HomeEducationOver Engineering | The Global Today

Over Engineering | The Global Today

The times of pure HTML, CSS and Javascript are over. Now we should be taught CSS pre-processors and frameworks, a number of Javascript libraries (often based mostly on jQuery) HTML templating engines based mostly in Javascript, process runners comparable to grunt and gulp, and so forth. With all of those instruments accessible, and turning into an ‘business normal’, it’s straightforward to misuse them and make an actual mess of your web site coding.

The truth is, you don’t want any add-on applied sciences. You’ll be able to all the time create web sites with extremely organised, simply maintainable code, even when utilizing the bottom applied sciences.

Fashionable internet growth usually entails over-engineering. By this, I imply that an excessive amount of time is spent on setting issues up, writing and configuring instruments and discovering ‘sensible’ methods of doing issues as a substitute of simply doing what must be accomplished in a logical method.

CSS Preprocessors


Everyone knows the rule that selectors shouldn’t be nested greater than 4 ranges deep. Nonetheless, I disagree with this, as I discover that nesting selectors in any respect will make the code much less readable. It’s straightforward to scan code in a vertical method, however when my eyes must additionally scan horizontally, it makes scanning a lot much less environment friendly.

If I’m trying by way of a mode sheet and I discover a class nested just a few ranges deep, I must know the dad or mum selectors to grasp how the category is being utilized. I must scroll as much as see the dad or mum selector, then scroll up once more to see its dad or mum selector, then once more. It’s not instantly apparent or straight-forward how it is going to be utilized, I must scan complete blocks of code to grasp one line. It’s not an issue if the blocks are small, however there are often fairly just a few baby selectors underneath the dad or mum block.

What I usually see is a top-level class getting used like a namespace. Whereas it might appear neat to organise code this fashion, it takes extra effort and time to grasp it. It doesn’t add something to the code organisation that you just couldn’t do with just a few line-breaks or feedback. The one profit is discount of selector repetition. If organising CSS like programming code was that vital, we might have adopted JSS as a substitute of CSS.

I favor to solely use nesting for states and, typically, pseudo parts.

Media Queries

One other difficulty I typically come throughout is the usage of a number of repeated media queries. Ought to every selector have its personal media question? What about after they’re nested? It will probably develop into a bit messy and laborious to see the massive image if a lot performance is separated into a number of tremendous small media queries.

I favor to make use of a set of media queries per ‘module’ or ‘characteristic’, so I don’t have 1,000,000 media queries and but I additionally don’t have one large monolithic set of media queries on the finish of the file.

Ineffective complexity

One of many worst examples of investing time into making one thing that’s usually pointless, ineffective and even detrimental, can be the thought of wrapping media queries in pre-processor features or mixins. I can perceive the need to make use of this when you might have numerous very advanced media queries, used usually. Nonetheless, typically it’s simply not mandatory. You will note a line of code like this:

@embody respond-to($medium)  

What precisely does this do? It’s media question associated, however you have to to go in search of the definition of $medium to know whether it is only a pixel worth, a question or a key referring to a keymap. Both approach, you want to discover the question textual content, the related pixel values, the way to use this operate and what choices are already accessible.

You’ll need to learn and perceive the definition of the operate to see the way it implements these variables. Does it use min-width or max-width as a default? Does it have default performance?

What advantages does this operate maintain over a set of variables? You don’t must sort the phrase ‘@media’ anymore, as a substitute you want to write ‘respond-to’. That is changing a universally understood piece of elementary CSS with a lesser-known customized implementation.

It’s all the time attention-grabbing to see what you are able to do with the instruments accessible and the way far you may go. Nonetheless, we’re changing a straight ahead set of readable statements with a barely extra cryptic line of code that must be investigated and understood by a programmer.

The good thing about this system depends largely on how advanced your media queries are, and the way usually your media queries are used. For websites that use easy media queries, storing the pixel worth in a variable will probably be simply as efficient. For barely extra advanced queries, you may retailer all the question in a variable.

The creator of this system warns his readers about discovering a stability and selecting the correct device for the job. I’ve seen this system utilized in a approach that’s detrimental to the mission many instances.

Earlier than utilizing this system, you want to contemplate if it’s the precise factor to make use of in your mission. Take into account your growth atmosphere, mission dimension, tooling and magnificence of coding. Don’t simply use this as a result of it’s ‘good / normal observe’. Use it provided that it fits your mission.



Once you wish to learn a e-book, you go to the library and borrow one. Nonetheless, frequent observe with Javascript is to borrow the entire library simply to learn one e-book. Usually, libraries like Bootstrap are included and used only for one characteristic. One characteristic that you can write in three strains of code. It’s vital to justify the inclusion of a complete library earlier than you accomplish that.

Insane code

A earlier firm that I used to work for, had outsourced a mission to an abroad firm. One characteristic of the web site was slightly name to motion button that may follow the highest proper of the display when the consumer scrolled previous a sure level.

The builders had applied this through the use of a collision detection system a few web page lengthy. It detected when any a part of the component collided with the banner above it, so that they knew when to take away the fastened place if the consumer was scrolling upwards. It was most likely ripped from some recreation engine. I’m shocked they didn’t go one additional and program some form of self-learning AI to realize the identical process.

What number of strains of code wouldn’t it take you to implement that performance?

Lack of programming information

If (I == true)
     I = false
  else if (I == false)  
     I = true

Precise code. From a instructor in an online growth course. This was again in 2008. It’s memorable, however not in a great way.

This isn’t as frequent these days as most individuals know in regards to the ‘not’ operator, however I’ve seen folks implement code to duplicate the performance of the ‘modulus’ operator.

It’s vital to know the options of the languages you employ.


There are a lot of motivations to complicate your code. To enhance maintainability, enhance performance, boredom, being a smartypants, to harass folks for enjoyable and so forth. Nonetheless, needless to say in a 12 months’s time, chances are you’ll be the one working with your personal code, cursing the developer who made this mess, solely to seek out out that it was you who screwed you over. Sure, I’ve been in that state of affairs, which is how I do know. It’s additionally why I do issues easier and, for the dearth of a greater time period, barely extra old-school than most individuals when attainable.




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