Shared posts

24 Sep 19:14

A Few More Simple CSS Files

Once upon a time, web pages were functional. Functional but dull. Unless you used tricks like enclosing text in tables or you turned to the much-maligned <FONT> tag, there wasn’t much could do about spicing up a page’s appearance.

Then along came Cascading Style Sheets (CSS for short). CSS enables you to add consistent formatting to web pages — everything from changing the sizes of fonts to setting margins to setting colours and the alignment of text. And more. As the years went by, CSS became more complex to fit needs of people who needed more intricate layouts for their sites. To be blunt: CSS got more convoluted and difficult to use, whether you’re a web designer or not.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for simple, clean CSS. Especially for those of us who are publishing small websites and blogs and the like. I looked at eight simple CSS files in a previous article. Let’s look at some more CSS files that get the job done without adding too much weight to a web page or a website.


The goal of this file, created by Kev Quirk, is to make HTML look good, really quickly. And Simple.css lives up to that billing.

A web page styled with Simple.css

Simple.css offers clean, unadorned styling for not just text elements but also for forms, buttons, navigation menus, and tables. A page styled with Simple.css looks good but isn’t visually overwhelming. Plus pages are responsive, so what you see renders nicely on smaller screens.


Weighing in at around 5 KB, axist packs a lot into that relatively small amount of CSS. You get large, easy-to-read text (which is great for those of us whose eyesight is in decline).

axist in action

Tables, forms, and lists are also nicely formatted. There’s enough padding on either side of the screen so you don’t feel like you’re reading right across the screen (as you would have in, say, 1996). Like Simple.css, pages with axist applied to them are also responsive — I’d say they’re slightly easier to read on a smaller screen.


The SP in SPCSS stands for simple and plain. This stylesheet definitely lives up to that billing.

A web page with SPCSS added to it

In a lot of ways, SPCSS reminds me of Simple.css, but stripped back to even more of the basics. It’s not flashy, but it’s not dull either. And it has a dark mode if that’s your sort of thing. While responsive, the text is a bit smaller than Simple.css and axist. You can edit the stylesheet to change that if you like.

Bonus: 100 bytes of CSS

If you don’t need to style every element (or even the main elements) on a web page, you’ll want to check this out. It’s a snippet of CSS that controls the maximum width of a web page, the size of fonts, the spacing between lines, and margins. Just that and nothing else.

Simple styles in action

You can embed that snippet into a web page or put it in a separate CSS file so you can use it across multiple pages. The person behind this also offers another 100 bytes of CSS that you can use to add margins to elements on a page and to change the text to a sans-serif font.

Final Thought

CSS doesn’t need to be complex. It doesn’t need to be flashy. And you don’t need to become an expert web developer or designer to use it.

Using the CSS files (and one snippet) that this article introduces are a great way to quickly and attractively format a simple web page, a simple website, or a document formatted with HTML.

25 Jul 11:24

Why Learn Math?

by Corey Mohler
25 Jul 11:14

my cartoon for this week’s @newscientist #science #envy...

my cartoon for this week’s @newscientist #science #envy #cartoon

03 Jan 18:28


03 Jan 18:23

for the @guardian review

for the @guardian review

21 Dec 21:21

for yesterdays @guardian review

for yesterdays @guardian review

11 Jul 06:53

for New Scientist

for New Scientist

19 Apr 15:27

Nothing to Say

by Reza
30 Jan 11:11

A Marie Kondo inspired cartoon that I made for the New Yorker...

A Marie Kondo inspired cartoon that I made for the New Yorker two years ago.

15 Jan 22:27


by Nicholas Gurewitch

The post Introvertebrate appeared first on The Perry Bible Fellowship.

07 Jan 02:41

Happy birthday, qutebrowser!

by Florian Bruhin

5 years ago today, this happened:

commit 11a94957dc038fc27c5ff976197ad2b2d0352d20
Author: Florian Bruhin <>
Date:   Sat Dec 14 22:15:16 2013 +0100

    Initial commit

That's how qutebrowser looked a day after that (and that commit still seems to run!):

Exactly a year later, things …

29 Jul 11:12

decisions, decisions…

decisions, decisions…

04 Jul 00:26

A comic from a while back for the New York Times Magazine.

A comic from a while back for the New York Times Magazine.

12 Apr 11:47

For @newscientist

For @newscientist

12 Apr 11:43

For @newscientist

For @newscientist

09 Mar 07:46

For New Scientist

For New Scientist

28 Nov 00:14

The Death of Schopenhauer

Stupid God, giving us eternal paradise. Who put this asshole in charge anyway?
20 Sep 15:01

For New ScientistOrder my new book here:

For New Scientist

Order my new book here:
12 Sep 11:57

For the Guardian.Order my new book here:

For the Guardian.

Order my new book here:
10 Jun 23:21

A recent cartoon for New Scientist magazine.

A recent cartoon for New Scientist magazine.

30 Jul 00:45

Captain Metaphysics and the Extreme Skeptic

Philosophical ideas that can be refuted by punching:
1. Moral Nihilism
2. Moral Relativism
3. Scepticism about the outside world
4. Scepticism about causation
5. Denial of qualia
6. That violence never accomplishes anything
21 Jul 21:06

How to win friends and influence people—online

by Juli Fischer

A handshake, with the respective arms reaching out from two different laptop monitors.

When you need to talk to someone at work, how do you reach them? If you head straight for email or chat, you aren’t alone: A recent report shows that employees at businesses worldwide send and receive an average of 122 emails per day. A similar study showed that the use of chat applications inside businesses is growing quickly as well. And while these technologies enhance our communications in a lot of ways—we can send huge attachments, and chat across time zones—they can create problems, too.

With email and chat we miss out on a lot of important aspects of human interaction, like body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. So it’s worth spending some extra time making sure the things you have to say are easy to understand, and building you a reputation as a good communicator. Here are some tips on crafting the perfect message for whatever you’re trying to accomplish.

The basics: emails and chat

We spend so much of our workdays in email and chat, sometimes it feels like there’s no time to get anything else done. One of the easiest ways to tackle this problem is by making sure the emails you send are as effective as possible. That way, you can get more done with fewer messages—and help others do the same.

Keep it short

If we’re all handling an average of 122 emails per day, that’s a lot of time we’re spending in our inboxes. So if you can make your message concise and actionable, yet still friendly, your recipients will thank you. It takes a practice to write emails like this, but give it a shot. You may find a lot of extra words, digressions, and turns of phrase that can be eliminated, making your message easier to deal with. Here’s an example:

An example of an ineffective email—full of jargon, unnecessary turns of phrase, and digressions—and a much more concise, effective email that makes the same point.

These tips apply to chat, too. Have you ever been totally focused, only be interrupted by a chat that’s longer than a New York Times article? If so, you know how it can derail your concentration. Avoid doing that to others by sending a clear, succinct chat. The less time your recipient has to spend figuring out what you need, the more likely they’ll be to respond—and pay attention to your messages in the future.

Unless longer is better

Some messages need to be a little meatier for the sake of establishing and maintaining relationships. If you’re communicating with someone you’ve just met, and want to make a good impression on, it’s okay to ditch brevity in the name of connection. A well thought-out email with a clear beginning, middle, and end can help people get to know you better.

Advanced techniques: collaboration and feedback

Important communication isn’t limited to chat and email; a lot of us are using cloud-based tools to leave feedback on people’s work, or even make changes directly. Like IMs and email, these messages lack the cues of in-person communication, but the stakes can be even higher here.

Say what you mean

Small comment boxes encourage us to be brief—but when you’re leaving feedback on someone’s work, you don’t want your brevity to be confused for curtness. The urge to simply point out what’s wrong and move on can be powerful. But in order for your feedback to be well received, it needs to be explained in the context of the project.

Instead of demanding changes and hitting send, take the time to explain not only how, but why you think something could be improved. For example, if you want to say, “Delete this paragraph,” consider going a bit deeper: “This is almost perfect. I think we can safely combine the strongest points of this paragraph into the preceding one, and tighten everything up.” When you take the time to write your feedback this way, it shows that you’re knowledgeable about the project, and establishes your credibility as a giver of feedback.

But say it nicely

Sometimes things get heated, and the opinions we’re itching to express are too negative to be constructive. Because our brains are hardwired to receive criticism as a threat, using assertive language can shut down a useful exchange before it even gets going. If you’re agitated and tempted to leave strongly worded feedback, consider waiting until you’ve cooled down.

Here’s why: When a co-worker does something you that upsets you, the odds are good that you aren’t getting the entire story. So an aggressive reaction—especially one that’s unfounded—could lead to more problems instead of a solution. Instead, try to trust that your colleagues are doing the best work they can, just like you are, and compose your feedback with that in mind.

It’s hard to argue with the benefits of virtual communication at work. We can reach more people, more efficiently, than ever before. There are challenges, though: When you communicate online, you lose critical cues that guide our interpersonal behavior. But by taking the time to create thoughtful communications, you’ll get things done faster, and create trusting relationships with your colleagues.

For even more ideas on how to reach peak productivity at work, check out some of our newest Dropbox features.

A computer monitor and keyboard with a hand clicking a mouse. Text says: "Learn more about new productivity tools, now in your Dropbox."

27 May 00:16

A recent cartoon for the Guardian.p.s. you can now follow me on...

A recent cartoon for the Guardian.

p.s. you can now follow me on instagram:

27 May 00:08

Much to Learn

by Reza


27 May 00:06


by Reza


11 Oct 01:59

Future-proof your data model

by Oliver Widder
Alois Mahdal

Reminds me of CIM

20 Jun 20:21

A cartoon for The New Yorker.

A cartoon for The New Yorker.

24 Dec 23:24

Updates! Introducing New Tools to Organize Your Feeds

We know that in order to truly enjoy your feeds, you have to be able to organize them. That’s why we’ve introduced a bunch of enhanced tools to help you create, reorder, and prioritize your feeds and folders. 


You can find these tools on the new Subscriptions management page. Click on your user name in the upper right hand corner to get there. Among all of the functions there, you can now sort feeds and folders alphabetically or however you like to read them.

Easily Move Individual Feeds 
Now you can move a feed into a new or existing folder directly from the feeds page. That way you can move a feed immediately after subscribing. Or, as before, just drag and drop feeds in your menu to reorder them or to create new feed folders.

We hope you enjoy the improved subscription management page features, including alphabetizing your feeds and moving feeds to a folder. Let us know what you think about them. In the meantime, we’ll continue to fine-tune your experience to make it even easier to get your fix of all your favorite feeds.