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Mia from behind,
standing at a laptop -
speaking to a conference audience
and gesturing to one side

Cascading Style Systems

New CSS features are shipping at an unprecedented rate – cascade layers, container queries, the :has() selector, subgrid, nesting, and so much more. It’s a good time to step back and understand how these tools fit together in a declarative system – a resilient cascade of styles.

Register for the October workshop »

Join Miriam for a deep dive on developing resilient and delightful experiences that hold up across browsers, languages, and device interfaces.
Interactive Sessions

Virtual or in-person

Dedicated Q&A

To gain a thorough understanding

Cutting Edge Techniques

From a W3C Invited Expert

Immediate Access

To recording and shared docs

Certificate of Completion

Documenting your education

We were super happy with how it went. And you sold quite a lot of tickets too.

Loving the content and the interactivity. My favorite part is seeing how [Miriam] arranged the topics so that concepts smoothly flow into each other. Looking forward to two more days!

Register for the Smashing Online Workshop, October 2024, or contact us to schedule a workshop with your company:

This workshop is intended for designers & developers with at least a basic understanding of HTML and CSS. You don’t need to be an expert to keep up, but even the experts are likely to learn something new.

Bring this workshop to your company »

Miriam is a developer, teacher, and pioneer of modern CSS – an Invited Expert on the W3C CSS Working Group and core contributor to the Sass language. She created Susy for responsive layouts back in 2009, and recently co-wrote the CSS specifications for Container Queries, Cascade Layers, and Scope.

In addition to presenting talks & workshops at conferences around the world, Miriam is a former staff writer for CSS-Tricks, co-founder of the Mozilla Developer Channel, and co-author of SitePoint’s Jump Start Sass. She’s also a cross-media artist with extensive experience in theatre, writing, music, and visual art.

The workshop is taught in five sessions:

1. Resilient Styles: a Declarative Cascade

First, Do No Harm

CSS is fundamentally different from other languages or design tools, built around a radical vision for contextual style and user-control. We’ll dig into the practical implications of that vision, and how the ‘grain’ of the language can guide us to more performant and resilient styles.

Cascading & Inheritance

A deep-dive into the algorithms that take us from simple property/value declarations to a fully-styled web application. Along the way, we’ll explore new features like nesting, cascade layers, scope, and the :has() selector.

2. Dynamic Systems: Custom Properties & Value Resolution

Custom Properties Reveal the Matrix

CSS custom properties (aka “variables”) expose the internals of CSS value resolution and error recovery. What does it even mean for properties to become ‘invalid at computed value time’? And how can we use these CSS internals to our advantage, developing more robust and dynamic style systems?

CSS Variables in Practice

Practical use-cases, and interactive exercises related to CSS variables and functions.

3. Intrinsic Layouts: Distributing Space

Flowing & Flexing

Unlike the printed page, web content and context can be unpredictable. CSS provides tools to manage that uncertainty, aligning & distributing objects on the page. We’ll talk about normal flow, intrinsic and extrinsic sizing, logical properties, box sizing & alignment, and the flexible box model.

Flex & Alignment in Practice

Practical use-cases, and interactive exercises related to distributing space.

4. Intrinsic Layouts: Defining Structure

Defining Structure

Sometimes we also need to impose external structure to create consistent and reliable layouts, even with unpredictable content. This is a full session dedicated to grid & subgrid, the multiple ‘stages of squishiness’, and container queries.

Grids & Containers in Practice

Practical use-cases, and interactive exercises related to defining layouts.

5. Resilient Styles: Organizing Conventions

Cascade Aligned Programming

There are many conventions for organizing CSS, but the best systems all share underlying principles based on CSS itself. What would it mean to use the cascade itself as our guide for writing maintainable CSS?

Modern and Resilient

CSS is designed to adapt to context – failing silently, and enhancing progressively. We have tools to manage that context and support everyone, without giving up on the latest features. The details may vary from project to project, but we’ll look at practical strategies for building an expressive and robust CSS system that works for you.

Register now for the Smashing Online Workshop, October 2024, or consider bringing us in to talk with your team directly: