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Russ Weakley’s CSS Workshop

Posted in all posts, design, education, web by coleman yee on February 8, 2007

PebbleRoad (the company I work for) brought in the highly-acclaimed Russ Weakley to do a workshop on CSS today.

Russ is a great guy to work with – extremely easygoing, and no hint of ego at all, even though he’s one of the best CSS gurus alive (or dead) today. And a humorous guy as well, with his self-deprecating style of humor (he claims it’s normal Australian humor).

He carries the same style of humor into the workshop, telling us countless stories of his “idiotic” mistakes he made with CSS, which certainly makes the participants feel a lot better at themselves.

He’s also great at making humorous analogies to explain concepts (“inheriting big noses from your parents”), which helps make concepts a lot easier to understand (analogies) and memorable (humor).

All in all, I thought this was a wonderful workshop, and all the attendees I spoke to left the place very happy. I’ve a feeling that a lot of people who decided not to attend will regret that decision.

Let me geek out now:

Below is a list (mostly for my own reference) of the most interesting things I learnt-

  1. left and right padding/margin have no effect on inline elements
  2. inline elements can be made to appear like block level elements (and vice versa) using display:block (or display:inline)
  3. pseudo classes, especially tr:hover for to highlight a row in a table when the mouse is over it. (How I want to go back to the last website I coded to add this in.)
  4. calculating the weight/importance of selectors
  5. better understanding of shorthand rules (I need more practise on this)
  6. much clearer understanding of positioning – especially floats
  7. specify a width after you float a box
  8. margin collapse with normal flow boxes
  9. IE’s subtractive interpretation of the box model
  10. linking all CSS files within 1 CSS file
  11. elegantly using different CSS files for different browsers, including problematic ones (NN4, IE5, IE6, etc.)
  12. better understanding of forms, with fieldsets and labels, including the styling
  13. different styles for different pages
  14. resolution dependant layouts. Real cool.
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