ZenDev Blog

Friday Frontend: Web as Platform edition

I had a blast this week hosting the ‘Web as Platform’ track at QConSF, and talking with tons of folks about the future of software and the web. We’re at an incredible time in our industry’s history, where the browser is really transitioning from being an incredible documentation delivery engine to being an application delivery engine - the next generation operating system.

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Friday Frontend: Finally it’s getting cold edition

Welcome to (almost) winter! I don’t know about where you are, but over here in the Bay Area we just started getting colder weather and rain. This last week and change I’ve started breaking out winter clothes, reviving winter foods, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Good to know that even with climate change, we still get some seasonality!

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Friday Frontend: Welcome to November!

Happy November! I have a soft spot for November, maybe because because my birthday this month! But it’s also when we start to get cold enough to really enjoy all of our winter activities and foods, but we’re not yet into holiday madness. Definitely a great month.

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Friday Frontend: Trick or Treat Edition

Happy (almost) Halloween! The meaning of this holiday has changed a lot for me since having kids, but whether Halloween for you means partying with adult beverages and risque outfits or chaperoning small children from house to house and attempting to limit their sugar intake, it’s a lot of fun regardless.

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The Web Fundamentals Gap

I had a conversation with a friend yesterday who is looking to fill a role in his company and expressed some frustration with a challenge I've been seeing lately as well:

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Friday Frontend: CSS Grid is in Edge!!! Edition

The big news this week is that Microsoft shifted Edge 16, with first class, un-prefixed support for CSS Grid! Yay! We are getting SO close to green across the board in caniuse, with 84% of browsers in the US supporting grid if you include prefixes… while there are definitely still issues and bugs, we’re getting strikingly close to the point where we can make a solid argument for using CSS Grid in production!

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Friday Frontend: Friday the 13th Edition

According to Wikipedia, some 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by fear of Friday the 13th, with some people so paralyzed by fear that they won’t even get out of bed. That seems crazy to me, but then again I do some things that other people think are pretty crazy (like disliking tomatoes and bananas), so who am I to judge?

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Friday Frontend: The Future of Fonts Edition

This week’s Friday Frontend comes with an extra serving of typography goodness. Much of the innovation happening here is still in the early stages, but from the font-display property to variable fonts, the future of typography on the web is SUPER EXCITING.

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Reflections on Web Unleashed 2017 in Toronto

I love conferences. They're exhausting, distracting, often set me back in the immediate projects I'm working on, and yet I love them nonetheless. I love them because they create an opportunity to reset, to see what are emerging as themes in the industry, and to make new connections and draw new insights.

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Friday Frontend: Post-conference Inspiration Edition

This week I was lucky enough to attend and speak at Web Unleashed 2017 in Toronto, and boy did I have fun! I love conferences; I always come away inspired and with a ton of new ideas and things I want to explore.

Major themes at Web Unleashed this year were progressive web applications, front-end unit testing, and component-based thinking and workflows. They’re gathering slides from as many of the speakers as possible, so definitely check those out, and at least 2 of the rooms were being recorded so I imagine they’ll be posting videos soon.

I hope your week as as good as mine - if not, hopefully I can brighten it a bit with this Friday Frontend! Enjoy!

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Friday Frontend: “Notch” one more developer scramble off for Apple 😉

It’s been a little over a week since the iPhone X was announced, so there’s been time for a ton of commentary and reactions. “The Notch” definitely got its share of haters, but boy they’ve packed some interesting things in there. Everyone is scrambling to figure out the implications, but no doubt about it this will influence mobile web design & development in the coming years.

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Friday Frontend: Developer Tools edition!

Great articles seem to run in bunches - there will be a ton of new CSS Grid posts, or React posts, and they all kind of cluster together. This week we’ve got a cluster of posts about different developer tools built into Chrome and Firefox! One down to earth practical debugging tutorial in the JavaScript section and two super cool exploratory pieces under ‘Other Awesome’

Happy Friday!
KBall from ZenDev

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Foundation's Responsive Navigation | Foundation Open Chat

In our this Foundation Open Chat, we talked about Foundation's Responsive Navigation features. How to turn your dropdown menu into a responsive menu, using the responsive toggle to hide content behind a hamburger on smaller screens, and the SUPER COOL new "in-canvas" responsive feature for off-canvas released in 6.4. We also touch briefly on questions around updates, flexbox, and JavaScript

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CSS in JS is like replacing a broken screwdriver with your favorite hammer.

There's a ton of interest these days in 'CSS in JS'. The premise is simple: CSS operates in a global namespace, which can result in undesirable side effects, spaghetti code, and extremely difficult to maintain codebases. JavaScript used to do this, and we fixed it by encapsulating everything in modules and using tools like webpack to stitch everything together. And hey look, our JavaScript tools can handle CSS too, why don't we move all of our CSS into JavaScript and encapsulate everything by module!

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Friday Frontend: Faceoff Edition. Dueling grids, JS Frameworks, and more!

Hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend and have had a great week! This week’s Friday Frontend is heavy on faceoffs - a breakdown of two top framework grid systems, battling opinions on the ‘CSS in JS’ controversy, and a three-way battle post of Angular vs React vs Vue.

I’m also experimenting with the format, with a bit less commentary per link - do you like this better? Or is the older version with more context better? Jump into the comments and let me know!

Happy Friday!
KBall from ZenDev

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Front-end Development Kickstarter: All about the ZURB Template

Here’s a common situation - you’re a designer or front-end developer who is focused right now focused on a functional prototype, and you don’t need all of the complexity of managing a backend and server system. You get HTML and SCSS, but the complexity of writing a full-on javascript frontend in react or angular is more than you want to deal with right now. This is the exact reason why the ZURB template was developed, to give a rapid prototyping and static site development environment for teams using Foundation!

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Friday Frontend | Flexbox, Grid, and demystifying ES**!

Happy September! It’s been another busy week in the web world, and this week’s Friday Frontend is packed with goodies. We’ve got some great learning resources for Flexbox, CSS Grid, and vanilla JavaScript right along side some mind-bending SCSS tricks, examples of awesome React and Angular patterns, a big webpack announcement, and much much more!

Happy Friday!
KBall from ZenDev

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Grids, Grids and more Grids | Foundation Open Chat

In our this Foundation Open Chat, we talked about Grids! How to think about responsive grids, a little bit of the XY Grid, some diving into CSS Grid. We also touched on Javascript integration with Style Sherpa, and the super-cool new in-canvas option for Foundation's Off-canvas.

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Friday Frontend | SCSS Architecture, Functional JavaScript, and Quantum CSS, oh my!

This week’s Friday Frontend got me super excited. Not only are there some great beginner articles in it with tutorials and guided exercises, but some amazing deep dives into topics near and dear to my heart like SCSS architecture and functional JavaScript. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! And if there are any of these that don’t make sense to you, or that you want to learn more about, shoot me a quick note and I’ll be sure to answer your questions, find more resources, or write up some posts myself if the resources don’t exist.

Happy Friday!
KBall from ZenDev

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Foundation Open Chat August 24

In our this Foundation Open Chat, we went through the Foundation Building Blocks - what Foundation Building Blocks are, how to use them, how to install them using the Foundation CLI, and what the thinking behind them is. We also answered some questions about the Foundation JavaScript, webpack, and what's going on with Foundation's development.

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Friday Frontend Five Becomes Friday Frontend Fifteen!

We’re just in week 2, and the format of this newsletter is evolving each week. As I’ve dug more into all of the articles being published about the front end every week, I found it impossible to limit myself to just five good ones, so I’m updating to a Friday Fifteen! Given the many different angles to the frontend, what I’m looking at is each week having five about CSS & SCSS, five on JavaScript, and five as a mishmash of other topics and news. Let me know what you think!

Happy Friday!
KBall from ZenDev

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Foundation Open Chat August 18

In our this Foundation Open Chat, we walk through the pieces of the ZURB template, covering the new webpack based JavaScript approach, the build system, and how the scss imports work.

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Inaugural Frontend Five

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Friday Frontend Five newsletter, with 5 hot articles and resources to keep you up to date with everything happening in the front-end world.

Happy Friday!
KBall from ZenDev

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Foundation Open Chat August 10

In our first Foundation Open Chat, we covered topics ranging from using the Foundation SCSS mixins to create semantic classes, a range of XY-Grid components like the cell block containers, live problem solved some photo layout issues, and some use of the Foundaiton CLI.

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Weekly Foundation Chat

If you're a front-end developer looking to up your game or discover what else there is to learn, sign up for my email list!

I send a weekly newsletter with 15 top frontend links, as well as host a weekly Foundation Chat during which I answer your questions about Foundation, development, freelancing, leadership, teaching, and other stuff.