block by shawnbot 8ea469aa6ccd94770fcef04e75cb0886

CSS bar charts in 2018

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This is an example of what you should be able to do once the major browsers implement some seriously cool features in the CSS3 draft spec as of April, 2016:

  1. CSS variables, using the --name: value assignment and var(--name) accessor syntax. (Already implemented by Chrome, Firefox, and Webkit!)
  2. CSS3 calc(), which gives us calculated values between different units, e.g. subtracting a value in px or em from a percentage. (Partially implemented in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.)
  3. CSS3 attr(), which grants the function the ability to parse values in specific units in the form attr(attr-name units). (Not yet implemented in any major browser.)

Together, these features would enable us to use HTML element attribute values as the basis for calculated values in CSS on a per-element basis, and define (then change) which property the values are applied to. This would open up possibilities for more data-driven design entirely in CSS, without the need for JavaScript.

Note: I’ve used the x- prefix to denote HTML custom elements, which are a great way to simplify your markup, encapsulate your CSS, and extend the DOM element API via JavaScript. You could just as easily HTML5 elements or classes, though.