A couple of weeks ago, a good friend sent me an email with a list of questions for me. He'd been out of the front-end game for a little while, and wanted to pick my brain a little bit. I thought that instead of just answering him directly, I'd share my answers with everyone.
Thoughts Tag: tags:Front End
About a year and a half ago, I had some ideas about using 3D CSS to create nonstandard 3D shapes, but never got around to writing a post about it. However, inspired by the incredibly impressive Acko.net redesign, I decided to finally clean it up and share it with you. Here it is.
By stacking and rotating elements in 3D space, you can create some new shapes out of pure CSS. It's not practical or useful in the least, but it is interesting. These examples work best in Safari, but they will mostly work in Chrome. Check it out: Pure CSS 3D Shapes (remember to click and drag to rotate. Thanks to Dirk Weber's traqball.js for that little bit of magic).
I've recently starting developing using LESS CSS (lesscss.org), and quickly decided that I would benefit from a toolkit containing mixins that I would use over and over, such as border-radius or box-shadow.
Enter LESS CSS Toolkit.
We all have various tools in our box to deal with the constant headache that is Internet Explorer. Browser hacks, conditional comments, filters, pounding our heads against the wall, etc (wait, is it possible that's where the headaches come from? I'll look into it and get back to you).
This situation gets even worse when one wants to use some of the fantastic techniques available to us in CSS3, like border radius, drop shadows, and gradients. In the past, we had to use images for all of these design elements, but now it's possible to have a fancy, shiny button that uses only a
<button> element and some css. Well, possible except in IE. Enter CSS3 PIE.
10bestthings.com just went live a few minutes ago. It's basically a site where you can make top 10 (or any number, really) lists and then share them around. It's actually a lot of fun to play with. Here's a list I made a while ago that I'm fairly proud of: My favorite Christmas movies.
Today, April 9th, is Naked Day. It's an annual event in which sites remove all of their style information, to reveal the naked page structure underneath. This is my first year participating, but I think it's a great idea.
I know, I know. What this world really needs is a new rounded corners solution. With CSS3 support right around the corner (ha, right), why bother, right? Well, this solution offers something new to the world of rounded corners. What it does is this: it crops the content below it, so that anything with a background color or image (headers, paragraphs, even images) automatically get the rounded corner treatment with no extra work. See below:
Aside from browser bugs, float clearing can be one of the most frustrating aspects of CSS development. It takes a little bit of patience and thought to set up your floats and clears in a way that facilitates both your design and the flexibility required in a modern website.
Read http://dtott.com/thoughts/2009/01/06/clear-your-floats-even-easier/ for an even easier way of dealing with floating elements.
For years, I've always formatted my CSS in what I like to think of as the "traditional" manner. Each selector on one line, and each property indented one tab underneath. But when I started working with Sprokets, the other front-end developer there was using one-line css declarations. This threw me for a loop for a while, but I slowly started liking it better and better.
Well, I made it almost a month since the last design change. However, this redesign is a little more extensive.
I've finally finished with my cssoff entry. I worked on it from 1am till about 8am, and then a couple hours this afternoon ironing out browser (read: Internet Explorer) bugs. I'm pretty happy with what I ended up with though.
So last month, I was attending the fairly new Cleveland Web Standards Meet-Up. I was talking to Eric Wiley about the redesign I did for the Free Times, and Eric Meyer, who came for the first time, overheard. He says "new site, huh?" and pulls out his laptop.
The second round of CSS OFF starts tonight at midnight CST (which would be 1: 00 AM for us Clevelanders). If you didn't hear about it already, CSS OFF is a monthly contest to create the best single web page. They give you a .psd and 24 hours, and you have to come up with the best standards-based solution using images, css, and (x)html. I entered in the first contest, and had a great time (here's my entry). It's just pure fun. If you win, you can either take $30, or donate $50 to a charity of your choice. The first winner, Dawid Lizak, chose a charity, as I'm sure most will.