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Discussion on: Tell me about the worst CSS you've ever had to deal with

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khrome83 profile image
Zane Milakovic • Edited

I worked at a fortune 10 company, that had a 8 year old enterprise CMS. This is code for bulky, slow, confusing, and difficult to use.

The interesting this, is that the vender that owned the platform, had to outsource a lot of work to 3rd parties to meet timelines over the years.

So you ended up on pages that had knockout.js, jQuery, angular, and who knows what else all in the same place.

Well given the state of the JS, I am guessing you can assume how bad the CSS was. There was nothing to make it easier to write, no SASS or LESS.

It was all in a few single files. Nothing bundled them together.

Because some parts of the app were done in isolation, they may have had there own CSS that was not namespaces. So something could work everywhere but on that one page.

It was great.

Full disclosure, I convinced the business to start over and spent my next years at the company building a new platform they use today.

I feel bad for my colleges that got stuck maintaining the old one while the new one came to life...

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Full disclosure, I convinced the business to start over and spent my next years at the company building a new platform they use today.

So it was a full-on parallel rewrite?

How much of the change was HTML and how much was within the CSS?

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khrome83 profile image
Zane Milakovic

It was everything.

The previous platform was on a CMS that was past end of life. The vendor no longer supported it. They had inherited it from a outside agency that use to do the IT and they were insourcing it.

The old sites were not responsive. They were dated. And we as a company did not understand them completely. For example, adding a 5th option to the top level omni-menu for on brand, broke it for the other brands in production. It slipped through QA. And that was 5 weeks to add essential another LI and Anchor tag.

So the replatform was a new design, newer tech stack with an updated version of the same enterprise CMS.

We made a strong case of all the problem areas it would address. With the vision on a long term future. Like no modifying the core CMS to the point you remove yourself from any upgrade path.

So from that point we got to throw away the old CSS. But because the project takes years to do, teams had to maintain the old product.

Basically, there were multiple white label brands, each with many internalized sites, sometimes over a hundred.

It would take 10k content authors around the world, about 5 years to launch all new sites in all markets. And that is after all the UI, authoring interface, and development was done.

They still may not be finished in smaller markets. I left the company a few years ago.