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Preventing Content Reflow From Lazy-Loaded Images

You know the concept of lazy loading images. It prevents the browser from loading images until those images are in (or nearly in) the browser’s viewport. There are a plethora of JavaScript-based lazy loading solutions. GitHub has over 3,400 different lazy load repos, and those are just the ones with “lazy load” in a searchable string! Most of them rely on the same trick: Instead of putting an image’s URL in the src attribute, you put it in data-src — which is the same pattern for responsive images: JavaScript watches the user scroll down the page When the use...

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Front-end development is not a problem to be solved

HTML and CSS are often seen as a burden. This is a feeling I’ve noticed from engineers and designers I’ve worked with in the past, and it’s a sentiment that’s a lot more transparent with the broader web community at large. You can hear it in Medium posts and on indie blogs, whether in conversations about CSS, web performance, or design tools. The sentiment is that front-end development is a problem to be solved: “if we just have the right tools and frameworks, then we might never have to write another line of HTML or CSS ever again!” And oh boy what a dream that would be, right? Well, no, actually. I certainly don’t think that front-end development is a problem at all. What’s behind this feeling? Well, designers want tools that let them draw pictures and export a batch of CSS and HTML files like Dreamweaver promised back in the day. On the other end, engineers don’t want to sweat accessibility, web performance or focus states among many, many other things. There’s simply too many edge cases, too many devices, and too many browsers to worry about. The work is just too much. Consequently, I empathize with these feelings as a designer/developer myself, but I can’t help but get a little upset when I read about someone’s relationship with Bootstrap or design systems, frameworks or CSS-in-JS solutions —...

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CSS Grid in IE: Duplicate area names now supported!

Autoprefixer is now up to version 9.3.1 and there have been a lot of updates since I wrote the original three-part CSS Grid in IE series — the most important update of which is the new grid-areas system. This is mostly thanks to Bogdan Dolin, who has been working like crazy to fix loads of Autoprefixer issues. Autoprefixer’s grid translations were powerful before, but they have gotten far more powerful now! Article Series: Debunking common IE Grid misconceptions CSS Grid and the new Autoprefixer Faking an auto-placement grid with gaps Duplicate area names now supported! (This Post) How Autoprefixer...

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The Current State of Styling Scrollbars

If you need to style your scrollbars right now, one option is to use a collection of ::webkit prefixed CSS properties. See the Pen CSS-Tricks Almanac: Scrollbars by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen. Sadly, that doesn’t help out much for Firefox or Edge, or the ecosystem of browsers around those. But if that’s good enough for what you need, you can get rather classy with it: See the Pen Custom Scrollbar styling by Devstreak (@devstreak) on CodePen. There are loads of them on CodePen to browse. It’s a nice thing to abstract with a Sass @mixin as well. There is good news on this front! The standards bodies that be have moved toward a standardizing methods to style scrollbars, starting with the gutter (or width) of them. The main property will be scrollbar-gutter and Geoff has written it up here. Hopefully Autoprefixer will help us as the spec is finalized and browsers start to implement it so we can start writing the standardized version and get any prefixed versions from that. But what if we need cross-browser support? If styled scrollbars are a necessity (and I don’t blame you), then you’ll probably have to reach for a JavaScript solution. There must be dozens of libraries for that. I ran across simplebar and it looks like a pretty modern one with easy instantiation. Here’s a demo of that: See the...

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Swipeable card stack using Vue.js and interact.js

I recently had an opportunity to work on a fantastic research and development project at Netguru. The goal of project (codename: “Wordguru”) was to create a card game that anyone can play with their friends. You can see the outcome here. One element of the development process was to create an interactive card stack. The card stack had a set of requirements, including: It should contain a few cards from the collection. The first card should be interactive. The user should be able to swipe the card in different directions that indicate an intent to accept, reject or skip...

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