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useStateInCustomProperties

In my recent “Custom Properties as State” post, one of the things I mentioned was that theoretically, UI libraries, like React and Vue, could automatically map the state they manage over to CSS Custom Properties so we could use that state right there if we wanted. Someone should make a useStateWithCustomProperties hook or something to do that. #freeidea Andrew …

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Scrollbars on Hover

First, scrollbars are a usability and accessibility thing. Second, a rule of thumb: if an area scrolls, it should have a visible scrollbar. But the web is a big place and I like tricks, so I’m going to cover the idea of only revealing them on hover. Even macOS itself¹ hides scrollbars by default, revealing …

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New in Chrome 88: aspect-ratio

And it was released yesterday! The big news for us in CSS Land is that the new release supports the aspect-ratio property. This comes right on the heels of Safari announcing support for it in Safari Technology Preview 118, which released January 6. That gives us something to look forward to as it rolls out …

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Lightweight Form Validation with Alpine.js and Iodine.js

Many users these days expect instant feedback in form validation. How do you achieve this level of interactivity when you’re building a small static site or a server-rendered Rails or Laravel app? Alpine.js and Iodine.js are two minimal JavaScript libraries we can use to create highly interactive forms with little technical debt and a negligible …

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Life with ESM

ESM, meaning ES Modules, meaning JavaScript Modules. Like, import and friends. Browsers support it these days. There is plenty of nuance, but as long as you’ve dropped IE, the door is fairly open.

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Netlify Edge Handlers

Netlify Edge Handlers are in Early Access (you can request it), but they are super cool and I think they are worth wrapping your brain around now. I think they change the nature of what Jamstack is and can be.

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On Type Patterns and Style Guides

Over the last six years or so, I’ve been using these things I’ve been calling “type patterns” in my web design work, and they’ve worked out pretty well for me. I’ll dig into what they are and how they can make their way into CSS, and maybe the idea will click with you too and …

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Rendering the WordPress philosophy in GraphQL

WordPress is a CMS that’s coded in PHP. But, even though PHP is the foundation, WordPress also holds a philosophy where user needs are prioritized over developer convenience. That philosophy establishes an implicit contract between the developers building WordPress themes and plugins, and the user managing a WordPress site. GraphQL is an interface that retrieves …

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AnimXYZ

There are quite a few CSS animation libraries. They tend to be a pile of class names that you can apply as needed like “bounce” or “slide-right” and it’ll… do those things. They tend to be pretty opinionated with nice defaults, and not particularly designed around customization. It looks like AnimXYZ is designed to be …

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State of JavaScript 2020

We rounded up a bunch of published 2020 annual reports right before the year ended and compiled them into a big ol’ list. The end of the list called out a couple of in-progress surveys, one of which was the 2020 State of JavaScript. Well, the results are in and available to check out!

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On Auto-Generated Atomic CSS

Robin Weser’s “The Shorthand-Longhand Problem in Atomic CSS” in an interesting journey through a tricky problem. The point is that when you take on the job of converting something HTML and CSS-like into actual HTML and CSS, there are edge cases that you’ll have to program yourself out of, if you even can at all. …

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3 Approaches to Integrate React with Custom Elements

In my role as a web developer who sits at the intersection of design and code, I am drawn to Web Components because of their portability. It makes sense: custom elements are fully-functional HTML elements that work in all modern browsers, and the shadow DOM encapsulates the right styles with a decent surface area for …

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Building an Ethereum app using Redwood.js and Fauna

With the recent climb of Bitcoin’s price over 20k $USD, and to it recently breaking 30k, I thought it’s worth taking a deep dive back into creating Ethereum applications. Ethereum, as you should know by now, is a public (meaning, open-to-everyone-without-restrictions) blockchain that functions as a distributed consensus and data processing network, with the data …

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How to Make GraphQL and DynamoDB Play Nicely Together

Serverless, GraphQL, and DynamoDB are a powerful combination for building websites. The first two are well-loved, but DynamoDB is often misunderstood or actively avoided. It’s often dismissed by folks who consider it only worth the effort “at scale.” That was my assumption, too, and I tried to stick with a SQL database for my serverless …

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Dynamic, Conditional Imports

With ES Modules, you can natively import other JavaScript. Like confetti, duh: That import statement is just gonna run. There is a pattern to do it conditionally though. It’s like this: Why? Any sort of condition, I suppose. You could check the URL and only load certain things on certain pages. You could only be …

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Two Issues Styling the Details Element and How to Solve Them

In the not-too-distant past, even basic accordion-like interactions required JavaScript event listeners or some CSS… trickery. And, depending on the solution used, editing the underlying HTML could get complicated. Now, the <details> and <summary> elements (which combine to form what’s called a “disclosure widget”) have made creation and maintenance of these components relatively trivial.

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A (terrible?) way to do footnotes in HTML

Terence Eden poked around with a way to do footnotes using the <details>/<summary> elements. I think it’s kind of clever. Rather than a hyperlink that jumps down to explain the footnote elsewhere, the details are right there next to the text. I like that proximity in the code. Plus, you get the native open/close interactivity …

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Fixing Smooth Scrolling with Find-on-Page

Back when we released the v17 design (we’re on v18 now) of this site. I added html { scroll-behavior: smooth; } to the CSS. Right away, I got comments like this (just one example): … when you control+f or command+f and search on CSS-Tricks, it’ll scroll very slowly instead of snapping to the result, which …

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Building Flexible Components With Transparency

Good thinking from Paul Hebert on the Cloudfour blog about colorizing a component. You might look at a design comp and see a card component with a header background of #dddddd, content background of #ffffff, on an overall background of #eeeeee. OK, easy enough. But what if the overall background becomes #dddddd? Now your header …

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Flash’s Web Tech Legacy

Tiffany B. Brown on how Flash paved the way for some things we might think of as fairly modern web technologies: Flash wasn’t just good for playing multimedia. It was also good for manipulating it. Using ActionScript, you could pan audio, adjusting the input for the user’s left and right speakers, perhaps when they shifted their mouse …

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Animating with Lottie

I believe animation on the web is not only fun, but engaging in such a way that it has converted site visitors into customers. Think of the “Like” button on Twitter. When you “like” a tweet, tiny colorful bubbles spread around the heart button while it appears to morph into a circle around the button …

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CSS Snapshot 2020

I think it’s great that the CSS Working Group does these. It’s like planting a flag in the ground saying this is what CSS looks like at this specific point in time. They do specifically say it’s not for us CSS authors though… This document collects together into one definition all the specs that together …

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Painters Tape and Fault Tolerance

One of my favorite things in the world is painters tape (also called masking tape). It seems like something silly: some tape you put on a wall when you’re painting to avoid getting paint on the wall. The tape doesn’t have a strong adhesive, so it can be pulled back off the wall without damaging it.