Jens Oliver Meiert

Web Development

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 .

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 .

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 .

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 .

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 .

Understandable-Simple vs. Minimal-Simple Code

Code simplicity seems to be a goal quite worthwhile, contributing to better understanding, greater robustness, and higher quality. That’s at least what comes to my mind when looking at the matter…

Post from October 6, 2017, filed under .

On Enforcing Coding Guidelines

Surprisingly a snippet from The Little Book of Website Quality Control, not the one of HTML/CSS coding guidelines, a few thoughts on enforcing coding standards.

Post from October 2, 2017, filed under .

The Cost of Frameworks, Illustrated

A visual attempt to show how for everything built for the long run, external frameworks are a pricey crutch that has to be avoided or be thrown away at the earliest time. The reasons: quality—and cost.

Post from September 14, 2017, filed under .

CSS @-Rules, an Overview

From @charset to @viewport. Or from @bottom-center to @top-right-corner.

Post from September 11, 2017, filed under .

What We Should Teach Up-and-Coming Developers

Evidently, learning is important, and learning strategies are, too, and how to generally work on ourselves, absolutely, but what else to aim for apart from understanding computer science fundamentals, reading the specs, and—coding?

Post from August 31, 2017, filed under .

What Kills and What Will Save Content Management Systems

Imagine you just moved into a new place, and realize that you lack a screwdriver to put up some of your furniture (it’s not from IKEA). You ring at your neighbors’, find one who’s home, and she…

Post from August 29, 2017, filed under .

Living Websites, Living Books

To me, websites are living objects. They require regular care and maintenance. Such care starts with monitoring, from uptime control to visual site tests, demands technical quality controls, and ends with content checks…

Post from August 17, 2017, filed under and .

Website Optimization Measures, Part VIII

Eight years. Eight years has it been since the last episode of this series, “Website Optimization Measures.” In October of 2009, I last talked about more or less random things I did on my own websites…

Post from August 8, 2017, filed under .

Web Development: How Making Our Own Lives Difficult Is More Important Than We Think

Many moons ago I wrote that web developers wouldn’t need debugging tools. I was half joking and half serious. We were just coming out of the dark ages of web development, so to speak, undernourished of useful tools, frameworks, libraries…

Post from August 1, 2017, filed under .

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Last update: April 12, 2018

“The end does not justify the means.”