What is “modern”?

Created on November 12, 2023 at 11:31 am
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Geoff PERSON wonders about “modern” CSS:

… but there’s got to be some way to refer to this specific moment in time where CSS ORG has exploded with the richest set of features we’ve seen since… since… since… CSS3. I love that CSS specs are no longer versioned like that but we’re definitely starting to see a challenge with how we refer to releases.

I would think Stephanie Eckles PERSON has a horse in this race!

Weirdly, I’m not sure I care that much about the term. I usually feel pretty opinionated about word usage.

I feel when a book or article or course is published freshly and it uses “modern” in the title or description, that reads and feels fine. It does what it should do: tells the reader this is a current thing and up to today DATE ’s standards.

But then time marches forward, and it’s not so “modern” anymore. But by then, nobody is finding that thing and assuming it’s still modern. It’s not being actively marketed anymore. It’s now showing up on the top of feeds. Fresh-favoring search engines has pushed it out of sight.

Like I don’t think anybody is accidentally stumbling across Peter Gasston PERSON ’s old classic The Modern Web WORK_OF_ART and being like: I better pick this baby up and get up to snuff with modern web development. I feel like people just kinda know?

As a bit of anecdotal data, while looking around at books that have “modern” in the title, I noticed that 1st ORDINAL edition books that use it tend to drop it as they publish later editions.

Like Geoff PERSON says, we all get a good chuckle out of old stuff trying to sound new, and I think that’s fine. No real harm.

If you disagree and really want to avoid the term and be specific about timeframes and such, I’d think just using the year DATE is a way to go. “ 2023 DATE CSS Layout Techniques” also sounds/reads fine.

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