Book Image

Enduring CSS

By : Ben Frain
Book Image

Enduring CSS

By: Ben Frain

Overview of this book

Learn with me, Ben Frain, about how to really THINK about CSS and how to use CSS for any size project! I'll show you how to write CSS that endures continual iteration, multiple authors, and yet always produces predictable results. Enduring CSS, often referred to as ECSS, offers you a robust and proven approach to authoring and maintaining style sheets at scale. Enduring CSS is not a book about writing CSS, as in the stuff inside the curly braces. This is a book showing you how to think about CSS, and be a smarter developer with that thinking! It's about the organisation and architecture of CSS—the parts outside the braces. I will help you think about the aspects of CSS development that become the most difficult part of writing CSS in larger projects. You’ll learn about the problems of authoring CSS at scale—including specificity, the cascade and styles intrinsically tied to document structure. I'll introduce you to the ECSS methodology, and show you how to develop consistent and enforceable selector naming conventions. We'll cover how to apply ECSS to your web applications and visual model, and how you can organize your project structure wisely, and handle visual state changes with ARIA, providing greater accessibility considerations. In addition, we'll take a deep look into CSS tooling and process considerations. Finally we will address performance considerations by examining topics such as CSS selector speed with hard data and browser-representative insight.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Enduring CSS
About the Author
Free Chapter
Writing Styles for Rapidly Changing, Long-lived Projects
Implementing Received Wisdom

Chapter 1.  Writing Styles for Rapidly Changing, Long-lived Projects

This isn't actually a book about writing CSS, as in the stuff inside the curly braces. It's a book about the organising and architecture of CSS; the parts outside the braces. It's the considerations that can be happily ignored on smaller projects but actually become the most difficult part of writing CSS in larger projects.

Terms like CSS at scale, or Large-scale CSS can seem quite nebulous. I'll try and clarify.

When people talk about large scale CSS or writing CSS at scale there can be a few possible metrics that relate to the large or big part of the description:

  • It might be CSS that simply has a large file size. There's a lot of CSS output and so making changes to that codebase can be difficult, as there is so much of the code to consider.

  • The CSS could be said to be large due to the complexity of the user interface that is being built with it. The overall file size may be smaller than the first situation but there may be a great many pieces of user interface that's codified in those styles. Considering how to effect changes across all of those visuals may be problematic.

  • It might be large CSS simply due to the number of developers that have, are, and will be likely to touch and change the CSS codebase.

Or, it can be all the above.