Markup & Style Society recap

April 2020 note: Hi! Just a quick note to say that this post is pretty old, and might contain outdated advice or links. We're keeping it online, but recommend that you check newer posts to see if there's a better approach.

Along with the founders, Dan Cederholm and Ethan Marcotte, we hosted the latest meeting of the Markup & Style Society in our office on South Street Thursday night.

All told it was a great success — about fifty designers and developers from the area joined us to talk shop about building responsive, stretchy layouts, what it means to be a craftsman (or -woman) in this space, and a new method for applying progressive enhancement to web applications. Some highlights:

Ethan Marcotte (, enlightened us in the ways of making a stretchy layout where all components — including static images, images generated from Flash sIFR, and even embedded objects — resize with the browser.

Dan Cederholm (SimpleBits) reviewed how to apply grid-based design to stretchy layouts by using ems to specify size, and how to constrain the layout to the size of the browser window so that horizontal scrollbars don’t appear (set the layout container’s width to 100%).

Joshua Porter (Bokardo Design) discussed the importance of maintaining a craftsman’s integrity when approaching web design and development work, and how that can have a positive effect on collaborations.

Our own Scott Jehl capped the night and presented a technique that we’re refining to help us better apply progressive enhancement to our code. It’s a script called testUserDevice.js, and you can learn about how it works and download it from our lab article, Delivering the right experience to the right device | Download Slides (1mb).

We were impressed with the knowledge, inspired by the enthusiasm, and energized by the positive feedback and new connections that we made. Thanks to all who attended and shared their ninja secrets. And special thanks to the folks at Freshview for the pizza and beer.

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