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  1. #76
    The CSS Clinic is open silver trophybronze trophy
    Paul O'B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScallioXTX View Post
    Alright. Everyone, consider yourself warned to behave, or warnings/infractions will be dealt out, and I'd rather not see that happen.
    Lets Get back on Track

    Yes this is a useful and interesting thread so please keep discussions on track and civil and refrain from personal attacks. It's ok to disagree with methods mentioned as that makes a good discussion but please don't stray from the topic or make it personal.

  2. #77
    Hibernator YuriKolovsky's Avatar
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    FIREBUG all the way!! priceless for all the CSS debugging.
    Off Topic:


    @deathshadow60,noonnope
    you both know that your both suffering from simple misunderstanding, 90% of problems in life are caused by misunderstanding, so consider trying to understand all the meanings before writing something and keep the insulting and branding of each other in PM.

    well it's in topic but has nothing to do with the title of the page...



    @noonnope
    deathshadow60 says man-hours are more expensive than buying better equipment to handle the increase in demand, and I'll agree with him, unless your man-hours are really cheap or the demand is unbelievably high (or both).

    @deathshadow60
    mind I ask you, what is a CTC ratio??

  3. #78
    SitePoint Guru Chroniclemaster1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dresden_phoenix View Post
    No, seriously. I take the following steps.

    1) look for duplicate declarations.
    .myclass { background:green; height:100px;}
    .another { background:green; height:100px;}
    .somemore { background:green; height:100px;}
    Could be easily rewritten:
    .somemore, .another , .myclass { background:green; height:100px;}

    2) it helps to separate resets, common, function, layout ,typography and overrides . I chunk my code into these segments. Overrides I always put at the end, for obvious reasons, it may also include any IE hacks.

    3) if for some reason this is still not organized enough there is always breaking theabove sections into their own files and using links or @imports.
    This and ds60 are a pretty good explanation of how I organize a lot of my CSS. My reset statements come first with my general sitewide styling items (what's a paragraph look like, what are my basic typography conventions like line-height, etc.). Then I write my layout, mostly CSS-P to arrange my XHTML element on the page as I want them positioned.

    Then I use a second stylesheet to write the colors, borders, etc. Mostly these are long series of selectors for a declaration or two, very short compared to the structural code. However, this let's me easily rework the sitewide appearance at any point in the future whether it's tweaking or changing colors wholesale or adjusting the border widths. Coloration has a section, as do borders, background images, typography, etc. I follow this with my OO-CSS components which are a series of style rules grouped under a comment that names each component.


    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    Call me skeptical, but If you are having monstrous throughput issues where white-space is making enough of a difference to actually reach 10%, your problems probably run a LOT deeper than you think
    Quote Originally Posted by noonnope View Post
    @Sega

    i think that even smaller sites would benefit. and think about mobile. yes, you lose readability. who cares, you don't teach "how to write understandable html", you offer a no nonsense web page. the ones who care enough should be educated enough to be able to read that code.
    I think this is simply a disagreement about the size of the website. People with big sites usually argue that performance optimization is GOD, they also usually have the luxury of working at a big company where they can put in years learning the ins and outs of one system and this makes sense in that environment. People with smaller websites stress readability and maintainability because you generally don't make a living on a couple small websites, you need to take care of a bunch of them and learning fifty screwing naming systems is simply unacceptable.

    That said, I do take issue with the idea that "educated" or smart people have an easier time reading gibberish than anyone else. Certainly, the bulk of best practices on the server-side are to increase the simplicity of the program. Performance optimization in programming is only done as a last step and then to achieve the minimum possible optimization that still meets the predefined benchmarks. While optimization is important, it comes at the expense of maintainability so you optimize only for the purpose of meeting spec and no further.
    Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

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    A Growing History of our Planet, by our Planet, for our Planet.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by YuriKolovsky View Post
    mind I ask you, what is a CTC ratio??
    Code To Content. You take the raw CDATA, no tags, and you compare it to how much code you are using to deliver it.

    While there are tools to determine it, the easiest way I've found is to hit CTRL-A in a browser that doesn't copy markup to the clipboard (like Opera), open up a decent text editor, hit ctrl-v, and let the text editor tell you how much text there is.

    I usually compare that number to the size of the markup, as well as the size of all code involved. Good rule of thumb is anything over 3:1 HTML to plaintext is rubbish -- though LOTs of images and LOTS of form elements can make it go higher. (selects with absurd numbers of OPTION tags for example)

    Then comparing ALL code -- HTML + CSS + JS for the second ratio. IMHO there 8:1 is the ideal, 10:1 is acceptable -- anything over that tends to be trash.

    Take the homepage here on sitepoint. Right now there's 6.6k of plaintext (content), and they are using 73k of markup to send it -- so the markup is in excess of 10:1 -- that's bad, but forgivable. Overall they are using 320k of html, css and javascript to deliver 6.6k of plaintext, a ratio of around 50:1 -- so that's embarrassingly bad.

    You go to Yahoo's home page, and they only have 5.6k of plaintext, which of course is why they need 188k of markup for a 33:1 ratio and 780k of javascript, css and html for just under a whopping 140:1 -- their ineptitude knows no bounds.

    (mind you those ratios are rough approximations in my head)

  5. #80
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I used minify on the site, and in some processes my code did not work properly afterwards. It altered the appearance, particularly with hovers and buttons.
    Someone posted a specific problem on either this forum or another. CSS IS whitespace sensitive! A whitespace character is a descendant selector, and the minifyers know this but have trouble with this syntax:

    #someelement :hover {
    do stuff;
    }

    That is NOT the same as #someelement:hover! The minifiers miss that. Granted, it's not a terribly common bit of code, but it's out there.

    The inline-block HTML issue makes sense, but because IE reacts differently to the whitespace than other browsers, I've had to decide if I have whitespace in the HTML at all times (for the inline-block elements) or not. With menus where each menu-item has multiple words, using a negative word-spacing in the CSS was not an option, esp if a | separator was also used.

    I think if you have a script that automatically strips whitespace and newlines from your pages, it can't be a huge deal to have a maintenance copy and an online copy. Noonope is correct that the online version does not have to be pretty. It shouldn't be the version anyone uses for maintenance if it's minified. It should be for user agents only (though as a web developer I personally like being able to read the Source of other pages).

    But, I would not have id and class names change. I admit I'm always fighting my back-ender over names... he loves to mix case and superLongAndRetardedClassAndIds are his forte. In programming and writing HTML, I really try to use the shortest name I can get away with and still know what it's talking about.

    Okay classes like you see in the grid system are silly, but if it's more than two words stuck together I start looking at how to make it smaller. I certainly wouldn't want software changing my names.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    I usually compare that number to the size of the markup, as well as the size of all code involved. Good rule of thumb is anything over 3:1 HTML to plaintext is rubbish -- though LOTs of images and LOTS of form elements can make it go higher. (selects with absurd numbers of OPTION tags for example)
    This should really benefit when it comes to SEO too, granted it's a different topic.

    You are able to achieve this kind of ratio without needing to minify or use noncomprehending names?

    Okay classes like you see in the grid system are silly, but if it's more than two words stuck together I start looking at how to make it smaller. I certainly wouldn't want software changing my names.
    I can see why. But honestly, if this is the case and it reduces the content-to-code ratio as the Dark-Elephant says, why do people stay adamant in using them?

  7. #82
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    You are able to achieve this kind of ratio without needing to minify or use noncomprehending names?
    DS doesn't use ReallyLongWithBooklikeDescriptiveness names, and he uses as few tags as reasonably possible to wrap the content (plus any sandbags necessary).
    One place where you'll get way too many tags is when your customer (or my boss) wants lots of little differences, within text, for no discernible reason (this is where most of us get classes like .center and .bold). If you're designing yourself, I believe you can make your pages more consistent, which should mean less code overall.

    But honestly, if this is the case and it reduces the content-to-code ratio as the Dark-Elephant says, why do people stay adamant in using them?
    I'm misunderstanding you. Why do people use what? Shorter names, or code minifyers?

  8. #83
    Floridiot joebert's Avatar
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    I start with resets. From there I setup <body> and other common elements, then columns, then sectional containers, then page-specific elements. I try to start with the most used things up top and have the least used rules on the bottom.

    As time goes on and I add things, I try to add them to the end of the stylesheet unless there's a technical reason why I can't.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    DS doesn't use ReallyLongWithBooklikeDescriptiveness names, and he uses as few tags as reasonably possible to wrap the content (plus any sandbags necessary).
    One place where you'll get way too many tags is when your customer (or my boss) wants lots of little differences, within text, for no discernible reason (this is where most of us get classes like .center and .bold). If you're designing yourself, I believe you can make your pages more consistent, which should mean less code overall.
    Sometimes clients ask for design changes, and many-a-times you end up adding classes and so forth to meet those changes. When you said 'sandbags', what did you mean?

    If your classes have relevance to the code, personally I think it's better. I don't use long class name either.

    .cnt = content
    .btn = button
    .rnd = round
    .wrp = wrapper
    .link = links
    .main-wrapper {}
    .quote = quote

    So in a way, my classes are also quite small, but not all the times. The ones I use frequently are smaller because I know what they are, otherwise I make it a bit longer to eliminate problems.

    That site which I minified was full of hover overs, so in my case it was common. I think in the end we adjusted the settings on the minify and was still able to retain the hover.

  10. #85
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    @YuriKolovsky: point taken though, i have to admit, even ds60 hold back this time

    @Chroniclemaster1: some very well said and thought points.

    @Stomme poes: different issues in implementing this "plastic surgery in reverse" on the code can be solved as they appear. it's good you look to use short names, but, as you said, you have to fight for them. wouldn't be nice if all the code was to be "beautified in reverse": changing names for class, id, function, variable consistently all over the site?

    i guess i look to the code as not that important to be easily read by world's eyes. i have been used to having this separation in my work: development code, deployment code. maybe it's too much for some, used to have only one final unique code: source code = production code.

    a html, css, js code, easily read and understood it's something i can also appreciate. i'm just saying, don't we force our self into just one option, when things in programming history are showing us more than one? and if there's a method, born out of need, efficient, i'm open to change, even if the gain might not be obvious or clear from the start and it might mean extra work at first.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    I'm misunderstanding you. Why do people use what? Shorter names, or code minifyers?
    Grid systems like 960 and YUI

  12. #87
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    wouldn't be nice if all the code was to be "beautified in reverse": changing names for class, id, function, variable consistently all over the site?
    Actually, no... because at least where I work, we often get problems when my static HTML is converted over to some template (usually Smarty). In those cases, I diff the two files in vim to find where the screwup was. I'll need the names to be the same for testing like that.

    However, I'm sure that's not how most places are set up, so I can't speak for anyone else.

    i guess i look to the code as not that important to be easily read by world's eyes.
    This is the part I agree with you (in general)... while it's sure nice to be able to read someone's code when doing a view source, if it's a large page with lots of HTML and lots of CSS and everything else, looking nice isn't necessary for the browsers... browsers don't care, and so long as user agents are the ONLY ones looking at the code, then no, it doesn't have to be pretty at all.

    It just happens that how it works here at my job, WE humans also end up looking at the production code : )

    Quote Originally Posted by sega
    When you said 'sandbags', what did you mean?
    Sandbags are either empty elements (<span></span>) or extra wrappers (wrapping another <div> around the meaningful box you had originally) to contain extra background images, or be a destination for javascript insertion sometimes.

    I consider the empty div I was forced to create for silly Share-this icons a sandbag as well. Share-this wants you to have their invalid span-things sitting in your HTML. I refused and further-bloat the jQuery on the page to insert their HTML into an empty div. This way, js-less users don't have to have all the span-things showing up and not working right.

    .cnt = content
    .btn = button
    .rnd = round
    .wrp = wrapper
    .link = links
    .main-wrapper {}
    .quote = quote
    I'll actually use "content" and "button" and "wrapper" for my names, because there's nothing else to them (no other names). I haven't had quotes in my pages but if I did, I'd use the q element (Gary Turner has a nice example of how to actually get those elements to work in HTML/CSS also in IE on his page here <--scroll down to "Second Thoughts"... this is what I've used the one or two times I've had quote elements).
    But for example I still have code like
    <input type="text" id="HuisgegevensStraatNummer" name="HuisgegevensStraatNummer" value="" />
    in forms because those id's are used in the back end for processing and I must have my HTML id's and names conform to the back-ends. Here is where the strange long names and mixing of case come in. The other id's and classes are just mine and there is no fighting.

    Quote Originally Posted by sega
    Grid systems like 960 and YUI
    Honestly, I'm not sure why most people who use them, use them. I've read Jeff Croft's explanation of why Blueprint (one of the first grid systems) was developed, and it sounded like it made sense for what his team was doing (churning out a bunch of similar sites for different customers, and the whole team had access to some sort of styleguide everyone used), but I wouldn't like working with 15 classes with names like .sq-15-w-130 because that's just damn hard to work with (unless, as Jeff says, you're using those all the time for a crapload of similar sites). That and the types of sites you see listed as "success stories" on the 960 site are stuff that is simply written completely differently than I would.

    Somewhere around here (several months back?) there's a thread asking how people use grids or not, and Paul O'B gives an answer on how his experience was using his first grid. The problem was that the client wanted a site that didn't fit in the grid. Yeah, that's a problem. Maybe if their design HAD fit in the grid it would have been easier.

  13. #88
    Hibernator YuriKolovsky's Avatar
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    Grids remind me of tables made with CSS.


    Off Topic:


    Its funny how the words "them", "it" and "those" confuse people in forums.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Honestly, I'm not sure why most people who use them, use them. I've read Jeff Croft's explanation of why Blueprint (one of the first grid systems) was developed, and it sounded like it made sense for what his team was doing (churning out a bunch of similar sites for different customers, and the whole team had access to some sort of styleguide everyone used), but I wouldn't like working with 15 classes with names like .sq-15-w-130 because that's just damn hard to work with (unless, as Jeff says, you're using those all the time for a crapload of similar sites). That and the types of sites you see listed as "success stories" on the 960 site are stuff that is simply written completely differently than I would.
    I went to a few web seminars and they were all trying to convert everybody to this grids, saying how stable and fast they are in terms of cross-browser support and how little effort they required.

    After they showed me the code I saw something like 30 odd classes in the most mis-represented way possible. I could not even imagine how one would get around it. It just seemed like they were trying to make something I already know simpler by complicating it. Not to mention the CSS you have to include, which by most accounts is redundant code.

    Recently I have started to design in a grid-format, but the coding is still done myself. Designing in grids looks more attractive I think, and it's spaced out nicer. What's your take on this?

  15. #90
    Hibernator YuriKolovsky's Avatar
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    Web design, at it's full glory, is too complicated to be confined to grids.
    What would you do if you had several boxes overlap in the design? and each box had some function to it?

  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by YuriKolovsky View Post
    Web design, at it's full glory, is too complicated to be confined to grids.
    What would you do if you had several boxes overlap in the design? and each box had some function to it?
    I would put those boxes as planned and work around this grid. I use it as a source of guidance, like turning grids on in AI. It's simple, not that complicated as your code it unique and so it the design.

  17. #92
    SitePoint Zealot supermighty's Avatar
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    I never find it too difficult to find what I'm looking for. I use firebug, and it oh so politely shows me the line number of my CSS file for the selected element.

    I also use VIM for editing so searching isn't the arduous task that other editors make. I just type / and my text I'm searching for. It makes getting around pretty quick.

    Quote Originally Posted by gary.turner View Post
    ... On the chance that each of those thousand classes really are necessary, go to your graphics dweeb, rant and rage and jump up and down on his desk. Then calmly suggest their is no benefit to micromanaging every third word in the site; ...
    the last css file I coded ended up being ~1500 lines long. The designer loves making hover states for just about everything.
    Supermighty's blog: Debian Virtualbox for local web development.
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  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    But for example I still have code like
    Code:
    <input type="text" id="HuisgegevensStraatNummer" name="HuisgegevensStraatNummer" value="" />
    in forms because those id's are used in the back end for processing and I must have my HTML id's and names conform to the back-ends.
    nice one Huis gegevens Straat Nummer i couldn't find an exact translation, but i get that it has to do with the house number on an residence street ?

    if this is also a field in a table somewhere on the back end, besides being a variable name... i remember programming the Z80 in basic, when things were much simpler:

    LET i = 2

    those were the days


    i understand the need for meaningful names for class, id and so on. but there is a difference between a meaningful name and belletristic as it is between the label for a form element and its name, or class name or id name. you don't use the label for the name, you use a shorter name.

    i have gone further with this basic concept. i say: keep your meaningful names where it counts, on the source code. but on deployment they are ballast. throw them over board, it will make your page lighter it will almost fly! at least in theory but also true in practice only harder to achieve right now. i really am starting a java project to see if i can do this in a more convenient way. at least then, you get to choose: beauty or beast

  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    in forms because those id's are used in the back end for processing
    You should have ID's on your inputs ANYWAYS on accessibility grounds -- otherwise what are your LABELS pointing at with their FOR attribute?

    You are using LABEL, right?

  20. #95
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    It just seemed like they were trying to make something I already know simpler by complicating it.
    One of the arguments grid-proponents make is that it's easier for newbies.

    Frankly, I don't like the idea of making something easier for newbies for easiness-sake. It's how you get things like DreamWeaver floating around.

    I also use VIM for editing so searching isn't the arduous task that other editors make. I just type / and my text I'm searching for. It makes getting around pretty quick.
    Same here. Actually for my HTML files, I actually use / to move around more than moving tools. I don't remember what line or how many paragraphs away some section is, but I remember the id.
    (yeah, I know, I should be using marks, but / is so much lazier : )

    Quote Originally Posted by noonope
    but i get that it has to do with the house number on an residence street ?
    There are many many forms and they all ask different things. This form is information about a house (an owner may have several houses) so this is the street and number of this particular house (not of the user, nor the client, nor the owner (who might be a person or might be a business or might be both)... those are all separate).
    Ideally street and number would be separate fields, but right now they are always stored as a single unit, which helps because these are international forms and the order is different per country (In the US, number then street... in the Netherlands, street then number).

    It's actually my longest form (over 150 inputs), and it's old: I would rewrite it entirely if I could (it would be too difficult for the back-end guy to redo his templates though) based on what I've learned over the last 2 years with CSS, ARIA, and Jakob Nielsen's usability studies on forms. Yeah, they'd be totally different and likely half the current code.

    i remember programming the Z80 in basic, when things were much simpler...
    Haha my husband used to program on that, he's been looking for a z80 he can natively do assembler on... I guess for fun. All we've found so far are emulators, which means no direct memory addresses etc which I guess is what he wants to play with.

    The designer loves making hover states for just about everything.
    Man wait til s/he discovers the crap they can do with CSS3! : )

  21. #96
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    You should have ID's on your inputs ANYWAYS on accessibility grounds -- otherwise what are your LABELS pointing at with their FOR attribute?

    You are using LABEL, right?
    Of course. You know me.
    Code:
    	  <label for="HuisgegevensStraatNummer"><span>Straat &amp; Nummer: </span>
    	    <input type="text" id="HuisgegevensStraatNummer" name="HuisgegevensStraatNummer" value="" /></label>
    (like I said though, if I could rewrite them I would, in this case based on Nielsen reports)
    BUT! The back-end guy wanted the id's to be the same as the names (exceptions be radios and checks), so my id's aren't MY id's. If they were MY id's, they'd be a heck of a lot smaller, and it doesn't matter to me if there are multiple forms who would have the same id's, because they are never on the same page.

    ...aaand, if you're using ARIA, you have an ID on the label in addition to the for attribute, and that must match the aria-labelledby attribute.
    But so far, because ARIA ones will override for attributes, I'm leaving them out because I already have the for in there, why do I need a second? plus it means more id's on everything... bleh. Better to only add it on form controls who change due to JS crap or something, for now.

    Today I'd would write that code like this:
    Code:
    <label for="straatNum">Straat &amp; Nummer: </label>
      <input type="text" id="straatNum" name="straatNum" aria-required="true" value="">
    HTML4 (but the original site was XHTML so the template was set up already with /> on everything), labels above (not floated next to) inputs, and aria-required on required inputs if there are any requireds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Haha my husband used to program on that, he's been looking for a z80 he can natively do assembler on... I guess for fun. All we've found so far are emulators, which means no direct memory addresses etc which I guess is what he wants to play with.
    i guess he has a better luck finding FPGAs boards or ARMs, like older GPS devices nobody wants anymore, to do assembler programming.

  23. #98
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    Layout and common for me. Layout gets duplicated per browser changed or just overriding features.

  24. #99
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Man wait til s/he discovers the crap they can do with CSS3! : )
    The infamous CSS3 and HTML5, I remember when people were talking about this in 2005. Is it actually ready for use yet? I kind of like Aptana as my editor, and JEdit. They really do a good job too.

  25. #100
    I Use MODx kenquad's Avatar
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    Everybody but me seems to already know what "grid-based" design in CSS is

    Could somebody point me to a good introduction so that I can follow this discussion a little better?


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