Musings of Geekdom by Eric Newton

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Style sheet strong arm: Reset.css versus Normalization.css

I have a pet peeve: designers that always start with reset.css stylesheet.  

There are so many flaws with this approach:
  • all styles... all elements, everything, is reset to padding 0, margin 0, font-size: 100% (whatever that means) and so forth.  So utilizing an h1 requires "restyling" an h1 to be somewhat bigger, somewhat bolder than the average text.  And make that bigger and bolder than h2, and likewise h3, and likewise h4, h5, and h6.
  • the css inheritance chain is difficult to navigate.   Since the reset.css touches every single element, and after you've spent time "restyling" every element to have their semantic meaning reflect their visual cues, you end up with many overrides to every style.  IMO this makes it more difficult to hone in on what style is not correct.
The advantages of a reset.css:
  • every element is consistently lame, lacking the visual cue of the semantics of the text
ENTER THE SAVIOR, Normalize.css...
  • It normalizes all elements to reasonable settings.  For example, I've personally noticed that the <abbr> element is displayed differently in Chrome, IE, and Firefox.  Normalize.css effectively makes the <abbr> tag consistent across all the browsers... winning!
  • It tackles bigger problems that were out-of-scope for reset.css, like old browser handling of styles
I would suggest all developers, designers, and HTML gurus to rethink using that reset.css, and look into getting normalize.css and put down that reset.css, reset.css is for losers.

Print | posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 10:32 AM |

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