Reflections on craft.

The Single-Responsibility Principle Applied to CSS

Here’s some sound advice from Harry over at CSS Wizardry. When I first started writing CSS, I mistakenly made a religion of “clean markup,” which I took to mean HTML with the fewest number of classes and IDs possible. But after years of building—and more importantly here, maintaining—websites, I’m beginning to see the virtues of this (and its accompanying CSS):

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What Screens Want

A timely talk by Frank Chimero from this year’s Build conference in Belfast. He drives home the point that the internet isn’t done yet, that it can still be shaped as we want it, which is a good thing because, he states plainly, “things are starting to suck.”

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The State of Front-End Tooling

This is a fantastic slide deck rounding up the latest developments in front-end tooling with a focus on automation. The introductions to Grunt and Yeoman are worth the price of admission alone, and I learned a few new things of which Chrome Canary’s dev tools are capable (in-browser Sass editing!)

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Who’s Not Using JavaScript These Days?

Here is some interesting research by the UK Government’s digital office, which found that 1.1% of their visitors weren’t seeing JS run, but only 0.2% were due to JavaScript being disabled or unsupported. The other 0.9% (4.5x more) had JS enabled, but it wasn’t running because of firewalls, faulty browser extensions, network timeouts, and more.

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Devdocs.io

Devdocs.io is all of the API documentation for an expanding (and customizable!) list of web technologies including HTML, CSS, HTTP, JS, and even libraries like jQuery and Sass. Fully keyboard-accessible and incredibly snappy, it’s my new best friend. I hope support for scripting languages is coming soon.

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Words

What do you have to say? If you don’t know, there’s not much use in adding all that other cruft. Just start with one page, with a single focus. Write it and publish it, and then iterate on that. Every time you’re about to add something, ask yourself: does this help me communicate better? Will that additional styling, image, or hyperlink give my audience more understanding? If the answer’s “no”, don’t add it.

Like Justin Jackson, whom I just quoted, I too was impressed—no, that’s the wrong word, maybe “inspired” in the sense of being literally filled with fresh air—with Jason Fried’s homepage for 37 Signals’ new service, Know Your Company. One page, with lots of words, and they’re great ones. We’ve become so obsessed with connecting things by collecting and liking and associating that it’s easy to forget how people have been connecting for all time: by talking to one another. The internet’s still pretty damn good for that, even as it becomes good for so much more.

Via Jeremy

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