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Greetings-Twitter in Technology Magazine

  • # August 20, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Newbie here- I am not affiliated in anyway with the mag- but the article highlights Twitter’s office in Silicon Valley and that 16 people run the 2006 start-up comprised of mostly coders… and I had this thought:

    "Is CSS code really coded from scratch- or (based on all the instruction tags I see in most code) is CSS MOSTLY highly copied, shared and only slightly elaborated upon to a slight extent by the average web site developer."

    I have learned CSS virtually exclusively by reading the code of many, many sites and then formulating what I want my site to do by using an ecclectic (sp?) variation of perhaps 50 or so stylesheets I’ve "learned". I then variate what I want the global and individual pages to do by tweaking the existing code to my liking.

    In writing style sheets in this way, I never really feel that the code is my product, nor due to the intense variation achieved by 50 contributors, do I feel the code is misappropriated in some way. But, nevertheless I never derive significant satisfaction from my CSS "work" as I used to when htm was the "rule" rather than completely "div" populated.

    I absolutely love this website… and searched the forum here for "original CSS code" and struck out. I was hoping one of the many fine coders who follow this forum could enlighten me. How much (roughly) of BEST OF CSS websites display sites written in original, molded from scratch code and how much great CSS is pretty much passed around between the best and the brightest for the rest of the wannabes (like myself) to model from? Hope this is not flaming anyone… there is no such intent. Thank you all who might weigh in on this. :)

    # August 21, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Kind of an interesting question… but I think I’d say that any great website you see out there started from scratch and hand coded every last bit. In the end CSS is a very simple web language. There is no need to "ride on those before you’s shoulders" or anything.

    But that is just one way of looking at it. Another way is that a huge percentage of websites are just a template snagged from somewhere and used. Look and blogger.com or wordpress.com. Millions and millions of websites, and a tiny fraction of those are even customized in any way. So all that CSS out there is just provided and never even thought about. Looking at it that way "most" CSS on the web is just copied, I suppose.

    # August 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you Chris. Your answer is why I have subscribed to your newsletter from the moment I found your site through- another newsletter- on your site roll out. You bring a fresh and vibrant perspective to code that is so incredibly customizable- and adds so much stability to the web. I also like the ways in which CSS can do alot of what JS can do- WITHOUT browser compatibility issues. I do wish I could figure out opaque.pngs in IE6 however through CSS. I have never had any luck so far.

    Your answer was what I had sort of arrived at – over night after mulling it over. TRUE coders may not want to be influenced by the inspiration of others by copy and pasting. They probably review a lot of code on the web – when new sites seem fascinating… but in the end they write their own code. I aspire to be that person… I have a ways to go- not on the language – but on the creativity necessary for true originality. Thanks again Chris.

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