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Bart Veneman
Bart Veneman

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Project Wallace 2022 in Review

My review of 2021 generated lots of encouraging comments. Here's what happened with Project Wallace in 2022:

Notable releases


Although the amount of visitors seems to have doubled, the amount of pageviews has only increased slightly. Part of this is due to an error on my end where analytics was broken on the Projects side, but still it's a remarkable difference in visitors vs. pageviews ratio.

2020 2021 2022
Visitors 6,510 10,942 20,577
Page views 24,767 40,256 46,689

I'm starting to think that there's less 'quality' traffic to the site, and more one-off visitors. According to Fathom the bounce rate is slightly higher than last year, so I think there are more people coming for a handful of pages and then moving along with their day. At first sight this frustrated me a little, but on second thought I think that's a good thing: people come here to accomplish a task and then get on with the work they intended to do. Project Wallace is not a social media platform, we don't need high engagement, we need high quality tools to do our work.

Popular pages

Website activity

2020 2021 2022
Analyze CSS (url) 742 3,161 6,341
Analyze CSS (raw input) 8 503 2,327
CSS Code Quality (url) - - 4,762
CSS Code Quality (raw input) - - 758
Scrape CSS 138 264 248
Prettify CSS - - 37

It's amazing to see that there's such an interest in CSS Code Quality tooling. The funny part is that I started writing it to help someone explain how the plain CSS analytics could be translated to 'quality'. Apparently there are more people struggling with the raw output of their CSS analytics. And I get it. Having the data is one, but understanding what it means is something different.
The CSS Code Quality package is still very crude, so I'm planning on some additions to help explain some of the concepts using the actual CSS that was analyzed. That should give everyone (myself included!) a better understanding on why some rankings are under-performing.

It's no surprise that the CSS Prettifier isn't used very often. What does surprise me is that the CSS Scraper is so much less popular than the rest. I expected more people to be in need of a tool like this. Perhaps this is because the link is not in the site header. Ultimately, everyone analyzing CSS by URL uses this feature under the hood, so the actual total is more in the 11,000+ range, which is bonkers.

Ideas for the new year

  • Update the CSS Analyzer to use Bramus' Specificity calculator. It's more correct and saves me a bunch of work in maintaining;
  • Adding a page to the website to quickly calculate specificity. There's already a bunch of them out there, but like the prettifier, I don't like context switching;
  • Improving the CSS Code Quality page to use the analyzed CSS to explain the bits that are sub-optimal;
  • Implementing lots of new analysis features, like native CSS nesting, reporting on color formats used and the most important: calculating total CSS complexity!

Closing thoughts

I'm pretty happy with these numbers, but even more happy with the feedback that comes from the CSS community in many forms. A part of that community was at CSS Day Conference this year and I was lucky to meet some inspiring people there, like Bramus and Vadim. Also, Roman just keeps pushing CSSTree to the next level, which is incredibly generous and exciting.

Their enthusiasm and generosity really help driving Project Wallace forward and I can't wait to see what 2023 will bring us.

Keep an eye on this little website!

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