There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly: Object Oriented CSS for Open Source Projects



10 object-oriented CSS best practices we can learn from children.


How can open source projects use OOCSS to create slick user interfaces, even if most of the contributers have never written a line of CSS? We can learn a lot about CSS from children. In this talk, Nicole uses popular children’s fables to illustrate how CSS development can go awry.

  • There was an old lady who swallowed a fly – Context dependent selectors
  • Share your toys – Creating reusable CSS objects
  • There’s a place in France – oh wait, there was no moral to that story! :)

You will learn how to scale CSS for millions of visitors or thousands of pages, and you will leave with a better understanding of the most common mistakes which are making your site slow.

Speaking experience


  • With tattoo pink improved

    Nicole Sullivan



    Nicole is a CSS Ninja, Evangelist, and Performance Engineer.
    She founded the Object Oriented CSS open source project. She co-authored Optimizing Images for Even Faster Websites with O’Reilly. Among her recent projects is the w3c beta redesign. She also co-created Smush it, an image optimization service in the cloud.

    She is passionate about CSS, web standards, and scalable front-end architecture for sites with large numbers of pages and visitors. Speaks about performance at conferences around the world, most recently at Ajax Experience, ParisWeb, and Web Directions North.

    Previously Nicole researched and improved the performance of Yahoo! sites worldwide as a part of their YSlow team. She enjoys working on large commercial sites including; Yahoo!, SFR, FNAC, Club Med, Accor, Renault, SNCF, and La Poste. Blogs at

    When she’s not coding, she spends most of her time talking about Object Oriented CSS, occasionally that leaves time for riding her Ducati, salsa dancing, and playing with her adorable mutt, Clover.