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CSS Grid Module

I had a great time attending An Event Apart in Boston a couple of weeks ago. There were many great speakers from the web industry. It's always overwhelming coming away the desire to channel all the new knowledge and energy from the conference, and then wonder how on earth you're going to begin incorporating the new techniques while you start to dig yourself from under the work that's continued to pile up while you were gone. 

This year I was most excited about @rachelandrew's presentation on the CSS Grid Module. The bad news is, it's still in draft stage at the W3C. The good news is, it's already starting to be supported in browsers.

Listening to these presentations every year about the newest, cutting edge technologies that are in beta stage or newly released and being touted as the new standard, you never can be sure what's actually going to launch, gain adoption and really stick. There are few things that actually do. Remember, when Flash and action script was THE way to build a website? Remember when XHTML was going to change HTML forever?

But every once in a while, something does come along that does fundamentally change the way we build websites. Like CSS. CSS was a game changer in the way we wrote and designed web pages. It put our table layouts and sliced images to shame. More recently, responsive design and media queries have started taking over the web. Now with Google's announcement this month that it will give preference to responsive websites in its search results, I anticipate an even broader adoption of responsive design in the near future.

The most recent template designs I have done have been responsive using the Bootstrap framework to supply the grid. Yes, I can see some of you rolling your eyes from here. I do assure you that the sites I have worked on for my employer are not "Cookie Cutter Bootstrap" sites. I don't know anyone who is working with responsive design that's not using some grid layout framework, whether they've written it custom or are using something out of the box.

This is why I am so excited about the CSS Grid Module.

Imagine not needing a framework because, gasp, you could define the grids as properties in the DOM elements straight in the CSS!

This kind of blows my mind. Just as the concept of laying out web pages without having to position every element in a table cell blew my mind back in the early two thousands. (Yes, I was late to the party. I was busy having babies at the time).

As @rachelandrew mentioned in her presentation, there are still some issues to be worked out. There are some gutter issues with column-gap and column-row that may get moved to the second release, and nested grids and sub grids are at risk of being moved from the initial release as well.

I for one, will be watching this module closely. I hope I find some time to play around with it and provide some feedback to the working group.


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