Beauty in simplicity – CSS

Aug 10, 2011  

I haven’t always worked with CSS, as much of my work is involved with coding.  However I love playing with CSS, and I love that in its purest sense it’s so very elegant and powerful.  I’ve always been of the philosophy that you should be able to take one basic html structure, and apply virtually any style you like to it.  It’s the zen CSS and it’s a proven technique.

I’ve known about the grid system for CSS for quite some time, as there have always been templates available that use it, but I’d never really investigated in more detail as to what it actually meant.  I’d made do with basic templates, and tweaked them to my liking.  The grid system boils down that philosophy even more, by dividing up the standard 960 pixel width site into 60 pixel blocks.  Group together those blocks in different arrangements and you have a very flexible yet easy to manage layout.  Actually the 60 pixel blocks allow for 18 columns in the page.  In a way it takes me back to when I started writing games way back when I was a child.  I’d use graph paper to design the sprites, and block out the pixels to design a sprite for a character or an object.

Now web development is taking those same practices… we have the grid system, which is like the lego of design, and we have CSS sprite maps and even Javascript frameworks for handling sprites, vectors, sounds, physics, animation and tweening, and even parallax scrolling.  That was something that caused excitement back in the 80s, and now there’s a new revolution with modern web development.  It’s like the joy of discovery in development has begun again, but this time the development platforms are ubiquitous.  OS’s may be proprietary, but thankfully the internet is still driven by open standards.  Long may it last!

It’s never been a more exciting time to be in web / application development.