Jesse Buchanan (“jbinto”)

I’m a software developer, a Torontonian, and a Leafs fan.

Bitmaker Labs Day 2

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I want to keep up the momentum of blogging my experiences. So I’m writing on the subway after a tiring but fun 13 hour day of learning. I believe reflecting on what I’ve learned every day is going to be valuable, but it’s tough to find the time to write. Writing on the subway is a good way of timeboxing myself.

So, I’ll limit my writing to some tricks I learned today:

Vertical alignment is the bane of all CSS users. But there’s a trick for aligning text in a box that’s easy enough:

Vertically centering text within a box
4 {
  height: 40px;
  line-height: 40px;

There’s nothing better to get people excited about programming than making something on the screen move. We covered CSS3 transitions, and watching a box rotate and change colour was received with hoots and hollers.

CSS3 transitions
div {
  background-color: blue;

  transition-property: all;
  transition-duration: 2s;
  transition-timing-function: linear;

div:hover {
  background-color: red;
  transform: scale(1.5);
  transform: rotate(360deg);

The important part to remember is that CSS3 transitions occur when an element’s state changes. This happens internally within the browser; calling it an “event” is a bit of a misnomer. I asked “when would this be useful other than for :hover”, and the idea is that your JavaScript code might dynamically apply a CSS class to an element. The transition property can help you “calm down” abrupt changes. It intelligently tweens the frames in between the beginning and end state.

And last but not least were pseudo-classes. In my previous experience with CSS, I’d only encountered the a pseudoclasses: :visited, :active, etc. But there’s a plethora of useful CSS3 pseudo-classes. What if you wanted to:

  • Alternate the background color for every other row in a table
  • Make all of the text in the first column of a table red

In the old days, you’d have to apply a CSS class by hand to every other row, and a different class for the first column in a table. But with CSS3 pseudoclasses, you can do the following:

CSS3 pseudoselectors
tbody tr:nth-child(odd) { background-color: gray; }
tr td:first-child { color: red; }

I stayed a few hours after class to work on an HTML/CSS portfolio. I’m really happy with what I was able to make in a few hours, but it’s not quite ready for primetime, thus the blurry picture. All in due time.