to jump on right away, or risk being left behind. This post by Hidde de Vries explains why we should be cautious about the misleading term “web3”, and not mistake it for some kind of official release. As he writes:

  • A Reason to Self-Host Fonts

    The other day I noticed a strange thing had happened with the title font on my personal site. Where once the glyphs were clearly defined by glowing outlines, suddenly the outlines were all over the place, bisecting the glyphs in odd ways.

  • New CSS Features In 2022

    There are a lot of new CSS features in development as I write this. And 2022 is the year that some big ones will be landing in a browser near you, with the potential for big changes in the way we write CSS! I explored some of these new features for Smashing Magazine.

  • Are My Third Parties Green?

    Recently I’ve been thinking quite a bit about third-party scripts and how much bloat they so often add to the average webpage — and, consequently, their impact on climate change via the additional carbon emissions generated, often for something the end user doesn’t really want or need. Third-party scripts can include ads, trackers, analytics, social media embeds, and probably some other stuff too. An analysis by Marmelab found that up to 70% of the carbon footprint of media websites could be attributed to ads and stats (source).

  • A Blog Post About Blogging

    Someone in a Slack group I’m a member of shared recently shared a link to a post by Cory Doctorow titled The Memex Method. In the post he shares his opinions on blogging as a way to order your thoughts and ideas, somewhere between a sketchbook full of notes and a fully-formed essay. He writes:

  • In Commission to No Emmissions: Videos from Toronto Web Performance Meetup

    Earlier this month I has the pleasure of speaking at a special green-themed edition of Toronto Web Performance Meetup (online). There were three of us speaking in all, each with a different take on how we as web developers can reduce our environmental impact.

  • I Finally Installed an Ad Blocker

    It might be unusual for a web developer, but up until recently I’d never had an ad blocker installed. I use Firefox as my main browser, which claims to protect privacy by blocking trackers. And to be honest, I don’t read a lot of articles on desktop, preferring to read the news on mobile while I’m on the go. While you might get one or two pop-ups on mobile, the area available for them is clearly a lot smaller, and I generally find the browsing experience for many of the sites I regularly visit is OK.

  • Aspect Ratio is Great

    Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like a lot of the time learning new CSS features doesn’t involve just learning a what a single property does, more like getting to grips with a collection of properties and how they work together — even learning a whole specification. That’s certainly not a complaint from me: it makes sense to consider properties as part of an ecosystem. But I have to confess, I love it when a new CSS property lands in browsers that doesn’t have a steep learning curve and just works, with no fuss. The aspect-ratio property hits all the right spots there, neatly solving with a single line of CSS something that was, quite frankly, a bit of faff before. It’s been supported in browsers for going on a year now, but with Safari finally catching up in September 2021, we can finally feel confident using it with aplomb.

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