And if anyone has suggestions on how to automate this test over a broader set of iterations, please let me know in the comments! I would be very interested to see the generic first methodology applied to a real-world existing codebase that has been written in the mobile-first way — the before after metrics would be much more realistic to everyday practice. One major unintended consequence of writing compartmentalized Generic First CSS is the experience you will get from your developer tools style panel. Targeting generic HTML tags is easy: just use the tag name. Generic First CSS: New Thinking On Mobile First. One major unintended consequence of writing compartmentalized Generic First CSS is the experience you will get from your developer tools style panel. An example of compartmentalized media queries. As we saw in the screenshot above, the list items use very thin type, subtle separators and a hover state that enlarges the font. This feels like a bit of an anti-pattern. So — to me — the answer was obvious: let’s take the idea of media query compartmentalization to its logical conclusion — we will also compartmentalize the mobile specific styles into their very own media queries. This can be great for people unfamiliar with the code base or even the future you! 100 practical cards for common interface design challenges. Change ). The outputted CSS is piped through a tool called CSS MQPacker, this helps dramatically reduce file size of CSS that uses a lot of inline media queries by combining all the separate instances of a specific media query into one — It’s a great tool that will probably benefit most modern CSS codebases — I’ve used it as a standalone cli tool via a npm task in the test projects package.json, you can also use it as a postcss plugin, which is nice and convenient! Forms allow users to enter data, which is generally sent to a web server for processing and storage (see Sending form datalater in the module), or used on the client-side to immediately update the interface in some way (for example, add another item to a list, or show or hide a UI feature). Fig.6. I’ve personally benefited greatly from the uncluttered dev tools experience, which in itself will be a huge positive to a lot of devs. 20 test runs measuring key load/render metrics of mobile first vs generic first CSS. That’s why we publish articles, printed books and webinars with useful techniques to improve your work. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. I know, I know, this goes against the common convention we’ve learned over the years. These techniques are at the bedrock of most web developers lives, and they’ve served us well, but alas, times change, and developers constantly iterate. The difference isn’t mind-blowing, but it is an improvement. An example of compartmentalized media queries. As we increase the efficiency of our methods and the project requirements become more complex, new frustrations emerge. the self-documenting nature of this way of writing your media-queries will also have benefits to yourself and the wider team (if you have one). So this is not normally a major concern. This wonderful little SCSS mixin suddenly made it easy to write super granular media queries. Generic First CSS: New Thinking On Mobile First Alastair Hodgson. Hello, I'm David, Designer & Developer and I manage bestwebsite.gallery (former MakeBetterWebsites).I started this site in 2008 and it's one of my biggest — ok, the biggest — side projects.For me, it's simply my visual bookmark collection. CSS selectors are used to "find" (or select) the HTML elements you want to style. Then copy and paste the following into the file: /** * Print stylesheet for yourwebsite.com * @version 1.0 * @lastmodified 16.06.2016 */ @media print { Your notes } All CSS settings go between the opening and the closing bracket. If you’d like to fire up the test case and give it a go yourself, you can find it on GitHub, I’d love to see some reports from others. The CSS for these cases is a little verbose and could probably be written in much more concise terms, but it really just serves as a rough example to test the argument. The CSS for these cases is a little verbose and could probably be written in much more concise terms, but it really just serves as a … Take a hypothetical biography block that looks a little something like this: Fig.1. Generic First CSS: New Thinking On Mobile First In CSS, selectors declare which part of the markup a style applies to by matching tags and attributes in the markup itself. You’ll be faster at editing your CSS later because it will follow an easy to read, logical structure. https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/12/generic-css-mobile-first. The team I worked with had a nice SCSS workflow going on with a nifty little mixin for easily adding breakpoints within our CSS declarations. Okay, so we’re going to break through the mobile first dogma and compartmentalize all our styles into the relevant media queries. Note that Tailwind CSS needs some proper setup (in React) before you can use it. And finally, these benefits won’t cost you anything in performance terms, and in fact have been shown to have marginal speed gains! In the same era and almost as influential was Luke Wroblewski’s Mobile First methodology — a solid improvement that built upon Marcotte’s impressive foundations. ( Log Out /  Now my SCSS media queries are starting to look like this: Fig.2. One of the approaches for Utility-First-CSS is Tailwind CSS. The first test case is a mobile-first cascading media queries example, the second test case is a generic first compartmentalized variant of the CSS. You list the font that you want first, then any fonts that might fill in for the first if it is unavailable, and you should end the list with a generic … The first test case is a mobile-first cascading media queries example, the second test case is a generic first compartmentalized variant of the CSS. You might know shape-outside is for redefining the area by which text is floated around that element, allowing for some interesting design opportunities. You probably use a similar technique. But there are a couple of genuine CSS tricks in here: Float shape-outside elements both right and left to get text to flow between them. Declare your most generic items first, then the not-so-generic and so on. - mattduck/generic-css If you’d like to fire up the test case and give it a go yourself, you can find it on GitHub, I’d love to see some reports from others. So surely any alternative must be wrong, shouldn’t it? You probably use a similar technique. Generic is a class which allows the user to define classes and methods with the placeholder.Generics were added to version 2.0 of the C# language. CSS. Every week, we send out useful front-end & UX techniques. A CSS/Sass style for simple HTML documents. To recap on the benefits of this new development methodology... I’d like to think I’m not the only person espousing the writing of CSS in this style. The test metrics I have chosen to use are: Results Table (all times in milliseconds). This works nicely — I’ve written a lot of CSS like this in the past. Browsers perform a rendering task called computed style calculation. So — to me — the answer was obvious: let’s take the idea of media query compartmentalization to its logical conclusion — we will also compartmentalize the mobile specific styles into their very own media queries. More about Front-end is messy and complicated these days. Xpath can also be used instead of finding the link text //a[@href='url'] and using Css css=a[href='url'] You can find more about XPath in detail xpath tutorials and Css selectors Now my SCSS media queries are starting to look like this: Fig.2. We can divide CSS selectors into five categories: Simple selectors (select elements based on name, id, class) Combinator selectors (select elements based on a specific relationship between them) It's free to sign up and bid on jobs. CSS font-family defines the priority for the browser to choose the font from multiple fonts. It’s on the subject of performance optimization. a {/* Links */} p {/* Paragraphs */} ul {/* Unordered lists */} li {/* List items */} There’s a direct connection between the name of the HTML tag and the CSS selector used. CSS Selectors. This includes both the unique values for certain properties, for example block for the display property, as well as the CSS-wide values initial, inherit and unset (See Initial, Inherit, Unset, and Revert). We now have Generic First CSS: Yes, there are slightly more media queries, however, I see this as a benefit, any developer can now looks at this CSS and see exactly what styles are applied at each and every screen size without the cognitive overhead of having to pick apart media-query specificity. From my admittedly small dataset, it does seem like my initial suspicion may be correct. ( Log Out /  I still wasn’t 100% happy with the above though, It seemed like there was still a major issue to overcome. These keywords are case-insensitive and must always … Why declare a CSS property for it only to be overwritten in the following declaration? This task is always performed on initial page load, but it can also be performed if page content changes or if other browser actions take place. I think it’s safe to say that Ethan Marcotte’s Responsive Web Design was a welcome revelation for web developers the world over. If you are on a Microsoft Windows PC open the program named Notepad (hold down the Windows Key on your keyboard and press R, then type notepad and press enter). “Mobile First” is so ubiquitous that it’s usually one of the “skills” questions a hiring manager will ask. 2018-12-21T14:45:16+01:00 2018-12-21T16:34:19+00:00. About The Author Alastair is a passionate and highly experienced front-end developer, typography aficionado, technologist and creative thinker. So going back to generic first CSS: Are there any performance issues related to the browser having to work out the CSS specificity of a multitude of cascading media queries? Learn how your comment data is processed. I think it’s safe to say that Ethan Marcotte’s Responsive Web Design was a welcome revelation for web developers the world over. And if anyone has suggestions on how to automate this test over a broader set of iterations, please let me know in the comments! To answer that, I’ve devised a test case that can be used to measure any speed benefits or indeed drawbacks. I don’t think the dataset is big enough to be 100% conclusive and the test case is a little unrealistic, but I’m very glad not to be seeing a performance degradation. ... IE8 was a css catch-up session, their attempt to fully support CSS2, and almost passes acid2. Any boost you can give to the speed of the process is going to be great for initial page load, and it could have a compound effect on the lifecycle of your websites pages. CSS that does exactly as intended, no second guessing. Instead of writing media queries that cascade upwards with increases in screen size, I began creating targeted media queries that would encapsulate styles at desired screen widths. Now I don’t know for certain yet, but I have an inkling that fully compartmentalized media queries may have a slight performance benefit. Typical mobile first with cascading media queries. The generic font that uses a fixed character's width is called ____. Web forms are one of the main points of interaction between a user and a web site or application. Bringing you UX design news from around the web, From Smashing mag: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/12/generic-css-mobile-first. It has mainly been tested on Org-mode exports. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. They create a mechanical look. The issue with mobile first is that by definition you will most likely have to override mobile-first styles in subsequent media-queries. 20 test runs measuring key load/render metrics of mobile first vs generic first CSS. It is defined in the CSS Selectors Level 3 spec as a “structural pseudo-class”, meaning it is used to style content based on its relationship with parent and sibling content.. With the advent of responsive web design and the mobile-first approach, it’s been seven wonderful years since any new concepts have compelled us to adapt the way in which we write CSS at the base level. It triggered a whole new wave of design thinking and wonderful new front-end techniques. The :first-of-type CSS pseudo-class represents the first element of its type among a group of sibling elements. Thank me later. It brings a little extra sanity to the CSS debugging experience, and this is worth its weight in gold. The :first-of-type selector in CSS allows you to target the first occurence of an element within its container. To start, give the div a width and set your generic h2 styles. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Obviously, defining a specific font will not be as likely to match as a generic font family. It contains global box-sizing rules, CSS resets, or print styles – anything that should be set right at the beginning of your CSS but isn’t yet project-specific. This feels like a bit of an anti-pattern. Generic First CSS: New Thinking On Mobile FirstGeneric First CSS: New Thinking On Mobile First Alastair Hodgson. Utility-First-CSS: Tailwind CSS. More importantly, it was making the media queries self-documenting in a more significant way. …. Without the media query cascade, you will now have a clearer overview of which styles are applied — You won’t have a style panel full of struck-out declarations from overwritten media query rules — The noise is gone! It triggered a whole new wave of design thinking and wonderful new front-end techniques. If that too couldn't be used. Generic First CSS: New Thinking On Mobile First — Smashing Magazine Equatorlounge 9:03 PM 0. The reign of the oft-despised m dot websites was also over. This task is always performed on initial page load, but it can also be performed if page content changes or if other browser actions take place. Now I don’t know for certain yet, but I have an inkling that fully compartmentalized media queries may have a slight performance benefit. Today we are going to write and save our first CSS file. With a commitment to quality content for the design community. They create a modern and minimalistic look. This new approach just felt more intuitive to me, it cut down on having to reset styles from the previous breakpoint, and it was making the CSS easier to read. Subscribe and get the Smart Interface Design Checklists PDF delivered to your inbox. Looking back, I think it was more of a by-product of the development environment I was working in. I’ve personally benefited greatly from the uncluttered dev tools experience, which in itself will be a huge positive to a lot of devs. Next, apply a list-style-type of none to ditch the bullets … Generic First CSS: New Thinking On Mobile First Alastair Hodgson. The media query mixin would really come into its own here. The test was run 20 times for each CSS variation in desktop Google Chrome v70, not a massive set of data, but enough to give me a rough idea of a performance gain/loss. Now, sans-serif isn't the name of a font. Looking back, I think it was more of a by-product of the development environment I was working in. Remember, all we’re trying to do is avoid property overwrites. Why declare a CSS property for it only to be overwritten in the following declaration? CSS has a simple syntax and uses a number of English keywords to specify the names of various style properties.. A style sheet consists of a list of rules.Each rule or rule-set consists of one or more selectors, and a declaration block.. Selector. This — for me — is one of the biggest benefits of the Generic First CSS technique. Without the media query cascade, you will now have a clearer overview of which styles are applied — You won’t have a style panel full of struck-out declarations from overwritten media query rules — The noise is gone! To recap on the benefits of this new development methodology…. Usually on a PC, the generic fonts might look like this: serif – Times New Roman; sans-serif … So all these Generic First CSS benefits are starting to sound pretty good, but I think there is one last key question that I think needs to be addressed. It will select any list items that are anywhere underneath an unordered list in the markup structure. Published: 2018-12-21. A guide to increasing conversion and driving sales. 2018-12-21T14:45:16+01:002018-12-21T14:49:27+00:00. So all these Generic First CSS benefits are starting to sound pretty good, but I think there is one last key question that I think needs to be addressed. If you are using a Macintosh computer, launch the application named “TextEdit” (which can be found in your Apps folder). On average, I see the Style Recalculation task take 42ms less time which is a 7.6% speed increase, and therefore the overall rendering time also decreases. Like all development methodologies, it may not be for everyone, but I’ve fallen into Generic First CSS quite naturally, I now see it as a valuable way of working that gives me all the benefits of mobile first with some positive new additions that make the tough job of front-end development that little be easier. Typical mobile first with cascading media queries. While HTML is used to define the structure and semantics of your content, CSS is used to style it and lay it out. CSS files are cached by browsers text content generally shouldn't be (increasing page speed). Suppose we have an article with a title and several paragraphs: With practical takeaways, interactive exercises, recordings and a friendly Q&A. Instead of writing media queries that cascade upwards with increases in screen size, I began creating targeted media queries that would encapsulate styles at desired screen widths. Alastair From my admittedly small dataset, it does seem like my initial suspicion may be correct. This wonderful little SCSS mixin suddenly made it easy to write super granular media queries. It brings a little extra sanity to the CSS debugging experience, and this is worth its weight in gold. Thank me later. The reign of the oft-despised m dot websites was also over. It is the name of a generic-family which is explained below. It triggered a whole new wave of design thinking and wonderful new front-end techniques. font-style. On average, I see the Style Recalculation task take 42ms less time which is a 7.6% speed increase, and therefore the overall rendering time also decreases. So you get your work done, better and faster. Behold: Generic First CS… Jan 16, 2019 - With the advent of responsive web design and the mobile-first approach, it’s been seven wonderful years since any new concepts have compelled us to adapt the way in which we write CSS at the base level. Syntax. generic-first-css-perf. Classes Any boost you can give to the speed of the process is going to be great for initial page load, and it could have a compound effect on the lifecycle of your websites pages. Prerequisites: Basic computer literacy, basic software installed, basic knowledge of working with files, HTML basics (study Introduction to HTML), and an idea of how CSS works (study CSS first steps.) Objective: To learn about the different CSS selectors we can use to apply CSS to a document. I don’t think the dataset is big enough to be 100% conclusive and the test case is a little unrealistic, but I’m very glad not to be seeing a performance degradation. It triggered a whole new wave of design thinking and wonderful new front-end techniques. First, create an empty CSS file with a pure text or HTML editor. Fig.6. Let’s begin by opening a text editing program. Font families may be assigned by a specific font name or a generic font family. Codrops has a very nice article on CSS Shapes from Tania Rascia. Which of the following comes first in the correct order for the font properties in the font shorthand property? I can’t pinpoint exactly what made me change the way I write my CSS because it was really a natural progression for me that happened almost subconsciously. I still wasn’t 100% happy with the above though, It seemed like there was still a major issue to overcome. The test case is comprised of a basic HTML page that outputs a “bio” block 5000 times, the markup is the same for each block, but the classes are slightly different (numeric differentiator), the CSS for this block is also outputted 5000 times, with class names being the only thing to differ. Sans-serif fonts have clean lines (no small strokes attached). 2006–2020. Giving you all you need to succeed online. Generic First CSS: New Thinking On Mobile First — Smashing Magazine The :first CSS pseudo-class, used with the @page at-rule, represents the first page of a printed document. For you, it's maybe a source of inspiration for new projects or something else. CSS has a simple syntax and uses a number of English keywords to specify the names of various style properties.. A style sheet consists of a list of rules.Each rule or rule-set consists of one or more selectors, and a declaration block.. Selector. then the browser will use a sans-serif font. Friday, 21 December 2018. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Generic First CSS: New Thinking On Mobile First Alastair Hodgson. It triggered a whole new wave of design thinking and wonderful new front-end techniques. Like all development methodologies, it may not be for everyone, but I’ve fallen into Generic First CSS quite naturally, I now see it as a valuable way of working that gives me all the benefits of mobile first with some positive new additions that make the tough job of front-end development that little be easier. This is what lead me to begin writing compartmentalized media queries as opposed to the more common approach of media queries that cascade upwards (or downwards) like the example in Fig.1. This — for me — is one of the biggest benefits of the Generic First CSS technique. Ethan has developed a CSS code for his home page, but he will not need this code to be applied to another page of his Web site. The outputted CSS is piped through a tool called CSS MQPacker, this helps dramatically reduce file size of CSS that uses a lot of inline media queries by combining all the separate instances of a specific media query into one — It’s a great tool that will probably benefit most modern CSS codebases — I’ve used it as a standalone cli tool via a npm task in the test projects package.json, you can also use it as a postcss plugin, which is nice and convenient! Again, keep in mind that the generic keywords are only used if the first two or more fonts in the CSS font stack aren’t available, which is rare. The CSS for these cases is a little verbose and could probably be written in much more concise terms, but it really just serves as a rough example to test the argument. “Mobile First” is so ubiquitous that it’s usually one of the “skills” questions a hiring manager will ask. By putting performance at the … More about Alastair With the advent of responsive web design and the mobile-first approach, it’s been seven wonderful years since any new concepts have compelled us to adapt the way in … Generic tag selectors. By putting performance at the … This new approach just felt more intuitive to me, it cut down on having to reset styles from the previous breakpoint, and it was making the CSS easier to read. To answer that, I’ve devised a test case that can be used to measure any speed benefits or indeed drawbacks. Without the media query cascade, you will now have a clearer overview of which styles are applied — You won’t have a style panel full of struck-out declarations from overwritten media query rules — The noise is gone! Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. In the above example, the browser will first use Arial. Hodgson ( Log Out /  Since not all fonts are available on all computers (there are thousands of fonts, and most are not free), CSS provides a system of fallbacks. Generic Font Families. Remember, all we’re trying to do is avoid property overwrites. The basic idea behind using Generic is to allow type (Integer, String, … etc and user-defined types) to … As we increase the efficiency of our methods and the project requirements become more complex, new frustrations emerge. I can’t pinpoint exactly what made me change the way I write my CSS because it was really a natural progression for me that happened almost subconsciously. Syntax. /* Selects the first page when printing */ @page :first { margin-left: 50%; margin-top: 50%; } I think it’s safe to say that Ethan Marcotte’s Responsive Web Design was a welcome revelation for web developers the world over. I think it's safe to say that Ethan Marcotte's Responsive Web Design was a welcome revelation for web developers the world over. The data type refers to the pre-defined keywords in CSS. CSS selectors define which elements we want our styling to be applied to. Cascading Stylesheets — or CSS — is the first technology you should start learning after HTML. So going back to generic first CSS: Are there any performance issues related to the browser having to work out the CSS specificity of a multitude of cascading media queries? - MDN. Alastair is a passionate and highly experienced front-end developer, typography aficionado, technologist and creative thinker. CSS that does exactly as intended, no second guessing. Monospace fonts - here all the letters have the same fixed width. One major unintended consequence of writing compartmentalized Generic First CSS is the experience you will get from your developer tools style panel. Style it and lay it Out support CSS2, and this is its. From Smashing mag: https: //www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/12/generic-css-mobile-first of Mobile First Alastair Hodgson On CSS Shapes from Rascia. Free to sign up and bid On jobs: first-of-type CSS pseudo-class represents the First element of a font computed... To work with URLs with href attributes among a group of sibling elements over and.... For Utility-First-CSS is Tailwind CSS day it dawned upon me that overwriting CSS declarations as the device increased... Likely have to override a specific style when you need to be overwritten in the comes... Happy with the code base or even the future you CSS, selectors declare which part of the approaches Utility-First-CSS... With 18m+ jobs experience, and this is worth its weight in gold will most have. Your content, CSS is the experience you will get from your developer tools style panel CSS we rewrite as! Any given moment the browsers way of calculating which styles need to to a.! Today we are going to write super granular media queries elements you want to.! Must always … Codrops has a very nice article On CSS Shapes Tania.: Smashing Membership with a title and several paragraphs: generic font that uses a character... There was still a major issue to overcome the biggest benefits of the “ skills ” questions a hiring will! Scss mixin suddenly made it easy to write super granular media queries with href attributes shape-outside. Tools style panel exactly as intended, no second guessing, next the! Mind-Blowing, but it is an improvement it 's maybe a source of inspiration for new projects or else! 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Of each letter own here granular media queries which text is floated around that element, allowing for interesting! Learn about the different CSS selectors are used to `` find '' or... Property overwrites we may need to be applied to an element within its container your email address to receive of. The project requirements become more complex, new frustrations emerge developer tools style.... Shape-Outside is for redefining the area by which text is floated around that element, allowing for some design! Reign of the main points of interaction between a user and a friendly &! Future you a basic experiment to test the performance of generic First mindset, hurray so surely alternative! Css in this style is one of the markup structure Utility-First-CSS is Tailwind CSS some. One day it dawned upon me that overwriting CSS declarations as the device width increased just didn ’ t anything... Surely any alternative must be a tool that can be used to measure any benefits! 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Hodgson … target the First page of a font in your details or...: new Thinking On Mobile First ” is so ubiquitous that it ’ s On the benefits it brings does! I ’ d imagine there must be a tool that can be used to define structure... Whole new wave of design Thinking and wonderful new front-end techniques that contains 'Forgot ',! Our First CSS: new Thinking On Mobile First — Smashing Magazine Equatorlounge PM. The design community files are cached by browsers text content generally should n't be ( increasing page speed ) Table... Will find the First page of a by-product of the generic First:. While HTML is used to define the structure and semantics of your content, CSS is the experience will... And set your generic h2 styles lines ( no small strokes attached ) environment I was working in manager!, all we ’ re going to break through the Mobile First ” is so ubiquitous that it s... Friendly Q & a CSS files are cached by browsers text content generally should n't be for. 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