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Chris Coyier

Founder, writer, designer, spam-deleter, email personality

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The Great Divide

Let’s say there is a divide happening in front-end development. I feel it, but it's not just in my bones. Based on an awful lot of written developer sentiment, interviews Dave Rupert and I have done on ShopTalk, and in-person discussion, it’s, as they say... a thing.

The divide is between people who self-identify as a (or have the job title of) front-end developer, yet have divergent skill sets.

On one side, an army of developers whose interests, … Read article

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New CodePen Feature: Prefill Embeds

I've very excited to have this feature released for CodePen. It's very progressive enhancement friendly in the sense that you can take any <pre></pre> block of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (or any combination of them) and enhance it into an embed, meaning you can see the rendered output. It also lets you pass in stuff like external resources, making it a great choice for, say, documentation sites or the like.… Read article

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Does it mutate?

This little site by Remy Sharp's makes it clear whether or not a JavaScript method changes the original array (aka mutates) or not.

I was actually bitten by this the other day. I needed the last element from an array, so I remembered .pop() and used it.

const arr = ["doe", "ray", "mee"];
const last = arr.pop();
// mee, but array is now ["doe", "ray"]

This certainly worked great right away, but I didn't realize the original array had changed … Read article

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Angular, Autoprefixer, IE11, and CSS Grid Walk into a Bar…

I am attracted to the idea that you shouldn't care how the code you author ends up in the browser. It's already minified. It's already gzipped. It's already transmogrified (real word!) by things that polyfill it, things that convert it into code that older browsers understand, things that make it run faster, things that strip away unused bits, and things that break it into chunks by technology far above my head.

The trend is that the code we author is … Read article

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2019 CSS Wishlist

What do you wish CSS could do natively that it can't do now? First, let's review the last time we did this in 2013.

  1. ❌ "I'd like to be able to select an element based on if it contains another particular selector"
  2. ❌ "I'd like to be able to select an element based on the content it contains"
  3. ❌ "I'd like multiple pseudo elements"
  4. ❌ "I'd like to be able to animate/transition something to height: auto;"
  5. ❌ "I'd
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How I’ve Been Using Notion Personally and Professionally

I use Notion quite a bit, both personally and professionally.

In a sense, it's just an app for keeping documents in one place: little notes, to-do lists, basic spreadsheets, etc. I like the native macOS Notes app just fine. It's quick and easy, it's desktop and mobile, it syncs... but there are enough limitations that I wanted something better. Plus, I wanted something team-based and web-friendly (shared URLs!) and Notion hits those nails on the head.

Here's a bunch … Read article

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CSS doesn’t suck

I'm not so protective of CSS that I'm above hearing it criticized, but I'm certainly in agreement here. CSS does not suck. I love how the post is framed to hype up current CSS features the way features of other languages and tools are hyped:

Imagine if a tech dude walked on stage at a conference and said the following:

“This declarative language will gracefully continue on failure, allow you to write global and scoped code, and it will work

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In Defense of Utility-First CSS

A rather full-throated argument (or rather, response to arguments against) utility (atomic) CSS from Sarah Dayan. I wondered recently if redesigns were potentially a weakness of these types of systems (an awful lot of tearing down classes) which Sarah acknowledges and recommends more abstraction to help.

I also wonder about workflow. I sort of demand working in an environment which offers style injection, so working with CSS feels smooth. I also worry that having to change HTML every time … Read article

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Design v17

We rolled out a new site design on January 1! This is the 17th version of CSS-Tricks if you can believe that. The versions tend to evolve a decent amount beyond the initial launch, but we archive screenshots on this design history page. Like I said in our 2018 thank you post:

This is easily the most time, effort, and money that's gone into a redesign since the big v10 design. There are a lot of aesthetic changes,

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Re: Pleasing Color Palettes

There are so many tools out there to help you pick colors. I totally get it! It's hard! When colors are done well, it's like magic. It adds a level of polish to a design that can really set it apart.

Let's look at some, then talk about this idea some more.… Read article

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Piecing Together Approaches for a CSS Masonry Layout

Masonry layout, on the web, is when items of an uneven size are laid out such that there aren't uneven gaps. I would guess the term was coined (or at least popularized) for the web by David DeSandro because of his popular Masonry JavaScript library, which has been around since 2010.

JavaScript library. Nothing against JavaScript, but it's understandable we might not want to lean on it for doing layout. Is there anything we can do in CSS directly these … Read article

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Algorithmic Layouts

Don't miss this video by Heydon that digs into CSS layouts. It's great how he combines fundamental knowledge, like the way elements flow, wrap, and can have margin with new layout methods like flexbox and grid (with specific examples). Of particular note is the clear demonstration of how flexbox and grid help avoid the need to constantly intervene with media queries in order to affect responsive layouts.… Read article

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#168: CSS-in-JS

I'm joined by Dustin Schau in this video and he is going to take me on a tour of the world of what has come to be known as CSS-in-JS. That is, doing your styling entirely in JavaScript, rather than in .css files that you <link /> up in the head all on your own.

Dustin is a perfect guide for this, as he created a great exploratory tool called CSS in JS Playground and also has a brand new Read article

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Toggling Animations On and Off

A nicely detailed tutorial by Kirupa that gets into how you might provide a UI with persisted options that control whether animations run or not.

The trick is custom properties that control the movement:

body {
  --toggle: 0;
  --playState: "paused";
}

Which are used within animations and transitions:

.animation {
  animation: bobble 2s infinite;
  animation-play-state: var(--playState);
}

.transition {
  transition: transform calc(var(--toggle) * .15s) ease-in-out;
}
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Styling a Web Component

This confused me for a bit here so I'm writing it out while it's fresh in mind. Just because you're using a web component doesn't mean the styles of it are entirely isolated. You might have content within a web component that is styled normally along with the rest of your website. … Read article

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How To Learn CSS

Outside of my extreme envy of the SEO they are going to get out of this, Rachel is spot on here. Learning CSS has some pillars, like language syntax, selectors, layout, and flow that, once learned, unlock your CSS merit badge.

What I would add is that if you really want to learn CSS, give yourself a project that has real-world stakes (like a personal website), so what you are doing with CSS feels important and gives you the incentive … Read article

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The 10,000 Year Clock Design Principals

In the new year edition of the Clearleft newsletter, Jeremy Keith linked to the design principals Danny Hillis thought about while considering a clock that would work for 10,000 years.

Here's part of that page… Read article

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The practical value of semantic HTML

I love how Bruce steps up to the plate here:

If the importance of good HTML isn’t well-understood by the newer breed of JavaScript developers, then it’s my job as a DOWF (Dull Old Web Fart) to explain it.

Then he points out some very practical situations in which good HTML brings meaningful benefits. Maybe benefits isn't the right word, as much as requirement since most of it is centered around accessibility.

I hope I’ve shown you that choosing the

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The Most Hearted of 2018

We've released the Most Hearted Pens, Posts, and Collections on CodePen for 2018! Just absolutely incredible work on here — it's well worth exploring.

Remember CodePen has a three-tiered hearting system, so while the number next to the heart reflects the number of users who hearted the item, each of those could be worth 1, 2, or 3 hearts total. This list is a great place to find awesome people to follow on CodePen as well, and we're working on … Read article

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WordCamp US 2018

I recently attended and had the chance to speak at WordCamp US 2018 in Nashville. I had a great time. I love conferences that bring people together around a tight theme because it's very likely you'll have something to talk about with every person there. Plus, I rather like WordPress and its community. The vibe was very centered around Gutenberg, as it was released in WordPress 5.0 just as the conference started. … Read article

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