Skip to main content

CSS FlexBox layout

Today I was trying to understand the FlexBox layout introduced in CSS and was impressed with what a few CSS properties can do to help you solve layout issues. The standard itself has gone through some iterations, but I believe the current one is stabilised and is not likely change completely. Anyway, the layout proposed here helps you align the elements in the DOM tree horizontally and vertically. It also helps you reorder these elements.

To get a gist of what I’m saying, take a look at the below diagram:

Aligning using flexbox.

I have created three elements which are then placed inside a container. Now, there are different ways in which I may want to align these elements; for instance I want these elements to be centered vertically but be aligned to the right horizontally. I can use the float property and try to achieve that. But say if I want these elements to be aligned such that it is equally spaced horizontally, then I might have to add a few more properties and achieve the layout. Instead I can use new properties ‘justify-content’ and ‘align-items’ to achieve this layout. The ‘justify-content’ property is used align the elements in the container horizontally and it can take the values – ‘center’, ‘flex-start’, ‘flex-end’, ‘space-between’ and ‘space-around’. Similarly the property ‘align-items’ can be used to align the elements vertically and it can take the values ‘center’, ‘flex-start’, ‘flex-end’, ‘baseline’ and ‘stretch’. Also, one needs to set the display property to flex.

There is another property called ‘flex-direction’ which allows you to change a row to a column i.e. the elements would be aligned vertically. It is also possible to reverse the direction i.e. the last element in the container would appear first in the list. This property can take the values – ‘row’, ‘row-reverse’, ‘column’ and ‘column-reverse’. As observed in the above code block these properties are vendor specific and hence they are prefixed accordingly.

I thought of creating and inserting images into this post, but instead I have a created a demo page where you can see these properties in action:

As of now these properties are supported only on Chrome 21+ and not available in any other browser.


Popular posts from this blog

Custom validation messages for HTML5 Input elements using the constraint validation API

HTML5 has introduced several input types such as EMAIL, URL, RANGE, SEARCH, DATE, TIME, etc,. Most of the modern browsers have implemented them and are ready to be used in a HTML document. Another exciting feature introduced in HTML5 is the form validation. Instead of writing JavaScript to validate users input, browsers can now validate it and show an appropriate message if the validation fails. The validation message is shown in line with the field for which the validation has failed. The default error message is shown when the validation fails. In this post I'll explain how these error messages can be changed.

Adding beforeRender and afterRender functions to a Backbone View

I was working on a Backbone application that updated the DOM when a response was received from the server. In a Backbone View, the initialize method would perform some operations and then call the render method to update the view. This worked fine, however there was scenario where in I wanted to perform some tasks before and after rendering the view. This can be considered as firing an event before and after the function had completed its execution. I found a very simple way to do this with Underscore's wrap method.

De-obfuscating javascript code in Chrome Developer Tools

I had blogged about JavaScript debugging with Chrome Developer Tools some time back, wherein I have explained how these developer tools can help in debugging javascript code. Today Google Chrome 12 was released and my Chrome browser was updated to this version. As with every release, there have been some improvements made on performance, usability etc,. One feature that stood out for me is the ability to De-obfuscate the javascript code.

What is Minification?

Minification is the process of removing unnecessary characters such as white spaces, comments, new lines from the source code. These otherwise would be added to make the code more readable. Minifying the source code helps in reducing the file size and thereby reducing the time taken to download the file. This is the reason why most of the popular javascript libraries such as jQuery are minified. A minified jQuery file is of 31 KB in size where as an uncompressed one is about 229 KB. Unfortunately, debugging minified javascript file…