Tag: css

CSS Tricks

How to Make GraphQL and DynamoDB Play Nicely Together

Serverless, GraphQL, and DynamoDB are a powerful combination for building websites. The first two are well-loved, but DynamoDB is often misunderstood or actively avoided. It’s often dismissed by folks who consider it only worth the effort “at scale.”That was my assumption, too, and I tried to stick with a SQL database for my serverless apps. But after learning and using DynamoDB, I see the benefits of it for projects of any scale.To show you what I mean, let’s build an API from start to finish — without any heavy Object Relational Mapper (ORM) or GraphQL framework to hide what is really going on. Maybe when we’re done you might consider giving DynamoDB a second look. I think it is worth the effort. The main objections to DynamoDB and GraphQL The main objection to DynamoDB is that it is...
CSS Tricks

How to Add Commas Between a List of Items Dynamically with CSS

Imagine you have a list of items. Say, fruit: Banana, Apple, Orange, Pear, Nectarine. We could put those commas (,) in the HTML, but let’s look at how we could do that in CSS instead, giving us an extra level of control. We’ll make sure that last item doesn’t have a comma while we’re at it.I needed this for a real project recently, and part of the requirements were that any of the items in the list could be hidden/revealed via JavaScript. The commas needed to work correctly no matter which items were currently shown.One solution I found rather elegant solution is using general sibling combinator. We’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s start with some example HTML. Say you start out with a list of fruits: <ul class="fruits"> <li class="fruit on">Banana</li> <li cl...
CSS Tricks

How to Use the Locomotive Scroll for all Kinds of Scrolling Effects

I was recently looking for a way to perform scrolling effects on a project and I stumbled on the Locomotive Scroll library. It lets you perform a variety of scrolling effects, like parallax and triggering/controlling animations at scroll points.You might also call it a “smooth scrolling” library, but it doesn’t leverage native smooth scrolling — it does just the opposite by virtualizing scrolling and ensuring it’s always smooth. You could probably consider this “scrolljacking” so if you hate that generally, you might hate this, but UX research seems rather mixed on whether it’s actually bad or not. The homepage will give you a good sense of how it works and feels.Let’s look at the basics of using Locomotive-Scroll JavaScript and how to leverage it to for delightful user experiences. Wh...
CSS Tricks, Javascript

Let’s Create a Lightweight Native Event Bus in JavaScript

An event bus is a design pattern (and while we’ll be talking about JavaScript here, it’s a design pattern in any language) that can be used to simplify communications between different components. It can also be thought of as publish/subscribe or pubsub.The idea is that components can listen to the event bus to know when to do the things they do. For example, a “tab panel” component might listen for events telling it to change the active tab. Sure, that might happen from a click on one of the tabs, and thus handled entirely within that component. But with an event bus, some other elements could tell the tab to change. Imagine a form submission which causes an error that the user needs to be alerted to within a specific tab, so the form sends a message to the event bus telling the tabs co...
CSS Tricks

How to Animate a SVG with border-image

Let’s take a look at how to combine the border-image property in CSS with animated SVGs that move around a border. In the process, we’ll cover how to hand-craft resizable, nine-slice animated SVGs that you can use not only re-create the effect but to make it your own.Here’s what we’re making:Spooky skulls? Retro arcade? What’s not to like?! This is actually part of The Skull, a capture-the-flag riddle I’m working on that’s designed to explore the internals of Arduino and its microcontroller. I searched how to animate a border like this, but couldn’t find any useful examples. Most of the stuff I found was about marching ants, but unfortunately, the stroke-dasharray trick doesn’t work with skulls, let alone more complex shapes.So, in the spirit of learning and sharing, I’m blogging abo...
CSS Tricks

Understanding flex-grow, flex-shrink, and flex-basis

When you apply a CSS property to an element, there’s lots of things going on under the hood. For example, let’s say we have some HTML like this: <div class="parent"> <div class="child">Child</div> <div class="child">Child</div> <div class="child">Child</div> </div> And then we write some CSS… .parent { display: flex; } These are technically not the only styles we’re applying when we write that one line of CSS above. In fact, a whole bunch of properties will be applied to the .child elements here, as if we wrote these styles ourselves: .child { flex: 0 1 auto; /* Default flex value */ } That’s weird! Why do these elements have these extra styles applied to them even though we didn’t write that code? Well, that’s because some properti...
CSS Tricks, Javascript

How to Animate the Details Element Using Web Animations API

Animating accordions in JavaScript has been one of the most asked animations on websites. Fun fact: jQuery’s slideDown() function was already available in the first version in 2006.In this article, we will see how you can animate the native <details> element using the Web Animations API. CodePen Embed Fallback HTML setup First, let’s see how we are gonna structure the markup needed for this animation.The <details> element needs a <summary> element. The summary is the content visible when the accordion is closed. All the other elements within the <details> are part of the inner content of the accordion. To make it easier for us to animate that content, we are wrapping it inside a <div>. <details> <summary>Summary of the accordion</summary&g...
CSS Tricks, Web Tricks

Quick LocalStorage Usage in Vue

localStorage can be an incredibly useful tool in creating experiences for applications, extensions, documentation, and a variety of use cases. I’ve personally used it in each! In cases where you’re storing something small for the user that doesn’t need to be kept permanently, localStorage is our friend. Let’s pair localStorage with Vue, which I personally find to be a great, and easy-to-read developer experience. Simplified example I recently taught a Frontend Masters course where we built an application from start to finish with Nuxt. I was looking for a way that we might be able to break down the way we were building it into smaller sections and check them off as we go, as we had a lot to cover. localStorage was a gsolition, as everyone was really tracking their own progress personally, ...
CSS Tricks

Comparing Various Ways to Hide Things in CSS

You would think that hiding content with CSS is a straightforward and solved problem, but there are multiple solutions, each one being unique.Developers most commonly use display: none to hide the content on the page. Unfortunately, this way of hiding content isn’t bulletproof because now that content is now “inaccessible” to screen readers. It’s tempting to use it, but especially in cases where something is only meant to be visually hidden, don’t reach for it.The fact is that there are many ways to “hide” things in CSS, each with their pros and cons which greatly depend on how it’s being used. We’re going to review each technique here and cap things off with a summary that helps us decide which to use and when. How to spot differences between the techniques To see a difference between...
CSS Tricks

Animating Number Counters

Number animation, as in, imagine a number changing from 1 to 2, then 2 to 3, then 3 to 4, etc. over a specified time. Like a counter, except controlled by the same kind of animation that we use for other design animation on the web. This could be useful when designing something like a dashboard, to bring a little pizazz to the numbers. Amazingly, this can now be done in CSS without much trickery. You can jump right to the new solution if you like, but first let’s look at how we used to do it.One fairly logical way to do number animation is by changing the number in JavaScript. We could do a rather simple setInterval, but here’s a fancier answer with a function that accepts a start, end, and duration, so you can treat it more like an animation: CodePen Embed Fallback Keeping it to CSS, we...
CSS Tricks, React

FLIP Animations in React

With a very recent Safari update, Web Animations API (WAAPI) is now supported without a flag in all modern browsers (except IE).  Here’s a handy Pen where you can check which features your browser supports. The WAAPI is a nice way to do animation (that needs to be done in JavaScript) because it’s native — meaning it requires no additional libraries to work. If you’re completely new to WAAPI, here’s a very good introduction by Dan Wilson.One of the most efficient approaches to animation is FLIP. FLIP requires a bit of JavaScript to do its thing.Let’s take a look at the intersection of using the WAAPI, FLIP, and integrating all that into React. But we’ll start without React first, then get to that. FLIP and WAAPI FLIP animations are made much easier by the WAAPI!Quick refresher on FLIP...
CSS Tricks, Javascript, Web Tricks

Alpine.js: The JavaScript Framework That’s Used Like jQuery, Written Like Vue, and Inspired by TailwindCSS

We have big JavaScript frameworks that tons of people already use and like, including React, Vue, Angular, and Svelte. Do we need another JavaScript library? Let’s take a look at Alpine.js and you can decide for yourself. Alpine.js is for developers who aren’t looking to build a single page application (SPA). It’s lightweight (~7kB gzipped) and designed to write markup-driven client-side JavaScript.   The syntax is borrowed from Vue and Angular directive. That means it will feel familiar if you’ve worked with those before. But, again, Alpine.js is not designed to build SPAs, but rather enhance your templates with a little bit of JavaScript. For example, here’s an Alpine.js demo of an interactive “alert” component. CodePen Embed Fallback The alert message is two-way bound to the input using...
CSS Tricks

How Do You Remove Unused CSS From a Site?

Here's what I'd like you to know upfront: this is a hard problem. If you've landed here because you're hoping to be pointed at a tool you can run that tells you exactly what CSS you can delete from your project, well... there are tools out there, but I'm warning you to be very careful with them because none of them can ever tell you the complete story.I know what you want. You want to run the tool, delete what it tells you, and you have a faster site in 2.2 minutes. I'm sorry, but I'm going to disappoint you.I think you should have a healthy level of skepticism for any tool like that. None of them are exactly lying to you — they often just don't have enough information to give you results that are safe and actionable. That's not to say you can't use them or it can't be done. Let's take...
CSS Tricks, Web Tricks

Using Immer for React State Management

We make use of state to keep track of application data. States change as users interact with an application. When this happens, we need to update the state that is displayed to the user, and we do this using React’s setState.Since states are not meant to be updated directly (because React’s state has to be immutable), things can get really complicated as states become more complex. They become difficult to understand and follow.This is where Immer comes in and that’s what we’re going to look at in this post. Using Immer, states can be simplified and much easier to follow. Immer makes use of something called "draft" which you can think of as the copy of your state, but not the state itself. It’s as though Immer hit CMD+C on the state and then cmd+V’d it somewhere else where it can be sa...
Model-Based Testing in React with State Machines
CSS Tricks, Web Tricks

Model-Based Testing in React with State Machines

Testing applications is crucially important to ensuring that the code is error-free and the logic requirements are met. However, writing tests manually is tedious and prone to human bias and error. Furthermore, maintenance can be a nightmare, especially when features are added or business logic is changed. We’ll learn how model-based testing can eliminate the need to manually write integration and end-to-end tests, by automatically generating full tests that keep up-to-date with an abstract model for any app.From unit tests to integration tests, end-to-end tests, and more, there are many different testing methods that are important in the development of non-trivial software applications. They all share a common goal, but at different levels: ensure that when anyone uses the application, ...