Frank Chimero was out of the loop for 3 years when it comes to developing websites. Coming back he was put off by the complexity of how things have gotten. Take layouting for example, where we went from tables to floats to flexbox to grid layout.
[With Grid Layout] I’m reminded of the table layouts I was doing in 1997. There’s a voice in the back of my head saying we’re stuck in a loop and it’s repeating. We’ve completed a lap on a cycle which will go around forever. Another approach for layout will come along five years from now, it will probably resemble floats, and not knowing how to clear a float will bite me in the ass for the second time in my career.
Yes, things do change, and they’re most of the time not getting any easier:
One argument says that continual change in methodology is rigorous and healthy. I agree. Keeping things in play helps us to more easily fix what’s wrong. It’d be terrible if nothing could ever change. But I also agree with the other argument: people only have so much patience. How many laps around the cycle can a person run? I’m on lap five now, and I can tell you that it is exhausting to engage with rehashed ideas from the past without feeling a tiny amount of prejudice against them.
I also started building for the web around the same time Frank started (1997) and must say I recognise a lot of what Frank is writing. Be sure to read the whole thing, worth your time.
Sidetracking on Frank’s post: It’s a fact that you can’t get comfortable in web development and that you will need to adapt, constantly. Sometimes this will mean that you’ll be in the lead, and sometimes you won’t.
I’ve learnt to accept this constant flux over time, yet some might find it more difficult to cope with. If you find that the relentless pace of change is taking you down (which it can), then always remember that you can go a long way with the solid foundations of plain HTML and basic CSS – without the need for any tooling or fancy framework. After all, all tools / framework eventually render to HTML/CSS/JS.
In case you did stop using CSS mid 2000, then CSS Explained for Dinosaurs will get you back on track 🙂