Enduring CSS
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Enduring CSS

Architect and maintain large-scale CSS codebases

About the Book

This is a book to deal with writing CSS for large-scale, rapidly changing web projects and applications.

This isn't actually a book about writing CSS, as in the stuff inside the curly braces. It's a book about the organisation and architecture of CSS; the parts outside the braces. It's the considerations that can be happily ignored on smaller projects but actually become the most difficult part of writing CSS in larger projects.

Here are some of the topics covered in the book:

- The problems of CSS at scale: specificity, the cascade and styles intrinsically tied to element structure.

- The shortfalls of conventional approaches to scaling CSS.

- The ECSS methodology and the problems it solves.

- How to develop consistent and enforceable selector naming conventions with ECSS.

- How to organise project structure to more easily isolate and decouple visual components.

- How to handle state changes in the DOM with ARIA or override selectors.

- How to apply ECSS to web applications and visual modules.

- Considerations of CSS tooling and processing: Sass/PostCSS and linting.

- Addressing the practicalities of using potentially problematic HTML elements.

- Addressing the notion of CSS selector speed with hard data and browser representative insight.

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  • Categories

    • CSS
    • Computers and Programming
    • Software Architecture
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About the Author

Ben Frain
Ben Frain

Ben Frain is a UI/UX Technical Lead at bet365.com. He is also the author of two existing books 'Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3' and 'Sass and Compass for Designers', both published by Packt Publishing.

He lives in Cheshire, England with his wife and two children.

You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/benfrain and at his site http://benfrain.com

Ben Frain

Episode 37

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Reader Testimonials

Jose Menor
Jose Menor

Front-end developer

Are you dealing with css in a big app? Do yourself a favour and buy Enduring CSS

Dan Gamble
Dan Gamble

Lead Front-end Developer

Having bought ECSS just over a year ago I've used it in every project, no matter how big or small. It's greatly improved the productivity of myself and the team I've implemented it with. It has also been very easy to onboard everyone with.

Table of Contents

  • About the author
  • Thanks
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. Enduring CSS
    • Introduction
    • Defining the problem
    • Solve your own problems
  • Chapter 2. The problems of CSS at scale
    • Specificity
    • Markup structure tied to selectors
    • The cascade
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3. Implementing received wisdom
    • On OOCSS
    • SMACSS
    • BEM
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4. Introducing the ECSS methodology
    • Defining terminology
    • The problems ECSS solves
    • Embracing Repetition
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5. File organisation and naming conventions
    • Project organisation
    • Naming classes and selectors with ECSS
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6. Dealing with state changes in ECSS
    • How ECSS used to handle state change
    • Switching to WAI-ARIA
    • ARIA attributes as CSS selectors
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7. Applying ECSS to your web site or application
    • Applying ECSS to logic modules
    • Applying ECSS to visual modules
    • Organising Modules, their Components and naming files
    • Working with generated content from a CMS
    • ECSS and global styles
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8. The Ten Commandments of Sane Style Sheets
    • Why the ten commandments?
    • 1. Thou shalt have a single source of truth for all key selectors
    • 2. Thou shalt not nest, unless thou art nesting media queries or overrides
    • 3. Thou shalt not use ID selectors, even if thou thinkest thou hast to
    • 4. Thou shalt not write vendor prefixes in the authoring style sheets
    • 5. Thou shalt use variables for sizing, colours and z-index
    • 6. Thou shalt always write rules mobile first (avoid max-width)
    • 7. Use mixins sparingly (and avoid @extend)
    • 8. Thou shalt comment all magic numbers and browser hacks
    • 9. Thou shalt not place inline images in the authoring style sheets
    • 10. Thou shalt not write complicated CSS when simple CSS will work just as well
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9. Tooling for an ECSS approach
    • CSS requisites for CSS processors
    • Building CSS from authoring style sheets
  • Optimisation
  • Summary
  • The closing curly brace
    • Resources
  • Appendix 1: CSS selector performance
    • Testing selector speed
    • Good CSS architecture practices
    • What difference does style bloat make?
    • Performance inside the brackets
    • Summary
  • Appendix 2: Browser representatives on CSS performance
    • TL;DR
    • Browser representatives on CSS performance
    • Should we worry about CSS selectors?
    • What about JavaScript
    • Dealing with CSS performance
    • Summary

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