Zen Coding: A Speedy Way To Write HTML/CSS Code

In this post we present a new speedy way of writing HTML code using CSS-like selector syntax — a handy set of tools for high-speed HTML and CSS coding. It was developed by our author Sergey Chikuyonok and released for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

How much time do you spend writing HTML code: all of those tags, attributes, quotes, braces, etc. You have it easier if your editor of choice has code-completion capabilities, but you still do a lot of typing.

We had the same problem in JavaScript world when we wanted to access a specific element on a Web page. We had to write a lot of code, which became really hard to support and reuse. And then JavaScript frameworks came along, which introduced CSS selector engines. Now, you can use simple CSS expressions to access DOM elements, which is pretty cool.

But what if you could use CSS selectors not just to style and access elements, but to generate code? For example, what if you could write this…

div#content>h1+p

…and see this as the output?

<div id="content">
<h1></h1>
<p></p>
</div>

Today, we’ll introduce you to Zen Coding, a set of tools for high-speed HTML and CSS coding. Originally proposed by Vadim Makeev (article in Russian) back in April 2009, it has been developed by yours truly (i.e. me) for the last few months and has finally reached a mature state. Zen Coding consists of two core components: an abbreviation expander (abbreviations are CSS-like selectors) and context-independent HTML-pair tag matcher. Watch this demo video to see what they can do for you.

source:

http://coding.smashingmagazine.com/2009/11/21/zen-coding-a-new-way-to-write-html-code/

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