A fantastic post / trip down memory lane on the insanity that was developing for the web (the post touches on HTML and JS, not just the CSS of the title) from the late 90s through today.
Notes about web design
From the files of things I don’t know much about: best practices for Japanese web typography, a nice short primer. Web fonts are problematic enough in the West, and we don’t even have the character set troubles introduced by having multiple alphabets, the huge glyph set and calligraphic history of kanji, the need to be interspersed with Latin characters and ruby characters…
A decent roundup of ways that you can fine-tune your word/character-level typography on the web — I don’t 100% agree with all of his suggested specific fixes, but knowing how one can make these adjustments in the first place is the important part. I might also add mention of the CSS overflow-wrap: break-word rule which has come up twice as something I needed in the last couple of projects I worked on (okay, that’s not really a spacing technique so much as a fix for overly-long words, but thought it worth mentioning alongside font tweaks)
One thing of note is that none of them express the golden ratio, that so-called best of proportions. 5:8 comes quite close but, as far as I’m aware, no web device matches the golden section in its screen aspect ratio. I’m not sure why that is, but I like to think that it’s because the golden ratio is for the weak.
The musical interval ratios also provide an opportunity, not only to create connectedness between the parts of a layout, but to bind the content to a device. Just as a textblock and page resonate together, so too can web content and the screen on which it is displayed.
Owen Gregory (@fullcreammilk) on musical intervals, device aspect ratios, and how we should be seeking these harmonies when designing for the web as a responsive medium. A good read. And I like the jab at the golden ratio.
See also: Cennydd Bowles’s The Music of Interaction Design talk.
Ars Technica has up a history article on the early web browsers, a rare glimpse into the largely-forgotten software that beat NCSA Mosaic to the punch but didn’t quite make it into pop culture consciousness (seen above is ViolaWWW, notable for early stabs at browsing history, bookmarks, styles, and even embedded scripting — probably also the first web browser I remember using on my Slackware copy of X Windows circa 1994! </old>).
For all of the developments in web technology since 1991, it’s remarkable to see how many UI features and browsing concepts emerged almost immediately and are still with us today.