The CSS Layout Revolution

While Ruby and Ruby on Rails remains my primary preoccupation, lately I’ve been surrounded by so much CSS genius that during my downtime I’ve taken on Cascading Style Sheets as a side hobby.

Living near Manhattan has provided me with the unique opportunity to attend the CSS Layout Club,where the organizers, including The Web Ahead host Jen Simmons, have focused on many of the upcoming layout elements that have been designed and are expected to be adopted or are already adopted by browsers in the near future — gridspec, CSS shapes, and flexbox.

At the last CSS Layout Club, I had the chance to experiment with the CSS Shapes format. While currently Chrome is one of the few browsers that support it, it’s expected to soon have near universal support.

CSS Shapes

My workspace, the Productive, seconds as an animation studio during the day and is host to great assortment of artists and creative thinkers. Elika Etemad, who has worked for the W3C for over a decade now, is among the talented people who work at the productive. She is true Internet pioneer and one of the architects of Flexbox (her name can even be found on the official CSS documentation).

Elika is an endless source of CSS knowledge and software wisdom. She told me recently that the Bootstrap format emerged because CSS Floats were hacks, never formally designed for layout, but that in upcoming years layout techniques such as Flexbox and Gridspec should increasingly meet designers demands for increased flexibility and ease of responsiveness in design.

Taking in this knowledge, it’s impossible not to be thrilled about the dynamic new ways that Front-end Developers and Web Designers will be able to leverage this technology to create new web layouts that will make the design of the last few years as archaic as Space Jam.