Writing Green CSS

When you are the guy writing all the mark-up and implementing all the design work in CSS, you tend to do things in certain fashion. Even if you’re the guy that does most of the work and some other – less skilled – person implements some parts too, you would still like to have a conform stylesheet.

In accordance to what’s been noted in “On mark-up and frameworks …” using a document with guidelines would be a good choice. Yet there’s a part of this that we then overlook.

As noted before you write mark-up and style in a certain fashion, you have your standard element ID’s in mind and you have quite a good idea on about what’s going to be happening on the page when you press F5. Then what if you build a lot of Management Systems (be it Project-, Content-, E-commerce or one of the other infinity squared ways of Management) and while building those systems find out that a certain interface elements work in a fair lot of circumstances, much in a way the HIG work in an Operating System.

After writing the same selectors and properties over and over again, you start copy pasting certain parts of your previously crafted styles. At this point I’ve come to the point that I’m looking through each line of the styling of the blog engine this very blog is running on. And that’s what got me thinking …

If these Management Systems consist of the same basic interface, why not make a fixed stylesheet which you can just stack on top of your reset and master styles. Let’s say that this would save you a day or one and a half days per project. And let’s say, if you would introduce die-hard developers to this standardized stylesheet, it would improve the consistency and effectivity of their workflow with 10 – 20%. This could – on average – shave multiple days or even weeks off of the project time. Greater efficiency in internal processes and consistent quality for your clients.