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Discussion on: What do you hate the most in CSS and why?

eperedo profile image
Eduardo P. Rivero • Edited

I used to hate it, but mostly because of two reasons (not really css's fault)

  1. When you try to learn css you do not find an "official docs". You end it up jumping between blogs, books and stackoverflow and worst of all wondering if what are you learning is "the right way" to do it.
    Different to other technologies: You want to learn react? Well go to, what about vue? and so on.

  2. Browser support 5/10 years ago was crazy slow. You read about flexbox, css grid and other great new features? Well prepare your polyfills to give a decent experience to users that like old browsers.

But IMO today css is the best technology in the web platform. Finishing some styles and see the design comes to real is one of the best feelings as a web developer!

itsmenatalie profile image
Natalia Author

Well yep, that's true. "Official docs" are crap for a beginner. I think the entry threshold is really high because of that :(

alohci profile image
Nicholas Stimpson

Specifications are generally not written to be learnt from directly, at least unless you're a field expert. In fact, the CSS specs are mostly far more readable than, say, the ECMAScript specifications.

The problem is the quick win, beloved by us all, and especially those used to HTML. The ultimate genius of HTML is it low barrier to entry, Write "Hello World" in a text editor, save it, open it in a browser and it displays that text. Add <!DOCTYPE html><title>My Page</title> before it and it'll even pass a validator. Hey, I'm a web developer, me!

So the desire for the quick win in CSS for beginners, and the consequent need for tutorial writers to supply it, means that the fundamentals of CSS get totally skipped by beginners. While most CSS writers would benefit for a proper grounding in the concepts that underpin CSS (I know I did), obtaining it is a challenging exercise, and I only got there by reading and re-reading the CSS 2.1 spec many times. There's definitely a gap for a reader-friendly explanation of CSS concepts, but would anyone read it?