Jens Oliver Meiert

Blog

Jens Oliver Meiert on web development and design (and sometimes philosophy, art, and adventure). Writing about quality code and world views since 1999.

The cover of “CSS Optimization Basics.”

CSS Optimization Basics

My latest little book, covering mindsets needed for writing effective style sheets, optimization options during operation and for production, and useful resources to aid and inform the work with CSS. (Pay what you want.)

Post from April 12, 2018, filed under .

User-Centered Web Development

When we think of user focus we easily think of usability tests, following a usually strong wish to produce something that’s actually useful. For us as web developers, focus on the user has a tendency to appear distant though…

Post from March 14, 2018, filed under .

HTML, CSS, and Dependency Direction

Adam Wathan wrote one of the most interesting web development articles I’ve read in the last few months: CSS Utility Classes and “Separation of Concerns.” At least until “Phase 3” there’s much to learn about current web development…

Post from February 14, 2018, filed under .

How Declaration Repetition Developed over Time, a Statistically Insignificant Sample

We know that there’s excessive declaration repetition in the Web’s style sheets, that each declaration is on average repeated 2–3 times, often needlessly. We know that this repetition is a little less bad on tech sites…

Post from February 7, 2018, filed under .

Highlights from Cobbett’s Advice to Young Men

“The first thing to be required of a man is, that he understand well his own calling, or profession; and, be you in what state of life you may, to acquire this knowledge ought to be your first and greatest care.”

Post from February 1, 2018, filed under .

On Loyalty

We should be protective of our greatest possession—our values.

Post from January 27, 2018, filed under .

The Compact Guide to Web Maintainability: 200 Tips and Resources

The result of reviewing, normalizing, rephrasing, sorting, and testing 134 responses to a maintainability survey that yielded more than 500 data points, to form a new guide, a new and more definite guide to web maintainability.

Post from January 24, 2018, filed under .

Oh WTF My Tone, or: On Germans Speaking English

Anecdote. When I was working at Google, shortly after I had made one of my first bigger contributions, I experienced one of my more memorable performance reviews. You’ll never guess what happened next.

Post from January 17, 2018, filed under .

On Material Design

When Google introduced Material Design back in 2014, I was happy; I was happy for the team and I was happy for Google to mark another milestone on the long way of improving the aesthetics of their products. But, I was also concerned.

Post from January 11, 2018, filed under .

Static Site Tricks: Social Network Propagation with IFTTT

Automation is critical for work efficiency and productivity. Everything helps.

Post from January 8, 2018, filed under .

The Two Extremes of Writing CSS, and What We Can Learn from Them

Extremes can be useful. In practice they help get the maximum out of a given approach, and in theory they can show what we’re headed to. Compare two ways of writing CSS—like Tachyons or Atomic CSS, and 2000’s idealistic coding.

Post from January 2, 2018, filed under .

On Meeting and Leaving People

Humans are social. Cooperation got us where we are. There are several ways to get to know new people, and, in relationships, to leave them. A few thoughts.

Post from December 30, 2017, filed under .

What We Know

On some days, if you asked me about what we know, with absolute certainty, I’d respond with only that something exists. And if you asked me…

Post from December 24, 2017, filed under .

On Writing 1,000 Poems

A story of venturing into an entirely different genre.

Post from December 17, 2017, filed under and .

Privacy Experiments: How to Auto-Generate Random Web Traffic

I believe that privacy, which has never been about “hiding something,” is a fundamental civil right, one that is but must not be infringed on; so I once more played with randomizing personal web traffic.

Post from December 15, 2017, filed under .

Expert Web Development: A 3rd Key Differentiator

As web developers we have decisions to make and our decisions depend on a few variables. Two that have become much more important over the years are the one of code for research or production, and the one of web site or app…

Post from December 13, 2017, filed under .

An Ode to Smashing Magazine

Excitement about a success story.

Post from December 6, 2017, filed under .

Performance of CSS Selectors Is Still Irrelevant

From my upcoming book on CSS optimization: Selector performance is not something to optimize for as the price we pay for it is, indeed, terrible: We micro-manage our work for gains that aren’t even noticeable.

Post from November 29, 2017, filed under .

On Big Picture Thinking in Web Development

Thoughts on thinking outside the box, in tech, with examples ranging from selector performance to a general development vision, to illustrate how very different issues can all reach beyond their perimeter.

Post from November 22, 2017, filed under .

CSS: The Reason Why Selectors Should Be Ordered, Too

We’ve talked a lot about declarations as declarations are at the heart of our work with direct consequences for the quality of our style sheets. We’ve not talked much about selectors, though, and that may be a mistake.

Post from November 17, 2017, filed under .

Static Site Generation with Grow: How to Set Up Syndication Feeds

Grow is a static site generator that I’ve slowly been switching to on my own projects. Here I wish to lay out how to do something with Grow that’s not overly difficult, but also not well-documented—to set up syndication feeds.

Post from November 13, 2017, filed under .

The Scientific Irony

There’s no proof that life has meaning; therefore, life is meaningless. Wait, what?

Post from October 31, 2017, filed under .

DRY CSS: How to Use Declarations Just Once, Effectively

Using declarations just once is one way to control repetition in style sheets. It’s not a silver bullet, as we’ve seen with recent data, but it’s so powerful as to make for a key style sheet optimization method.

Post from October 26, 2017, filed under .

5 Reasons Against Resets, Normalizers, Reboots

A word about one of CSS’s horsemen of the apocalypse.

Post from October 19, 2017, filed under .

The 3 Levels of Code Consistency

Consistency is a factor for code quality and one of the key reasons why we need coding guidelines. Interestingly enough there are three levels of consistency: individual, collective, and institutional.

Post from October 16, 2017, filed under .

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Biography

Jens Oliver Meiert, photo on Google+.

Jens Oliver Meiert is an author and developer (O’Reilly, W3C, ex-Google). He plays with philosophy, art, and adventure.

As a developer Jens is specialized in the management and quality assurance of complex international websites (Google), works on standards (W3C), and writes for technical publishers (O’Reilly: Webdesign mit CSS, The Little Book of HTML/CSS Frameworks, Coding Guidelines, and Website Quality Control; cf. On Web Development).

As a philosopher, Jens focuses on metaphysics. He emphasizes self-responsibility (How to Work on Oneself). As an artist Jens plays with (moving) photography; as an adventurer he explores activities (100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer) and localities (Journey of J.).

Jens doesn’t only smile, he also does Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, XING, and Facebook.

Found a mistake? Email me, jens@meiert.com.

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Last update: April 12, 2018

“The end does not justify the means.”