Showing all articles matching css

How to change Gmail's new look

The new Gmail interface.

Gmail's got a new look. Rather than allowing us to keep the old look as an optional theme, it's been forced upon us. I can't complain though, since I get email entirely for free.

Instead, I thought I'd explain some of the reasons I don't like the new look, and do something about it.

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Making segmented circles and pie charts in CSS

Circles, made with CSS

It's been possible to make circles, semi circles and quarter circles using only CSS ever since the border radius property came along. But what if you wanted to make a circle with more than four segments?

I've seen it done but only occasionally and in a very fixed way. If there was a way of generating a single segment of a circle based on a mathematical formula, would it be possible to write a CSS mixin to generate a circle containing any number of required segments? Short answer: yes.

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Dealing with bad front end code

I've worked on a lot of websites and seen a lot of front end code. Some good, some bad. Some... really bad.

More often than I'd like, I encounter the same patterns of badness. Here's a few examples of the kind of things that some front end developers do that drive me to despair. Warning: this is going to get technical.

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A simpler interactive HTML map

The world, beautifully rendered by my hasty hand

Making a map interactive on a webpage has always been a bit of a pain. The basic problem is that elements on a webpage are rectangular, whereas countries and regions of the world are, well, lots of different random intersecting shapes. Clicking on a part of the map and turning that into a meaningful location isn't so hard, but highlighting regions when you hover over them is more difficult.

There's various ways around this problem, from the simple (using an imagemap) to the complex (licensing some complex SVG plugin). But how about good ol' fashioned straightforward HTML, CSS and JavaScript?

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A guide for backend developers writing front end

Developers, developers, developer

It's not easy being a backend developer. Not only do you have to code massive websites, you also end up being responsible for maintaining things like build scripts and database migrations, and being called on every five minutes to fix the dev system of the front end developer working on your project, who probably caused their problem in the first place. On top of that, you often have to wait for that same front end developer to get on and give you some front end before you can properly check that your website is working correctly.

As a front end developer, I genuinely sympathise, so here's my thoughts on the best way to work on front end when the front end isn't ready yet.

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A front end convention for class use and JavaScript

Whenever I get asked to work on an existing website I haven't worked on before I tend to find a lot of CSS classes on elements that on first glance don't appear to do anything. As a naturally tidy person, this irks me. Why are they there? Is there some element much further down in the DOM that relies upon that class, or is there some bit of JavaScript somewhere that acts on it? Or is it simply an unused class that can be safely removed?

A quick search through the CSS and JS should answer this question pretty quickly, unless the class in question is a generic word, like 'select' or 'option'. Believe it or not, this happens more often than you'd think.

This isn't a huge problem, it's a small pain that adds a few extra minutes here and there. I'm just tired of it. I'd like to propose the following convention to remove this problem entirely.

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