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Andy Bell

An independent designer and front-end developer who’s focused on progressive enhancement and accessibility.

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Build a state management system with vanilla JavaScript

Managing state is not a new thing in software, but it’s still relatively new for building software in JavaScript. Traditionally, we’d keep state within the DOM itself or even assign it to a global object in the window. Now though, we’re spoiled with choices for libraries and frameworks to help us with this. Libraries like Redux, MobX and Vuex make managing cross-component state almost trivial. This is great for an application’s resilience and it works really well with a state-first, … Read article

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Learning Gutenberg: Building Our Custom Card Block

We’ve got some base knowledge, we’ve played with some React and now we’ve got our project tools set up. Let’s dive into building our custom block.… Read article

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Learning Gutenberg: Setting up a Custom webpack Config

Gutenberg introduces the modern JavaScript stack into the WordPress ecosystem, which means some new tooling should be learned. Although tools like create-guten-block are incredibly useful, it’s also handy to know what’s going on under the hood.… Read article

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Learning Gutenberg: React 101

Although Gutenberg is put together with React, the code we’re writing to make custom blocks isn’t. It certainly resembles a React component though, so I think it’s useful to have a little play to get familiar with this sort of approach. There’s been a lot of reading in this series so far, so let’s roll-up our sleeves and make something cool.… Read article

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Learning Gutenberg: Modern JavaScript Syntax

One of the key changes that Gutenberg brings to the WordPress ecosystem is a heavy reliance on JavaScript. Helpfully, the WordPress team have really pushed their JavaScript framework into the present and future by leveraging the modern JavaScript stack, which is commonly referred to as ES6 in the community. It’s how we’ll refer to it as in this series too, to avoid confusion.

Let’s dig into this ES6 world a bit, as it’s ultimately going to help us understand how … Read article

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Using Sass to Control Scope With BEM Naming

Controlling scope is something you probably don't tend to consider when working with CSS and Sass. We have had access to the ampersand (&) for quite some time now, which gives us a level of scope—but it's easy for it to lose its usefulness when you're nested quite deeply. The & can send us down a windy road of doom when we completely lose track of what it means and can be responsible for some really heavy bloat.… Read article

Article

Boilerform: A Follow-Up

When Chris wrote his idea for a Boilerform, I had already been thinking about starting a new project. I’d just decided to put my front-end boilerplate to bed, and wanted something new to think about. Chris’ idea struck a chord with me immediately, so I got enthusiastically involved in the comments like an excitable puppy. That excitement led me to go ahead and build out the initial version of Boilerform, which you can check out here.… Read article

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Small Tweaks That Can Make a Huge Impact on Your Website’s Accessibility

For a beginner, accessibility can be daunting. With all of the best intentions in the world, the learning curve to developing compliant, fully accessible websites and apps is huge. It's also hard to find the right advice, because it's an ever-changing and increasingly crowded landscape.

I've written this post to give you some tips on small things that can make a big difference, while hopefully not affecting your development process too much.… Read article

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