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Category: Article

Radial Gradient Recipes

Radial gradients are pretty dang cool. It’s amazing we can paint the background of an element with them so easily. Easily is a relative term though. It’s certainly easier than needing to create a graphic in third-party software to use as the background, and the syntax is highly learnable. But it’s also not that easy to remember if you don’t use it often, and it’s more complicated than linear-gradient(). I figured I’d put together a page of reference examples, so if you know what you need but forget the syntax, it’s easy to find that starter code example here....

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Understanding React `setState`

React components can, and often do, have state. State can be anything, but think of things like whether a user is logged in or not and displaying the correct username based on which account is active. Or an array of blog posts. Or if a modal is open or not and which tab within it is active. React components with state render UI based on that state. When the state of components changes, so does the component UI. That makes understanding when and how to change the state of your component important. At the end of this tutorial, you...

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Server-Side Visualization With Nightmare

This is an extract from chapter 11 of Ashley Davis’s book Data Wrangling with JavaScript now available on the Manning Early Access Program. I absolutely love this idea as there is so much data visualization stuff on the web that relies on fully functioning client side JavaScript and potentially more API calls. It’s not nearly as robust, accessible, or syndicatable as it could be. If you bring that data visualization back to the server, you can bring progressive enhancement to the party. All example code and data can be found on GitHub. When doing exploratory coding or data analysis...

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Native-Like Animations for Page Transitions on the Web

Some of the most inspiring examples I’ve seen of front end development have involved some sort of page transitions that look slick, like they do in mobile apps. However, even though the imagination for these types of interactions seem to abound, their presence on actual sites that I visit do not. There are a number of ways to accomplish these types of movement! Here’s what we’ll be building: Demo Site GitHub Repo We’ll build out the simplest possible distallation of these concepts so that you can apply them to any application, and then I’ll also provide the code for this more complex app if you’d like to dive in. Today we’ll be discussing how to create them with Vue and Nuxt. There are a lot of moving parts in page transitions and animations (lol I kill me), but don’t worry! Anything we don’t have time to cover in the article, we’ll link off to with other resources. Why? The web has come under critique in recent years for appearing “dated” in comparison to native iOS and Android app experiences. Transitioning between two states can reduce cognitive load for your user, as when someone is scanning a page, they have to create a mental map of everything that’s contained on it. When we move from page to page, the user has to remap that entire space. If an element is...

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Choosing a Responsive Email Framework: MJML vs. Foundation for Emails

Implementing responsive email design can be a bit of a drag. Building responsive emails isn’t simple at all, it is like taking a time machine back to 2001 when we were all coding website layouts in tables using Dreamweaver and Fireworks. But there’s hope! We have tools available that can make building email much easier and more like coding a modern site. Let’s take a look at a couple of different frameworks that set out to simplify things for us. First, the Situation You have to be compatible with lots of old email clients, many of which don’t even...

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