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Before Makers, I wasn’t aware that CSS frameworks existed. I guess having learned from scratch and building my first website on Microsoft FrontPage 97, I learned CSS from first principles.
During Makers it became clear that I’d spent thousands of hours doing work that didn’t need to be done – it could have been done much faster and better if I’d just known what Bootstrap was. But then again, can you say that? Sometimes the goal you think you are chasing is just a vehicle by which you learn a skill. The actual project – like so many in my youth – never actually gets built. But I learn a lot along the way. And if it wasn’t for those thousands of hours I’d spent writing vanilla CSS, I don’t think I’d be in the position I’m in now where I can code a CSS layout from memory.
So, in recent weeks, I’ve noticed that I’ve been typing the same code over and over and over again when building new websites. There’s even a certain amount of code that I like to start with on any project that makes a few very important changes to the default settings imposed by browsers.
Then there’s the whole question of mobile layouts versus laptop layouts.
During Makers, I used Bootstrap on one project and Bulma on another. But in both cases, when you start to have preferences about your page design and don’t just want something respectable in the fastest possible time, you start to add custom CSS and, with both of those frameworks, we ended up with CSS conflicts that were too deep and complex for us to solve.
Ever since then, I’ve been thinking about creating my own CSS framework. Something highly flexible that doesn’t impose upon the designer a whole bunch of stuff they don’t want.
When you add bulma or bootstrap to a HTML or PHP file, you simply import it from a CDN (content delivery network) using one line of code in the HTML header. And that’s it. Sounds easy – but what if you don’t want EVERYTHING?
I want to take a different approach. I want to somehow create a CSS framework that allows the designer to take only what they want without any of the rest of it. That way, they’ll still be free to customise their own preferences without their code conflicting with the framework.
I have not yet fully decided how this will work, though I do have some initial ideas. It should be an interesting little project.
More when there is more.