Work > Writing

Smashing Magazine

CTA Modal: How to build a web component

Smashing Magazine: online article

CTA Modal is a self-contained call to action ARIA modal, built as a Web Component. It has zero runtime dependencies beyond a single JavaScript file, and only requires authoring HTML to use. It provides a new HTML tag <cta-modal> that can be placed into content to trigger a dialog window.

I wrote an article for Smashing Magazine, describing in detail how I built it.

There is thorough documentation on the CTA Modal demo site.

CSS Tricks

The anatomy of a tablist component in vanilla JavaScript versus React

CSS Tricks: online article

I occasionally write articles for CSS Tricks. Two have been published so far.

The first describes how to use a HTML/CSS debugging tool that I wrote, which bundles into a JS bookmarklet. This can be handy to visualize warnings that might otherwise go unnoticed.

The second compares and contrasts building a role="tablist" component using React and vanilla JS. It also describes in detail how to add the correct ARIA attributes to ensure accessibility.

.Net Magazine

Build better sites with CSS frameworks

.Net Magazine: printed article

The spread featured above is from an article I wrote for issue 203 of .Net Magazine, entitled Build Better Sites with CSS Frameworks. In it, I covered my own 960 Grid System and other popular frameworks like Blueprint and YUI. I discussed pros and cons of each, and which (if any) to use. I also interviewed Nicole Sullivan, formerly of the Yahoo! Exceptional Performance team.

I also contributed to an article in issue 176 about places of worship. I did a fictitious redesign of a local church site. The mockup from that article can be seen here.

Adobe Developer Connection

Adobe Developer Connection

I wrote an article for Adobe Developer Connection entitled Fireworks in Enterprise IT, outlining why I believe Fireworks is the best tool for professional web design. This quote from the article aptly summarizes my affinity.

"While Photoshop is the ultimate software for master photographers, Fireworks offers an unparalleled feature set for web designers and developers."

— 'Nuff said!

Digital Web Magazine

Digital Web Magazine

I used to write the The Carpenter's Workbench column for Digital Web Magazine. It focused on craftsmanship, knowing the "tools" of the web development trade. The founder of Digital Web Magazine Nick Finck, has placed publication on an indefinite hiatus because many writers have since moved on to successful careers. I'm just glad I was able to take part.

jQuery Cookbook

jQuery Cookbook

This collaborative jQuery Cookbook was spearheaded by Cody Lindley. He rounded up myself and seventeen other front-end developers to write what turned into a 480 page tome of knowledge about the world's most popular JavaScript framework.

I contributed chapter 13, entitled Interface Components from Scratch. You can view the working examples that I created for the book here. The code itself is available via the O'Reilly site.

Textpattern Solutions

Textpattern Solutions

Several years ago, I was all about the nimble content management system Textpattern. So much so, I took the lead on the first book to be published about it. The result was Textpattern Solutions.

While I wrote several chapters, I coordinated with four other authors — Cody Lindley, Kevin Potts, Mary Fredborg, Robert Sable — each of whom wrote a number of chapters as well. I still recommend TXP to people who want a straightforward CMS that allows fine-grained control over HTML.

Technical editor

  • jQuery Enlightenment

  • jQuery Enlightenment

  • jQuery Enlightenment

I was one of several technical editors of jQuery Enlightenment, a self-published book by Cody Lindley. Though independently produced books can be hit or miss, this one definitely made the grade.

I initially thought most of it would be review for me, but I learned quite a bit just by tinkering with the code examples. If you really want to learn jQuery thoroughly, this is an excellent resource. To get a feel for some of the code lessons, read my book review.

After the initial success of his self-published effort, Cody went on to write two more books in the Enlightenment series for O'Reilly. I was honored to be a technical editor for those as well.