For anyone unfamiliar, Eric Meyer is a giant in the history of web standards and web development. He’s written a ton of books on web standards (mostly CSS) and his blog is full of important writing and advocacy for web standards.
Meyer’s CSS books are some of the best technical materials I’ve ever read. I learned CSS from the first or second edition in between tech support calls at my first job, and that knowledge is the foundation of my entire career.
I really need to get back into the swing of writing vanilla CSS. Pre-processed alternatives (looking at you SASS) have been spoiling me for years now, and we don’t use them at work (yet) so I’m growing frustrated with my inability to ease back into CSS.
After ignoring the “modern web” for years and writing 1999-era HTML, I’ve been getting into writing modern HTML5/CSS directly, and it’s surprisingly not bad (as an academic I was able to get away with ignoring Web 2.0, 3.0, etc., because retro-looking webpages on .edu domains weren’t really a problem, almost expected even).
Compared to the last time I tried to get into modern web style (~10 years ago), I find it much simpler, because you can just write this stuff directly, with vim+scp being the extent of the tools/libraries/frameworks/buildsystems I need to learn. For at least what I do, the addition of fairly full-featured media queries, plus flexbox, means I can now do just about everything I want in plain hand-written HTML/CSS and it no longer seems obligatory to pull in jQuery, SASS, or anything else.
I have been privy to some extremely complex JS build systems that I always thought were not necessary. I mean, it was fun to write with LostGrid and stuff, but I would never want to go through setting up the build utilities from scratch. Currently all I use is a simple gulp file to copy jQuery dist, minify all of my custom JS/jQuery code, and compile my SASS. Still feels a bit cumbersome just to write some UI.
Its really nice to see the modern HTML5/CSS3 specification growing.