Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS


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This book is a flexible guide to developing sites small and large.

DrupalCon Portland 2013: SCALABLE AND MODULAR ARCHITECTURE FOR CSS

There is no library within here for you to download or install. SMACSS is a way to examine your design process and as a way to fit those rigid frameworks into a flexible thought process.

SMACSS: Scalable Modular Architecture for CSS

It is an attempt to document a consistent approach to site development when using CSS. Feel free to take this in its entirely or use only the parts that work best for you. If you ever come into a project and found yourself confused by the existing code, then this book is for your co-workers.

About an author: Jonathan Snook is a web developer and designer who has been building websites as a hobby since and as professional since He writes about tips, tricks, and bookmarking on his blog at Snook.

Exploring SMACSS: Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS

He has written for the. Minor layout components are considered as modules and typically live inside the major layout components. A content box inside a sidebar is an example. Navigation bars and widgets are good examples of modules, too.

Most of your design components will end up being modules and should be designed to stand alone for greater flexibility. You want to be able to move them around and combine them with other elements. Here, we want to stick to classes. The former requires overwriting styles while the latter requires an additional class be added to the HTML.

State rules apply to changes like hovering over a navigation item or collapsing and expanding an accordion menu.

SMACSS: Scalable Modular Architecture for CSS - O’Reilly Media

State rules are similar to modules, but differ in several ways. They can apply to both layout and module styles and often indicate a JavaScript dependency. More importantly, they apply to changes that occur after the page is rendered. Like modules, they should be developed to stand alone with styles being inside a single class selector. These define things like colour and typography, and exist so user preferences can overwrite any of the above rules. It does this through a concept called depth of applicability.

SMACSS: Scalable Modular Architecture for CSS

Descendant selectors require specific HTML structures. The above has a depth of applicability of six. It requires a very specific structure that would be hard to change.

The selector has now been reduced to a depth of applicability of two, which makes it much more flexible and modular. First, child selectors limit the scope of selectors. Instead of a push for more classes, it urges reorganisation of the same selectors you already use. Clarke suggests HTML should be structural. Tags, classes and IDs should refer to the content rather than how the content looks. Selectors and definitions should be as global as possible for design consistency and in order to prevent specificity collisions. Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous and authoritative representation within a system.

Unfortunately, this can typically lead to a lot of duplication of code within a project. You start by identifying repeatable style patterns in your design and create a CSS style group with shared properties and values. For example, if some of your content boxes need to have a light background and dark text, you could set up the following box colour style group:.

With the style group defined you give it a name by adding an uppercase ID and a lowercase class. The final step is to add whatever selectors will get the style. These are added in between the ID and class name for the group:.

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Your CSS file would include a number of different style groups usually with more properties than shown here. Changing a design becomes a matter of rearranging, removing and adding selectors to the different style groups.

For example, if the. Ideally each property : value pair should be used only once and never repeated. Group names should encourage rational organisation of your design. This particular method also encourages optimisation and generalisation of the selectors. BEM comes to us from the developers of the Russian search engine Yandex, which has a connection to object oriented programming. In BEM, a block is its own independent entity. It can be simple or complex and one block can contain others. The highest level blocks on a website are your header, footer, sidebar, or main content.

Your header block may then include a search block or a navigation block and so on. Elements are parts of blocks, which perform certain functions. A search block may have two elements: an input field and a button. Elements are context dependent because removing them breaks the block. All blocks and elements are arranged to create layouts.

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So, elements are arranged inside blocks and blocks are arranged inside other blocks working all the way up to the outermost container block.

Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS
Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS
Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS
Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS
Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS
Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS
Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS

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