Jens Oliver Meiert

Web Development (6)

The Stupidest Style Sheet Name Ever

This might irritate a few people, but the last name you want to pick for your style sheet is “style.css”. Why is “style.css” such a poor CSS file name? The main reason is maintenance…

Post from March 25, 2009, filed under .

CSS: Style the Non-Obvious

One of the qualities you have to acquire as a web developer is to see the non-obvious, and to use that skill to your code’s advantage. Let me explain by two simple examples.

Post from March 18, 2009, filed under .

Performance of CSS Selectors Is Irrelevant

…if you like to have a strict read of Steve Souders’ recent research. We’ve still got few but now a few more numbers backing up what we always suspected, that merely optimizing selectors is micro-optimization…

Post from March 12, 2009, filed under .

Website Optimization Measures, Part VI

In this episode: On the utilization of Google Friend Connect, maintenance of Google Analytics, sanity checks, type attributes, charset rules, cite elements, and ICRA labels. Fresh and sexy.

Post from March 10, 2009, filed under .

When to Split Style Sheets

Three factors influence whether or not it makes sense to split style sheets: probability, meaning (aka semantics), and granularity.

Post from March 5, 2009, filed under .

Performance and RFC 2396

RFC 2396 specifies that relative URIs like //foo get resolved as http://foo. This means, if you link a resource like, @href may as well just point to //

Post from February 18, 2009, filed under .

Arial, Helvetica

An extension of my post on Arial and Helvetica: For those who want or have to use Arial as their standard font, there is no point in mentioning Helvetica anywhere in the code, as in arial, helvetica, sans-serif.

Post from February 12, 2009, filed under .

The Two Great Things About Validation

There are two great things about validation: Validating helps technical understanding and thus contributes to awareness of respective specifications, and writing valid code is a sign of professionalism.

Post from January 30, 2009, filed under .

Browser Support: The Two Metrics That Count

There are only two things that matter to determine what user agents—or browsers, simple language—to support on any given site: First, how popular is the user agent in question? Second, what’s the “support threshold”…

Post from January 27, 2009, filed under .

5 Cool Ways to Support the W3C

I recently got a mail by someone interested in supporting the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) similar to how I do it. While replying I noticed that the information I was about to share might not be obvious to everyone, but still important…

Post from January 21, 2009, filed under .


Document types are cool, and there are plenty of them. There are plenty, countless discussions about the “right” document type, too. Alas, these discussions often deal with irrelevant details or miss the point. A decisive factor is performance…

Post from December 19, 2008, filed under .

5 Tips To Deal with Right-to-Left Projects

Know what goes into your markup and what goes into your style sheets. It’s actually quite simple: When available, you should always use dedicated bidi markup to describe your content. CSS may not be available, and the specs actually say that…

Post from December 11, 2008, filed under .

The Greatest Secret in Web Design

Alright I cheated, this isn’t really a secret. Or an open secret. Or whatever. It’s that web design is a process. Good web design is an ongoing endeavor…

Post from December 1, 2008, filed under and .

WDR #2: Web Developers Needed for a Website

The Web Dev Report, issue #2, this time featuring a classic situation.

Post from November 25, 2008, filed under .

How to Uncover Pseudo-Standardistas

There’s a growing and annoying group of developers that don’t quite help healthy attempts for more accessible, faster, more maintainable, and best practice web development: pseudo-standardistas. There are several ways to expose pseudos…

Post from November 20, 2008, filed under .

WDR #1: Versioned Style Sheets

Ladies and gents, all I present’s… the Web Dev Report, issue #1.

Post from November 15, 2008, filed under .

5 CSS Tips Every Web Developer Should Know About

Of all the many tips this site already shares, the following ones may still be special. Let’s scan what might be essential for every web developer to know about CSS. Main focus: maintainability, differently.

Post from November 11, 2008, filed under .

Website Optimization Measures, Part V

Almost half a year since my last article it’s about time to present version 5 of random website optimization measures, hopefully of use for your site as well. Short and crispy, to use a random German saying.

Post from November 3, 2008, filed under .

An Exercise for Emerging CSS Experts: Avoid IDs and Classes

To gain more expertise with CSS, there’s a great bonus level: Try avoiding IDs and classes altogether. That’s right, write your markup without any IDs and classes.

Post from October 21, 2008, filed under .

The Most Annoying Yet Most Important Task in Website Management

…is link checking. There are tools out there, en masse, so it is just annoying to run after professionals who either don’t know online basics or how to set up redirects, and with that waste other people’s time.

Post from October 16, 2008, filed under .

Code Responsibly

Exactly: Code responsibly. And contribute if you like to.

Post from October 9, 2008, filed under .

Accessibility Heuristics

Just having updated my German article on accessibility heuristics it looked useful to share the guidelines over here as well, albeit in a short form. It’s a hat tip to respective documentation by the W3C and IBM.

Post from October 7, 2008, filed under .

Web Standards at Google

As an exception, I’m writing as a Googler here: At Google, we care about web standards. Officially, that’s no news, but given repeated criticism for the code of our pages, maybe it is.

Post from October 2, 2008, filed under .

The Most Important Thing Is to Get the HTML Right

Why? Because it’s the markup that makes for the most code of a site and is hence key to cost efficiency and maintainability, because it carries meaning and is important for accessibility, because it often has an impact on performance, and because it is the prerequisite for online success.

Post from September 26, 2008, filed under .

When Guidelines Should Be Descriptive or Prescriptive

Every time I’m putting up guidelines and standards one of the decisions I need to make is whether or not the guidelines, or which parts of them, should be descriptive or prescriptive. For coding guidelines this could mean the difference between, say, “the markup should be valid” and “the markup must be valid”…

Post from September 13, 2008, filed under .

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“The end does not justify the means.”