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CSS3 First Look
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An overview of child and sibling selectors


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CSS3 First Look

with James Williamson

Video: An overview of child and sibling selectors

Most of the attention directed toward CSS3 has showcased the more flashy features, like web fonts, animations, and gradients. As cool and as important as those features are, I would argue that no feature in CSS3 is as important to designers, than the CSS level 3 selectors module. In this chapter, we'll explore the selectors module and find out how selectors in CSS3 give you an incredible amount of control when targeting elements on our pages.
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  1. 3m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 45s
  2. 31m 30s
    1. What is CSS3?
      5m 26s
    2. The current status of CSS3
      3m 35s
    3. An overview of CSS3 capabilities
      2m 24s
    4. Can you use CSS3 now?
      5m 31s
    5. Detecting support for CSS3
      9m 0s
    6. Understanding vendor prefixes
      5m 34s
  3. 1h 9m
    1. An overview of child and sibling selectors
      3m 11s
    2. Using child and sibling selectors
      7m 17s
    3. An overview of attribute selectors
      3m 19s
    4. Using attribute selectors
      8m 32s
    5. Pseudo-class UI selectors
      5m 56s
    6. Negation pseudo-class selectors
      6m 48s
    7. Target pseudo-class selectors
      5m 39s
    8. Structural selectors
      3m 58s
    9. Nth-child selector syntax
      10m 0s
    10. First, last, and only structural selectors
      5m 39s
    11. Using structural selectors to write more efficient code
      8m 52s
  4. 45m 28s
    1. Color formats in CSS3
      7m 9s
    2. Transparency in CSS3
      9m 10s
    3. CSS3 gradients
      4m 11s
    4. Creating linear gradients
      13m 57s
    5. Creating radial gradients
      11m 1s
  5. 49m 8s
    1. Working with web fonts
      6m 38s
    2. @font-face syntax
      4m 52s
    3. Downloading sample fonts
      6m 5s
    4. Writing @font-face declarations
      7m 57s
    5. Using web fonts
      6m 42s
    6. Using text shadows
      7m 14s
    7. Creating multi-column text
      9m 40s
  6. 50m 55s
    1. An overview of the flexible box model
      4m 42s
    2. Controlling box orientation
      5m 2s
    3. Setting element flexibility
      12m 59s
    4. Distributing boxes
      7m 54s
    5. Controlling box alignment
      12m 38s
    6. Working with box-sizing
      7m 40s
  7. 1h 5m
    1. Using border-radius
      6m 20s
    2. Creating custom rounded corners
      10m 21s
    3. Understanding border images
      5m 15s
    4. Using border images
      8m 52s
    5. Creating box shadows
      8m 58s
    6. CSS3 backgrounds
      4m 55s
    7. Controlling background size
      8m 46s
    8. Creating multiple background images
      6m 4s
    9. Using background-origin
      3m 18s
    10. Clipping background content
      3m 2s
  8. 40m 8s
    1. An overview of CSS3 2D transforms
      4m 26s
    2. Using 2D transforms
      8m 16s
    3. Setting transform origins
      5m 24s
    4. An overview of CSS3 transitions
      5m 0s
    5. Animating CSS properties
      6m 12s
    6. Using easing in animations
      5m 41s
    7. An overview of 3D transforms
      5m 9s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding media queries
      6m 18s
    2. Strategies for targeting multiple devices
      6m 4s
    3. Writing styles for target screen sizes
      12m 11s
    4. Deploying styles through media queries
      3m 55s
    5. Basing media queries on page orientation
      2m 24s
    6. Targeting media queries for iOS devices
      7m 4s
  10. 1m 6s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 6s

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CSS3 First Look
6h 34m Appropriate for all Nov 29, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In CSS3 First Look, staff author James Williamson provides an in-depth introduction to the newest CSS standard, detailing its modular format, history, and current level of browser support, while also demonstrating its capabilities and applications. The course includes tutorials on using new selectors, modifying typography and color, working with the box model, and understanding media queries. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the history of CSS3
  • Working with the new selectors
  • Adding transparency and gradients
  • Specifying web fonts with @font-face
  • Understanding the advances to page layout
  • Looking at CSS3 box model capabilities
  • Using 2D and 3D transforms
  • Understanding media queries
Subject:
Web
Software:
CSS
Author:
James Williamson

An overview of child and sibling selectors

Most of the attention directed toward CSS3 has showcased the more flashy features, like web fonts, animations, and gradients. As cool and as important as those features are, I would argue that no feature in CSS3 is as important to designers, than the CSS level 3 selectors module. In this chapter, we'll explore the selectors module and find out how selectors in CSS3 give you an incredible amount of control when targeting elements on our pages.

I would also like to point out that as of this recording, the selectors module has reached to proposed recommendation status and most of these selectors are widely implemented, meaning you should feel free to use them now. The CSS level 3 selectors module defines all selectors, not just the selectors new to CSS3. As such, I want to take a look at some of the more advanced CSS 2.1 selectors as well. There is a good chance you may not have used them before and they will act as a nice introduction into the advances made in the new selectors added with CSS3.

I want to start with the child and sibling selectors, most of which are carried over from the CSS 2.1 specification. These selectors are a bit more specific than descendent selectors and allow us greater control when targeting elements based on their relationship to other elements. Child selectors used the greater than sign to separate two simple selectors. Essentially, you're targeting any element that is a child of the preceding element. In this example, you would be targeting any h1 that was the direct child of a div tag.

This is an important difference when comparing child selectors to descendent selectors, as they limit selected elements to direct children only. There are basically two types of sibling selectors: adjacent and general. As the name suggests, sibling selectors are used to target siblings within the parent elements. The adjacent sibling selector combines two selectors with the plus sign. Both elements are understood to be child elements of the same parent and the target element will be selected only when it directly follows the first element in the selector.

Well, here for example, the selector would target a paragraph only when it directly followed an h1 tag within the same parent. General sibling selectors are new to the CSS level 3 module and allow a broader targeting of sibling elements. The tilde character is used to separate two elements. Both elements are understood to be children of the same parent. And the second element is preceded by the first element. Although it isn't necessary for it to immediately precede it.

Here, for example, every paragraph that follows an h1 within this parent is targeted, even if it doesn't come directly after it. Browser support for child and sibling selectors is pretty widespread and it's fairly safe to assume that most modern browsers support them. So these selectors definitely fall into the ready-to-use-now category. Now that we understand the syntax surrounding the selectors, we'll try them out in our next movie and explore when they're appropriate to use.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about CSS3 First Look.


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Q: I'm following along with the video "Transparency in CSS3".  James shows us how to achieve transparency in Internet Explorer by going to Kimili.com and entering a HSLA value to generate code for transparency.

Here that code:

background: transparent;-ms-filter: "progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#BF0E0C0B,endColorstr=#BF0E0C0B)"; /* IE8 */
filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#BF0E0C0B,endColorstr=#BF0E0C0B); /* IE6 & 7 */ zoom: 1;

When this code is added to my HTML file it removes transparency on browsers that do in fact support it. So I'm left with NO transparency. Why?
A: The problem is in the filter code. If the IE background is called last, the first "transparent" declaration will remove all previous colors, regardless of browser. To resolve this, place the rule inside a conditional comment for IE or remove the "transparent" declaration at the front of the rule.
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