Introducing INIT – A Boilerplate Framework for Front-End Projects →


INIT is based upon HTML5 Boilerplate and adds more structure for SCSS files, JavaScripts, includes build tasks and a whole lot more.

Today we released INIT, a front-end framework based on Grunt, Bower, Karma and a lot more tools as version 1.0. This marks a special day for Anselm and me, as we worked for a long period to get this project to where it is today.

Over at TNG I wrote a bit about why we need frameworks like these and what the challenges with current tools are:

Generally we start a lot of our projects in kind of the same way. A lot of tasks need to be repeated from one project to another since we tend to set up our development and deployment workflow in similar ways everytime.

Please drop by and read the full article, provide feedback for INIT via GitHub or just tweet about it if you feel like it :)

INIT’s website    INIT on GitHub

Add the <main>-Element to Modernizr 2.6.2


We don’t need this anymore With Modernizr v2.7.0 we don’t need this work around anymore. Please update to this version if you use <main>. tl;dr: You can add the new main-element to Modernizr 2.6.2 by using HTML5 Shiv’s window.html5 option to add your own elements to the shiv. Since I use some bleeding edge stuff in HTML and CSS in actual projects for clients I ran into one particular issue a couple of times lately and I thought I share a little workaround with you. Modernizr’s current state Modernizr includes HTML5 Shiv to make HTML5 elements like header, figure and

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A Few More Words on Accessible Dialogs/Modals


tl;dr: It’s necessary to keep the focus within a dialog while tabbing through it. The function below is the easiest way to implement this behavior in JavaScript. When I created CSS Modal I wanted it to be accessible for screen readers and people that only use the keyboard for navigation. Nicholas Zakas has a great post that helped me a lot with making CSS Modal accessible without too much work. This posts explains a bit about aria roles, how to use tabindex and how you set focus to the element initially and bringing it back where it was before when

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Introducing CSS Modal

CSS Modals in action

In the last couple of months I’ve worked on several projects that needed an overlay with some content on it. Some front-end frameworks as for example Bootstrap refer to them as modals. You can find a lot of implementations that do exactly what I search for but they all have one major drawback: They rely on JavaScript. Yes, sure, everyone has JavaScript enabled these days but why use a technique that you don’t necessarily need for a given problem? Also most implementations have drawbacks when it comes to mobile devices and responsive web design in general or accessibility. Apart from

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Printing The Web

Printable Websites - some books

While it is possible to consume nearly all means of content on your smartphone or tablet it seems like the dream of a paperless office comes true for a lot of web developers. But digital natives are not the only ones who are on the web. There are still some people that like to print web sites on paper. Once you are aware of that you might want to include a dedicated print stylesheet into web sites you build. Here is some advice on what you can do to get the best out of your page. Disclaimer: This article was

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Speaking Engagements, the .net-Awards and Freelancing


Here is a quick overview of my current status and why there are little updates in the blog. Also some great news. Talking at Conferences As you know, if you follow along my stuff, I spoke about coding guidelines at TalkOff Conference in Lille, France in January this year. The conference was organized very well and I had a lot of fun. Besides that I met a lot of great people. Thanks again for the invitation. You can find the slides here. I am also very happy to be invited to UX Munich where I will speak about style guides

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TakeOff Conference: Talking About Good Code →


Yesterday (17. January 2013) I was talking at TakeOff Conference in Lille, France. I actually extended my talk from the Fronteer’s Jam Session “Writing Awesome Code” with lots of new stuff. So check out the slides. There will be a video with the actual talk that is not online yet. I will post it here when it is.

See slides

Just a few words concerning the conference: The organizers are doing a great job here and the speakers are really good. If you’re not here, you are missing out on something :)

The REM Fallback with Sass or LESS


Since a while now word has spread to use the CSS unit rem for font-sizes and values in CSS. Here I want to explain how you can use a fallback in Sass or LESS to get rem working in all browsers. View Gist with mixins Why rem? Let’s look into what rem means. We know of the em unit which is relative to the font-size of the parent element it is defined on. This means if one of the parents in the DOM-tree changes its font-size, the font-size of the child element changes too. In contrast the rem unit is

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Working Draft Revision 100 →


Working DraftIt’s been over two years now – with our podcast Working Draft we have done 100 revisions. Congratulations to ourselves!

We recorded revision 100 on Monday and had a very special guest: Paul Irish. That’s why we recorded in English this time. The final podcast is now live and can be downloaded. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Listen to WD Revision 100

Here are the topics we talked about:

New Resource for Web Devs: The Nitty Gritty →


Yesterday Kahlil Lechelt and I launched The Nitty Gritty, a new blog and resource for web developers about the cutting edge in HTML, CSS, JavaScript and web technology in general.

Visit The Nitty Gritty

About the idea of The Nitty Gritty Kahlil writes:

For a few years now, I’ve been watching my friends in the web development community write highly informative and well researched articles on their personal blogs, or as contributing authors writing articles for the blogs of their friends and colleagues.

We met at Smashing Conference back in September this year and talked about the idea of The Nitty Gritty. After some months of development we are now ready to present this idea to you.

So, cutting a long story short, we decided to execute on the desire to create a central hub for developers, hence The Nitty Gritty (TNG) was born and now we are about to wake this beast up.

I am very excited about our new project and hope so are you. I really hope that we can deliver high quality content within the next months. And hey… we already have some great articles coming up in the next few weeks

[…] including the performance pope Schepp, Yeoman core contributor Sindre Sorhus, and the maker of Kirby, Bastian Allgeier.

I have written a post myself about decoupling CSS by using placeholders in Sass which will be published today.

We would be pleased if you let us know what you think about this idea on Twitter. And make sure you follow @_thenittygritty! :)