Jens Oliver Meiert

Web Development (2)

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 engineering.

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 .

Frameworks, Libraries, and the Modern Web Developer: Web Development, Overdone

We are raising tool-dependent rather than self-reliant developers. Aren’t we.

Post from July 28, 2017, filed under .

What I Learned Building Google’s Web Frameworks

On building Google’s Go and Maia HTML/CSS frameworks, and succeeding and failing as a tech lead.

Post from July 25, 2017, filed under .

Boyscout Code

Of course, always leave code better than you found it.

Post from July 20, 2017, filed under .

Stop Using Resets: Visual Examples of the Practical Nonsense of Resets and Normalizers

Or, when Jens found out that he could just collect websites that use reset style sheets and the like, disable those style sheets, document the results and write a post with the diffs for visual evidence. All because “we ran after this mirage for more than a decade.”

Post from July 13, 2017, filed under .

Two Paradigms of Web Development

On a sunny Tuesday in Düsseldorf a few weeks back, at Beyond Tellerrand, I had a pleasant recorded conversation with the team of Working Draft. In our discussion we briefly touched on the idea of web development paradigms…

Post from June 19, 2017, filed under .

The Great Web Maintainability Survey Results

Four weeks ago I started a survey about good and bad practices when it comes to the maintenance and maintainability of websites. Participation was amazing, and here are the first results.

Post from June 16, 2017, filed under .

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Last update: October 5, 2018

“No one is truly ‘well off’ if they are well off while others are dying.”