Monday, April 15, 2024

Making Calendars With Accessibility and Internationalization in Thoughts | CSS-Methods

Doing a fast search right here on CSS-Methods reveals simply what number of other ways there are to method calendars. Some present how CSS Grid can create the structure effectively. Some try to carry precise information into the combination. Some depend on a framework to assist with state administration.

There are numerous issues when constructing a calendar element — excess of what is roofed within the articles I linked up. If you concentrate on it, calendars are fraught with nuance, from dealing with timezones and date codecs to localization and even ensuring dates circulate from one month to the subsequent… and that’s earlier than we even get into accessibility and extra structure issues relying on the place the calendar is displayed and whatnot.

Many builders worry the Date() object and stick to older libraries like second.js. However whereas there are a lot of “gotchas” relating to dates and formatting, JavaScript has lots of cool APIs and stuff to assist out!

January 2023 calendar grid.

I don’t wish to re-create the wheel right here, however I’ll present you ways we will get a dang good calendar with vanilla JavaScript. We’ll look into accessibility, utilizing semantic markup and screenreader-friendly <time> -tags — in addition to internationalization and formatting, utilizing the Intl.Locale, Intl.DateTimeFormat and Intl.NumberFormat-APIs.

In different phrases, we’re making a calendar… solely with out the additional dependencies you may usually see utilized in a tutorial like this, and with among the nuances you may not usually see. And, within the course of, I hope you’ll acquire a brand new appreciation for newer issues that JavaScript can do whereas getting an thought of the kinds of issues that cross my thoughts after I’m placing one thing like this collectively.

First off, naming

What ought to we name our calendar element? In my native language, it could be referred to as “kalender component”, so let’s use that and shorten that to “Kal-El” — also called Superman’s title on the planet Krypton.

Let’s create a perform to get issues going:

perform kalEl(settings = {}) { ... }

This technique will render a single month. Later we’ll name this technique from [...Array(12).keys()] to render a complete 12 months.

Preliminary information and internationalization

One of many widespread issues a typical on-line calendar does is spotlight the present date. So let’s create a reference for that:

const in the present day = new Date();

Subsequent, we’ll create a “configuration object” that we’ll merge with the non-compulsory settings object of the first technique:

const config = Object.assign(
    locale: (doc.documentElement.getAttribute('lang') || 'en-US'), 
    in the present day: { 
      day: in the present day.getDate(),
      month: in the present day.getMonth(),
      12 months: in the present day.getFullYear() 
  }, settings

We examine, if the foundation component (<html>) accommodates a lang-attribute with locale data; in any other case, we’ll fallback to utilizing en-US. This is step one towards internationalizing the calendar.

We additionally want to find out which month to initially show when the calendar is rendered. That’s why we prolonged the config object with the first date. This manner, if no date is offered within the settings object, we’ll use the in the present day reference as an alternative:

const date = ? new Date( : in the present day;

We want a bit extra data to correctly format the calendar based mostly on locale. For instance, we’d not know whether or not the primary day of the week is Sunday or Monday, relying on the locale. If we have now the data, nice! But when not, we’ll replace it utilizing the Intl.Locale API. The API has a weekInfo object that returns a firstDay property that provides us precisely what we’re searching for with none trouble. We are able to additionally get which days of the week are assigned to the weekend:

if (! = new Intl.Locale(config.locale).weekInfo || { 
  firstDay: 7,
  weekend: [6, 7] 

Once more, we create fallbacks. The “first day” of the week for en-US is Sunday, so it defaults to a price of 7. This can be a little complicated, because the getDay technique in JavaScript returns the times as [0-6], the place 0 is Sunday… don’t ask me why. The weekends are Saturday and Sunday, therefore [6, 7].

Earlier than we had the Intl.Locale API and its weekInfo technique, it was fairly laborious to create a world calendar with out many **objects and arrays with details about every locale or area. These days, it’s easy-peasy. If we cross in en-GB, the tactic returns:

// en-GB
  firstDay: 1,
  weekend: [6, 7],
  minimalDays: 4

In a rustic like Brunei (ms-BN), the weekend is Friday and Sunday:

// ms-BN
  firstDay: 7,
  weekend: [5, 7],
  minimalDays: 1

You may marvel what that minimalDays property is. That’s the fewest days required within the first week of a month to be counted as a full week. In some areas, it could be simply sooner or later. For others, it could be a full seven days.

Subsequent, we’ll create a render technique inside our kalEl-method:

const render = (date, locale) => { ... }

We nonetheless want some extra information to work with earlier than we render something:

const month = date.getMonth();
const 12 months = date.getFullYear();
const numOfDays = new Date(12 months, month + 1, 0).getDate();
const renderToday = (12 months === the present day.12 months) && (month === the present day.month);

The final one is a Boolean that checks whether or not in the present day exists within the month we’re about to render.

Semantic markup

We’re going to get deeper in rendering in only a second. However first, I wish to ensure that the small print we arrange have semantic HTML tags related to them. Setting that up proper out of the field offers us accessibility advantages from the beginning.

Calendar wrapper

First, we have now the non-semantic wrapper: <kal-el>. That’s positive as a result of there isn’t a semantic <calendar> tag or something like that. If we weren’t making a customized component, <article> could be essentially the most applicable component because the calendar may stand by itself web page.

Month names

The <time> component goes to be an enormous one for us as a result of it helps translate dates right into a format that screenreaders and serps can parse extra precisely and constantly. For instance, right here’s how we will convey “January 2023” in our markup:

<time datetime="2023-01">January <i>2023</i></time>

Day names

The row above the calendar’s dates containing the names of the times of the week might be tough. It’s ultimate if we will write out the complete names for every day — e.g. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and many others. — however that may take up lots of house. So, let’s abbreviate the names for now within an <ol> the place every day is a <li>:

  <li><abbr title="Sunday">Solar</abbr></li>
  <li><abbr title="Monday">Mon</abbr></li>
  <!-- and many others. -->

We may get tough with CSS to get the very best of each worlds. For instance, if we modified the markup a bit like this:

    <abbr title="S">Sunday</abbr>

…we get the complete names by default. We are able to then “disguise” the complete title when house runs out and show the title attribute as an alternative:

@media all and (max-width: 800px) {
  li abbr::after {
    content material: attr(title);

However, we’re not going that means as a result of the Intl.DateTimeFormat API may help right here as properly. We’ll get to that within the subsequent part after we cowl rendering.

Day numbers

Every date within the calendar grid will get a quantity. Every quantity is a listing merchandise (<li>) in an ordered checklist (<ol>), and the inline <time> tag wraps the precise quantity.

  <time datetime="2023-01-01">1</time>

And whereas I’m not planning on doing any styling simply but, I do know I’ll need some option to fashion the date numbers. That’s attainable as-is, however I additionally need to have the ability to fashion weekday numbers in another way than weekend numbers if I have to. So, I’m going to incorporate data-* attributes particularly for that: data-weekend and data-today.

Week numbers

There are 52 weeks in a 12 months, typically 53. Whereas it’s not tremendous widespread, it may be good to show the quantity for a given week within the calendar for extra context. I like having it now, even when I don’t wind up not utilizing it. However we’ll completely use it on this tutorial.

We’ll use a data-weeknumber attribute as a styling hook and embody it within the markup for every date that’s the week’s first date.

<li data-day="7" data-weeknumber="1" data-weekend="">
  <time datetime="2023-01-08">8</time>


Let’s get the calendar on a web page! We already know that <kal-el> is the title of our customized component. Very first thing we have to configure it’s to set the firstDay property on it, so the calendar is aware of whether or not Sunday or another day is the primary day of the week.

<kal-el data-firstday="${ }">

We’ll be utilizing template literals to render the markup. To format the dates for a world viewers, we’ll use the Intl.DateTimeFormat API, once more utilizing the locale we specified earlier.

The month and 12 months

After we name the month, we will set whether or not we wish to use the lengthy title (e.g. February) or the brief title (e.g. Feb.). Let’s use the lengthy title because it’s the title above the calendar:

<time datetime="${12 months}-${(pad(month))}">
  ${new Intl.DateTimeFormat(
    { month:'lengthy'}).format(date)} <i>${12 months}</i>

Weekday names

For weekdays displayed above the grid of dates, we want each the lengthy (e.g. “Sunday”) and brief (abbreviated, ie. “Solar”) names. This manner, we will use the “brief” title when the calendar is brief on house:

Intl.DateTimeFormat([locale], { weekday: 'lengthy' })
Intl.DateTimeFormat([locale], { weekday: 'brief' })

Let’s make a small helper technique that makes it a bit simpler to name every one:

const weekdays = (firstDay, locale) => {
  const date = new Date(0);
  const arr = [...Array(7).keys()].map(i => {
    date.setDate(5 + i)
    return {
      lengthy: new Intl.DateTimeFormat([locale], { weekday: 'lengthy'}).format(date),
      brief: new Intl.DateTimeFormat([locale], { weekday: 'brief'}).format(date)
  for (let i = 0; i < 8 - firstDay; i++) arr.splice(0, 0, arr.pop());
  return arr;

Right here’s how we invoke that within the template:

  ${weekdays(,locale).map(title => `
      <abbr title="${title.lengthy}">${title.brief}</abbr>
    </li>`).be part of('')

Day numbers

And at last, the times, wrapped in an <ol> component:

${[...Array(numOfDays).keys()].map(i => {
  const cur = new Date(12 months, month, i + 1);
  let day = cur.getDay(); if (day === 0) day = 7;
  const in the present day = renderToday && ( the present === i + 1) ? ' data-today':'';
  return `
    <li data-day="${day}"${in the present day}${i === 0 || day === ? ` data-weeknumber="${new Intl.NumberFormat(locale).format(getWeek(cur))}"`:''}${ ? ` data-weekend`:''}>
      <time datetime="${12 months}-${(pad(month))}-${pad(i)}" tabindex="0">
        ${new Intl.NumberFormat(locale).format(i + 1)}
}).be part of('')}

Let’s break that down:

  1. We create a “dummy” array, based mostly on the “variety of days” variable, which we’ll use to iterate.
  2. We create a day variable for the present day within the iteration.
  3. We repair the discrepancy between the Intl.Locale API and getDay().
  4. If the day is the same as in the present day, we add a data-* attribute.
  5. Lastly, we return the <li> component as a string with merged information.
  6. tabindex="0" makes the component focusable, when utilizing keyboard navigation, after any optimistic tabindex values (Observe: you must by no means add optimistic tabindex-values)

To “pad” the numbers within the datetime attribute, we use a bit helper technique:

const pad = (val) => (val + 1).toString().padStart(2, '0');

Week quantity

Once more, the “week quantity” is the place every week falls in a 52-week calendar. We use a bit helper technique for that as properly:

perform getWeek(cur) {
  const date = new Date(cur.getTime());
  date.setHours(0, 0, 0, 0);
  date.setDate(date.getDate() + 3 - (date.getDay() + 6) % 7);
  const week = new Date(date.getFullYear(), 0, 4);
  return 1 + Math.spherical(((date.getTime() - week.getTime()) / 86400000 - 3 + (week.getDay() + 6) % 7) / 7);

I didn’t write this getWeek-method. It’s a cleaned up model of this script.

And that’s it! Due to the Intl.Locale, Intl.DateTimeFormat and Intl.NumberFormat APIs, we will now merely change the lang-attribute of the <html> component to alter the context of the calendar based mostly on the present area:

January 2023 calendar grid.
January 2023 calendar grid.
January 2023 calendar grid.

Styling the calendar

You may recall how all the times are only one <ol> with checklist gadgets. To fashion these right into a readable calendar, we dive into the great world of CSS Grid. In truth, we will repurpose the identical grid from a starter calendar template proper right here on CSS-Methods, however up to date a smidge with the :is() relational pseudo to optimize the code.

Discover that I’m defining configurable CSS variables alongside the best way (and prefixing them with ---kalel- to keep away from conflicts).

kal-el :is(ol, ul) {
  show: grid;
  font-size: var(--kalel-fz, small);
  grid-row-gap: var(--kalel-row-gap, .33em);
  grid-template-columns: var(--kalel-gtc, repeat(7, 1fr));
  list-style: none;
  margin: unset;
  padding: unset;
  place: relative;
Seven-column calendar grid with grid lines shown.

Let’s draw borders across the date numbers to assist separate them visually:

kal-el :is(ol, ul) li {
  border-color: var(--kalel-li-bdc, hsl(0, 0%, 80%));
  border-style: var(--kalel-li-bds, stable);
  border-width: var(--kalel-li-bdw, 0 0 1px 0);
  grid-column: var(--kalel-li-gc, preliminary);
  text-align: var(--kalel-li-tal, finish); 

The seven-column grid works positive when the primary day of the month is additionally the primary day of the week for the chosen locale). However that’s the exception moderately than the rule. Most instances, we’ll have to shift the primary day of the month to a special weekday.

Showing the first day of the month falling on a Thursday.

Bear in mind all the additional data-* attributes we outlined when writing our markup? We are able to hook into these to replace which grid column (--kalel-li-gc) the primary date variety of the month is positioned on:

[data-firstday="1"] [data-day="3"]:first-child {
  --kalel-li-gc: 1 / 4;

On this case, we’re spanning from the primary grid column to the fourth grid column — which is able to routinely “push” the subsequent merchandise (Day 2) to the fifth grid column, and so forth.

Let’s add a bit fashion to the “present” date, so it stands out. These are simply my kinds. You possibly can completely do what you’d like right here.

[data-today] {
  --kalel-day-bdrs: 50%;
  --kalel-day-bg: hsl(0, 86%, 40%);
  --kalel-day-hover-bgc: hsl(0, 86%, 70%);
  --kalel-day-c: #fff;

I like the concept of styling the date numbers for weekends in another way than weekdays. I’m going to make use of a reddish coloration to fashion these. Observe that we will attain for the :not() pseudo-class to pick them whereas leaving the present date alone:

[data-weekend]:not([data-today]) { 
  --kalel-day-c: var(--kalel-weekend-c, hsl(0, 86%, 46%));

Oh, and let’s not neglect the week numbers that go earlier than the primary date variety of every week. We used a data-weeknumber attribute within the markup for that, however the numbers received’t really show except we reveal them with CSS, which we will do on the ::earlier than pseudo-element:

[data-weeknumber]::earlier than {
  show: var(--kalel-weeknumber-d, inline-block);
  content material: attr(data-weeknumber);
  place: absolute;
  inset-inline-start: 0;
  /* extra kinds */

We’re technically finished at this level! We are able to render a calendar grid that reveals the dates for the present month, full with issues for localizing the information by locale, and making certain that the calendar makes use of correct semantics. And all we used was vanilla JavaScript and CSS!

However let’s take this yet one more step

Rendering a complete 12 months

Perhaps you could show a full 12 months of dates! So, moderately than render the present month, you may wish to show the entire month grids for the present 12 months.

Properly, the good factor concerning the method we’re utilizing is that we will name the render technique as many instances as we would like and merely change the integer that identifies the month on every occasion. Let’s name it 12 instances based mostly on the present 12 months.

so simple as calling the render-method 12 instances, and simply change the integer for monthi:

[...Array(12).keys()].map(i =>
    new Date(date.getFullYear(),
).be part of('')

It’s most likely a good suggestion to create a brand new mother or father wrapper for the rendered 12 months. Every calendar grid is a <kal-el> component. Let’s name the brand new mother or father wrapper <jor-el>, the place Jor-El is the title of Kal-El’s father.

<jor-el id="app" data-year="true">
  <kal-el data-firstday="7">
    <!-- and many others. -->

  <!-- different months -->

We are able to use <jor-el> to create a grid for our grids. So meta!

jor-el {
  background: var(--jorel-bg, none);
  show: var(--jorel-d, grid);
  hole: var(--jorel-gap, 2.5rem);
  grid-template-columns: var(--jorel-gtc, repeat(auto-fill, minmax(320px, 1fr)));
  padding: var(--jorel-p, 0);

Last demo

Bonus: Confetti Calendar

I learn a superb guide referred to as Making and Breaking the Grid the opposite day and chanced on this stunning “New Yr’s poster”:

Supply: Making and Breaking the Grid (2nd Version) by Timothy Samara

I figured we may do one thing related with out altering something within the HTML or JavaScript. I’ve taken the freedom to incorporate full names for months, and numbers as an alternative of day names, to make it extra readable. Take pleasure in!

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