Ben Crowder

Blog: #css

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Links #48

#coding #css #fonts #generative-art #links #prism #stackless #svelte #typography #web #web-components

George Francis on Voronoi tessellations in generative art. Enjoyed this. Seems like a decent alternative to circle packing at least some of the time.

Elise Hein on her experience with stackless dev. The minimalist in me is pretty much always interested in this angle on web development.

WebComponents.dev on all the ways to make a web component. Lots of charts. Prism and Svelte look intriguing.

Josh Comeau on designing beautiful shadows in CSS. The techniques definitely make a difference.

Fleta Selmani’s Escheresque impossible type (via Kottke). Love this.


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Links #47

#accessibility #css #generative-art #html #links #macos #maps #music #web

Stephanie Eckles on practical uses of CSS math functions. Some great examples here.

Matt DesLauriers on pen plotter art and algorithms. I keep thinking about buying or building a plotter. Someday…

Paul Foster’s HTML tags memory test. Got 70.

Sakira Ventura’s world map of female composers. Love this.

Eric Bailey’s introduction to macOS Voice Control. Both this and Head Pointer are really quite impressive.


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#css #web

Came across Miriam Suzanne’s CSS scope proposal this morning (via Jeremy Keith). Looks good.


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#css #design #genealogy #html #sparklines #svg #web #working-in-public

Lately I’ve been playing around with implementing genealogy sparklines on the web. Still very much a work in progress, but I’m trying to do more working in public, so here’s the messy current status (and at some point I’ll post the actual HTML/CSS):

Ruby test

sparkline-test-002.png

Implementation notes:

  • The sparklines use inline SVG
  • This test uses the <ruby> and <rt> tags, with ruby-position set to under and ruby-align set to start (though only Firefox supports it so it’s not sadly viable for actual use yet)
  • I don’t really like that it makes the leading uneven (lines that have ruby vs. lines that don’t)

Design notes:

  • Rather than having solid squares at the births and deaths, I’ve gone for vertical lines so they’re less obtrusive (and have also considered just getting rid of the vertical lines, though I haven’t tried it out yet)
  • Circles are simple so I went with them for marriages and children

Absolute positioning test

sparkline-test-003.png

Implementation notes:

  • The names are wrapped in span tags with position: relative set, and the SVG gets position: absolute. Fairly simple.
  • Even leading!
  • There’s some wonkiness right now when the span is at the beginning of a line (the sparkline shows up at the end of the previous line), haven’t tried very hard to fix it yet

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Links #45

#coding #css #fast-software #history #links #newsletter #newsletters #styled-components #web

The Science Museum Group’s Never Been Seen collection. Fun idea. I was the first Internet person to lay eyes on this dental stopper, for example.

Samo Burja on why civilization is older than we thought. Göbekli Tepe, Sumeria, and more.

vfoley on making reasonable use of computer resources. Data-oriented design has now snagged my curiosity. I think about this overall topic fairly often, though I still haven’t done anything about it. Also in this vein: Craig Mod’s essay on fast software.

Robin Sloan on having newsletters live on the web and just emailing out a link instead of the full thing. My own newsletter has been sadly dormant for the past several months, but when I revive it I plan to do this.

Josh W. Comeau on how styled-components works. This was good.


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#arc #blogging #codex #coding #css #django #fastapi #html #javascript #leaf #meta #tools #vinci #web

I seem to have forgotten how to blog. (Actual blogging, as opposed to merely linking to new art.) In an attempt to get back on the saddle again:

Outside of art, my project time lately has primarily been swallowed up by some internal tooling changes. I alluded to this back in June, though the plan changed along the way. Rather than merging all those apps into one behemoth conglomerate, I decided it would be better (along at least a few axes) to follow the Unix philosophy and stick with smaller tools that do one thing well. Which conveniently lines up with the set of tools I’ve already built. Fancy that.

Arc is (was) my notes app, written using FastAPI. I wanted an app that felt more a wiki, and I wanted to move it to Django (easier to maintain, considering most of my other tools are also in Django). And I didn’t really like the name anymore. Thus Codex was born. Heretically, I built it using hardly any JavaScript — just a bit for keyboard shortcuts and another bit for the autosuggest when linking to another page. Everything else uses plain old HTML forms.

In fact, it was so liberating and fun that I plowed onward and decided to ditch Vinci (my internal blog/notebook app) and build a new app, Leaf, using the same technique; the only JS it uses is for keyboard shortcuts. It’s simpler, easier to maintain (I think? it’s still early on), and in a way it feels more in line with the grain of the web.

One other thing I did differently with both apps was to wait to write any CSS until after the functionality was all in place. It was disconcerting and delightful, building something with bare browser styles, and it certainly helped me focus on functionality first rather than getting distracted by layout.

Conclusion: while I doubt I would ever build apps at work this way, this old-school mode was invigorating and absolutely worth it for these personal projects.


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Links #37

#coding #css #design #design-engineering #links #plain-text #typography

Trying out a new format with these link bundles, in the hope that dropping the bulleted list format is a) more flexible and b) more conducive to writing a bit more about the links, rather than limiting myself to a single line with an awkward semicolon shoved in if I need more room.

Andy Bell on recent/upcoming CSS changes. Good stuff here. I’m probably most looking forward to using :is and clamp() and ch (all of which I’d read about before but had mostly forgotten). Oh, and scroll-margin-top.

Design Engineering Handbook by Natalya Shelburne et al., a free ebook which looks interesting. (I’ve read part of the first chapter so far.) Design Better (which appears to be an InVision thing) has other free books available as well, on various design-related topics.

Max Koehler on continuous typography. Also see his post about the tool and the tool itself. This is great, and I hope these ideas get broader traction. (Also, I’m excited to start using Source Serif 4 and its optical sizing axis.)

Aleksey Kladov on including an ARCHITECTURE.md file. Great idea. Having a high-level overview is so helpful.

Graydon Hoare on always betting on text. I’ve probably linked to this before, but it’s good and worth rereading occasionally.


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Links #36

#art #coding #css #css-grid #engineering #links #software #vim


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Links #25

#css #digital-gardens #language #learning-in-public #links #productivity #sass


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Links #11

#3d #astronomy #css #links #research #space #typesetting


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