Jens Oliver Meiert

Web Development

Custom Properties: Questioning :root

For custom properties (aka CSS variables) we got into the habit of declaring variables in a rule with a :root selector. Yet unless you’re working in an environment in which style sheets serve several document types (and roots), question this use of :root.

Post from September 21, 2020, filed under .

Website Optimization Measures, Part X

9 TILs that I applied to my personal projects.

Post from August 30, 2020, filed under .

The Anti-Reset

I advise against resets. You don’t need them. (We don’t need them.) Yet what’s the opposite of a reset? Of all resets? The anti-reset. It looks something like this—

Post from August 17, 2020, filed under .

33 Web Development Terms You May Not Have Heard Of

Web Development has its own, special vocabulary that easily consists of several thousand terms. Even if you’re an experienced developer you’re unlikely to know all of them. Still, do you like to try your knowledge? How many of the following terms do you know?

Post from June 30, 2020, filed under .

The 25 Boolean Attributes of HTML

What is a Boolean, what is a Boolean attribute, how does a Boolean attribute work, and what Boolean attributes are there? Meet the Boolean attributes, from allowfullscreen to truespeed.

Post from May 19, 2020, filed under .

5 Tips to Get Your Dev Blog Running

If you know what you can deliver, if you keep at it, if you make it easy for your peers, if you talk about the effort, and if you measure and improve and employ a process, you’re likely to do well: thoughts on technical outreach.

Post from May 6, 2020, filed under and .

The 4 Pillars of Good Embed Code

Embed code is third-party code to be integrated on websites and apps, like ads or social media widgets. There have been many problems with embed code for a very long time. This post covers the essence of what makes for good embed code.

Post from April 23, 2020, filed under and .

The cover of “The Web Development Glossary.”

The Web Development Glossary (More Than 2,000 Key Terms for Developers)

What is a BHO? Goanna? Hooking? How about a principal box? Or the Ten-Second Rule? Covering more than 2,000 terms ranging from A11Y to Zsh, and including explanations from Wikipedia and the MDN Web Docs, I’m very happy to release the The Web Development Glossary.

Post from April 7, 2020, filed under .

The Frameworks Paradox

The more complex a website, the bigger the need for a framework, the less effective an external framework. This is not new, and not even a paradox because an internal—homemade—HTML/CSS framework is always an option. However—

Post from April 2, 2020, filed under .

On the Responsibility That Comes with Good JavaScript Support

According to our data, the classic idea of making sure websites and apps work without JavaScript being enabled is dead; when we look only at support requirements, this was the end of the story. It’s not, however, when we employ a broader look at JavaScript and its misuses.

Post from March 26, 2020, filed under .

HTML and CSS and the 2019 Web Almanac

The HTTP Archive’s Web Almanac is fantastic because it provides us with data about how we build what kinds of websites. While the release of the 2019 Almanac has been accompanied by some analysis, I had found it interesting to interpret the data, too.

Post from January 15, 2020, filed under .

If It Can Be Done Using an HTTP Header, Use an HTTP Header

The following is a (slightly modified) chapter from Upgrade Your HTML, which is “all about picking examples of HTML in the wild, and explaining how to make that code better.”

Post from January 13, 2020, filed under .

How Running Your Own Website Is Much Better for You Than You Think

The typical reason for why professionals don’t have their own websites is that they don’t want to make the commitment, and yet that misses how the disadvantages people see are actually advantages. Renewed thoughts on how running your own website is an asset.

Post from January 3, 2020, filed under and .

An HTML Optimizer’s Config for html-minifier

Jad (Joubran) asked me about my configuration for html-minifier the other week, and in a hurry I pointed him to the config I had worked out for sum.cumo. In my own projects, however, I work with a different, more ambitious setup.

Post from December 20, 2019, filed under .

When to Open Links in a New Tab

Always open links in the same tab unless doing so 1) could disrupt a process, 2) could risk data loss, or 3) could confuse the user.

Post from December 9, 2019, filed under and .

CSS: When to Use Logical Properties

Logical properties are great and long overdue. They are great because they solve an ugly problem of international, multi-directional web development in that directionality does not need to affect your writing and managing of CSS anymore…

Post from November 22, 2019, filed under .

Website Optimization Measures, Part IX

Random improvements and notes around compression and caching, content security and feature policies, IndieWeb markup, protocols in links, entity references, image formats, and ISBNs in URL paths.

Post from November 14, 2019, filed under .

The cover of “Upgrade Your HTML.”

Upgrade Your HTML (the Booklet)

I’ve written a very short book on improving HTML code: Upgrade Your HTML. Upgrade Your HTML is about one thing: Picking examples of HTML in the wild, and explaining how to make that code better. Kindly. Constructively. Thoroughly, as finding a balance between detail and brevity permits.

Post from November 4, 2019, filed under .

On Writing Better Markup

As HTML is so important and yet also so easy, everyone writes HTML, and everyone says they can write HTML. And with that they don’t just mean they are able to write HTML, but that they write good HTML, where “good” means “high quality.” That would be great news.

Post from October 16, 2019, filed under .

The Developer’s Fallacy of Close Collaboration with Designers

Working closely with designers makes sense and is awesome, notably for mutual understanding and efficiency. And yet there are also good reasons not to work closely with designers. For developers it’s important, for otherwise foolish, to be aware.

Post from October 1, 2019, filed under and .

Definition of Web Developer

Web developer, n.: A person who—

Post from September 24, 2019, filed under .

“Must Work Without JavaScript”

That websites should work without JavaScript has a long professional tradition, and for apps much the same has been asked for. Yet with the success and ubiquity of scripting, how relevant is it to make sure sites and apps “work without JavaScript”?

Post from September 5, 2019, filed under .

Optional HTML: Everything You Need to Know

Optional HTML can be left out to improve performance, to guide code comprehension, and to hone the craft. An overview over all optional tags, rules around quotes for attribute values, and omissible attribute value defaults, as well as notes on pitfalls and tools.

Post from August 20, 2019, filed under .

When to use img, img@srcset, and picture and source

I’ve disliked srcset and the whole family of ideas around it from the start because doing the same thing for the same purpose several times has usually looked like too much DX cost for too little UX gain to me. Two angles at what to use when.

Post from July 17, 2019, filed under .

Image Compression: How to Super-Easily Set Up Automated Base Optimization

Setting up image compression tooling is easy—and for those who want to err on the safe side automatically employing lossless compression, it’s even easier with a solution from sum.cumo: Merlin.

Post from June 24, 2019, filed under .

If you like what you see here, consider the ebook version of all of my 2005–2015 posts on web design and development: On Web Development.

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Cover: CSS Optimization Basics.

Perhaps my most relevant book: CSS Optimization Basics (2018). Writing CSS is a craft. As craftspeople we strive to write high quality CSS. In CSS Optimization Basics I lay out some of the most important aspects of such CSS. (Also available in a bundle with Upgrade Your HTML and The Web Development Glossary.)

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Last update: September 21, 2020

“Work is love made visible.”