Today's a big day for politics in the United States . We've assembled some demos that get into the spirit here, and encourage folks to vote!
 
Let's do some quick hits this week

CSS Grid Layout is going to be the greatest thing since... flexbox. Oliver Williams shows us a bunch of things he's learned about it since he started playing with it. Lots of practical stuff here.

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CodePen talked with 10 other companies (over 10 separate podcasts) about how they run their business. You get to hear some inside baseball stuff with founders talking to other founders about running a web software business.

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Some news in rendering engines land. You know how Chrome forked WebKit and made Blink? And Microsoft left Trident behind with Internet Explorer and moved to EdgeHTML? Firefox is moving on from Gecko and creating Project Quantum. David Bryant thinks it will be a big deal.

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Robin learned some stuff about positioning elements in SVG when he set out to build a bar chart by hand.  There are certainly some gotchas, like accidently rendering bits outside the SVG bounds. Check out the comments for some other versions, including versions which make the chart more scalable using tricks like nesting SVG and not using a viewBox at all.

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The least you can do when using a background image in CSS is to apply a background color as well, so it's not just blank nothing as it loads. Harry Roberts suggested a gradient instead, which mimics the look of the image. Will Wallace gets even fancier by creating a Sass @mixin that takes a big array of colors to make an complex gradient that looks even more like a blurred version of the original. If you're going to put a bunch of effort into this though, perhaps using actual blurred versions of the image itself is the way to go. Also, this is all about perceived performance, which is great, but perhaps consider actual performance also.

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Seven years after Smashing Magazine published an article about "Extraordinary Blogs With Unique Post Designs", we found that 13 out of 40 of them still exist. Gotta wonder if that's the average rate for link rot, or if custom designs contributed to them being hard to keep up.

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Ana Tudor, who is known for her 3D work in CSS, tackles the idea of doing so responsively. As you might guess, it's not as easy as swapping out px values for % values.
 

What have you learnt this week?

Chris Coyier:  Way back in 2008 I shared my CSS "Ah ha!" moment: the realization that everything on a web page is a rectangular box and you can exert control over where they go. Eight years later and I still think that's a powerful fundamental concept that beginners would do well to think about. 

Not everyone's moment is the same, but in looking back through other people's responses, understanding something about layout is a major moment for most folks. Even when we revisited this idea 2 years ago, layout was the theme.

In my experience in working with web professionals that don't work with CSS, layout is the thing they are the most afraid of (whether they know it or not). Takeaway: if I was charged with teaching someone CSS, I'd make sure layout was a top priority. 


Until next time!
Team CSS-Tricks

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