I am Eric A. Meyer. Ask me anything.

Eric is an internationally recognized expert on the subjects of HTML, CSS, and Web standards. Eric has been working on the web since late 1993. He is the founder of Complex Spiral Consulting, a co-founder of the microformats movement, and co-founder (with Jeffrey Zeldman) of An Event Apart, the design conference series for people who make web sites.

Shoot any questions you want Eric to answer!

Ask a Question

33 discussions

Hey Eric. There's a lot of divergent work in organizing CSS right now, such as BEM, SMACSS, Inline Styles, CSS-in-JS, ITCSS, and Atomic CSS. Still, there are not a lot of conceptual design patterns for how to organize your CSS (if you're using stylesheets) in an efficient and scalable way. Meanwhile, design patterns in JS, Java, and PHP such as Flux/Redux, MVC, and functional programming are now the way of things. Do you see a way forward for design patterns for how to organize CSS in stylesheets utilizing the core features of CSS? Are there any promising organizational patterns out there that might not be as well known? Thanks.

I liked http://alistapart.com/article/meaningful-css-style-like-you-mean-it very much, though probably because it’s the closest I’ve seen to how I write CSS.

But the real challenge in this question is that there are a lot of ways to organize CSS, possibly infinite ways, and what works for me may not—probably won’t!—work for you. I don’t think the divergence of work in CSS organization is a weakness of the language. It’s a strength, because it shows that CSS is flexible enough to support all those different patterns of work. There’s room for a lot more.

Reply to this…

Hashnode is a friendly and inclusive dev community.
Come jump on the bandwagon!

  • 💬 Ask programming questions without being judged

  • 🧠 Stay in the loop and grow your knowledge

  • 🍕 More than 500K developers share programming wisdom here

  • ❤️ Support the growing dev community!

Create my profile

Hey Eric! Thanks for doing this AMA. If you could change one thing in CSS today, what would that be?

Full support for all of Grid Layout, like, yesterday. Seriously, the one thing I’ve wanted to change about CSS for 20 years now is to give it a Real Layout System™. Now it’s almost here, and I just want it to get here already.

If we take that off the table, then honestly? The stuff just beyond it: better/wider support for shapes, regions, multicolumn, exclusions, and so on.

Reply to this…

Hey Eric! :)

Which do you think has influenced CSS specs more in the last few years: engagement between working groups and developers, or industry trends like CSS preprocessors illustrating demand for features? (Or has something else entirely been the biggest driver?)

I feel like preprocessors have been a big influence. Things that the WG has rejected for years (even decades), like variables and even logic, are now finding their way into the specs because they were implemented in preprocessors, and lots of authors used them. I love preprocessors for that.

The other huge influence has been, just as with everything else, mobile. A lot of things that would have been nice in the past were made critical by mobile. Responsive images are just one example of that. There are similar things happening in CSS, such as more powerful media queries.

Reply to this…

Hi Eric,

Nice to see you here. :) I am your huge fan. Congrats for the success of Designing For Real Life.

It's strange no one has asked you questions related to CSS Frameworks so far. What are your thoughts on frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, etc? Do you use them or recommend them?

Thanks, Ida! I don’t use frameworks or recommend them, but I don’t necessarily recommend against them, either. I think they’re great prototyping tools, since they make it easy to get something spooled up really fast. The problem I see is when they’re used in production. The output is always distressingly clunky, and the layout often fragile. And that’s even assuming you don’t rely on Javascript to make them work, which is asking for trouble. Almost nobody intentionally disables JS, but slow networks can prevent loading, and older devices can choke to death on the processor demand.

Reply to this…

ay yo eric

Why rem over em for media queries?

I usually use em, but most of the queries I inherit from others use rem. And I can see an argument for rems when trying to create a consistent visual rhythm, where you want a thing to have a width regardless of whether it’s an h1 or an ordered list. Of course, Grid layout might take us in a very different direction!

Reply to this…

Load more responses