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What is CSS and what is it used for?
HTML is used to mark up documents, creating the basic structure for most of the pages on the internet. Although being used as the backbone for pages, it can't be used alone to create appealing pages.
In this article, we will see what exactly is CSS, its importance, and how to maintain it by using our CSS Beautifier.
CSS stands for Cascading style sheets. A CSS is a style sheet language used to describe the presentation semantics (e.g., fonts, colors, spacing) of web documents written in HTML. CSS controls the visual rendering of all elements of a document by describing how they should look on screen.
The most common use cases for CSS are:
- Color palettes
- Layouts and positioning
- Animations and transitions
CSS Scale and Maintenance problems
When CSS was first designed, the web was in its infancy, pages were a lot smaller and there wasn't much more than text and images. So CSS was designed with simplicity in mind, taking into account only the most basic elements that were used on these sites.
But times have changed and today web applications are fully-featured programs, with complex architecture and components.
Because CSS was not built to be used in such an environment, it lacks some features to ensure scalability, like namespacing and dynamic rules. Just like HTML, the amount of CSS code in your project will probably grow very fast.
But the language is evolving and has included variables and lots of advanced selectors that can help you to build more dynamic styles. Preprocessors like SASS and LESS can also have a huge impact on the quality of your style codebase.
This huge amount of CSS can lead to unstructured code, which can hide bugs or make them hard to find. That's where code formatting comes into play, by making the code more readable and maintainable.
Code formatting and CSS Beautifier
CSS Beautify is a technique used to help developers format stylesheets in a consistent way. Beautify helps to ensure all their code is up to the latest formatting standards. It also allows them to clean up messy and unnecessary styles.
The process consists of parsing the stylesheet to add/remove white spaces, indent rules, etc, following some specific standard or custom rules.
Code formatting needs to run alongside a version control system to ensure a maintainable code base. A good tool to integrate into your development environment and achieve this is Prettier.
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