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@jhogue /gist:6370800
Last active Dec 21, 2015

Diagnostic CSS rules for finding poorly formed, non-semantic, inaccessible markup on links and buttons, mostly. For more diagnostics, check out and
@mixin heydon_rules {
// Adapted from
// I removed the Comic Sans font declaration because, well, I really can't stand it, even in this context
%uglystyle {
display: block !important;
background: pink !important;
padding: 0.5em !important;
color: #000 !important;
//font-family: 'comic sans ms', cursive !important;
//font-size: 16px !important;
// Rule 1: “If it’s a hyperlink, it should have an href attribute.”
a:not([href]):after {
@extend %uglystyle;
content: 'Do you mean for this to be a link or a button, because it does not link to anything!';
// Rule 2: “If it’s a hyperlink and has an href attribute, it should have a valid value.”
a[href=""]:after, a[href$="#"]:after, a[href^="javascript"]:after {
@extend %uglystyle;
content: 'Do you mean for this link to be a button, because it does not go anywhere!';
// Rule 3: “If it uses a button class, it should be a button — at least in the accessibility layer.”
a[class*="button"]:not([role="button"]):after {
@extend %uglystyle;
content: 'If you are going to make it look like a button, make it a button, damn it!';
// Rule 4: “If it is an a element with role="button", then it should link to somewhere when JavaScript is off.”
a[role="button"]:not([href*="/"]):not([href*="."]):not([href*="?"]):after {
@extend %uglystyle;
content: 'Either use a link fallback, or just use a button element.';
// Rule 5: “You can’t disable a hyperlink.”
a[class*="button"][class*="disabled"]:after {
@extend %uglystyle;
content: 'You cannot disable a hyperlink. Use a button element with disabled="disabled".';
// Rule 6: “Buttons in forms should have explicit types.”
form button:not([type]):after {
@extend %uglystyle;
content: 'Is this a submit button, a reset button or what? Use type="submit", type="reset" or type="button"';
// Rule 7: “Both hyperlinks and buttons should have some sort of content or an ARIA label.”
// Buttons and links that don’t include any kind of direction for their usage are pretty bogus.
button:not([aria-label]):not([aria-labelledby]) img:only-child:not([alt]):after,
a:not([aria-label]):not([aria-labelledby]) img:only-child:not([alt]):after {
@extend %uglystyle;
content: 'All buttons and links should have text content, an image with alt text or an ARIA label';
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