Jens Oliver Meiert

HTML/CSS Frameworks: Useful, Universal, Usable, Unobtrusive

Post from November 18, 2009 (↻ March 10, 2017), filed under .

This is not necessarily all wrong but somewhat dated. I threw all the experience I could muster into a little book on the matter: Check out The Little Book of HTML/CSS Frameworks for a fresh look at, frameworks.

A high quality HTML/CSS framework needs to have four attributes: useful, universal, usable, and unobtrusive. The four U’s.

Now that we think about it, maybe the universal margin and padding reset—the one I had to tweet about again for simplicity reasons—is the only HTML/CSS “framework” that ever gets close to these requirements. (Choke certainly does not.)

I at least, the grim web developer, am too much in love with tailored solutions. And so I might share more about this framework I wrote for Google, maybe, the one that I referenced so subtly in July. (And yet this is still a personal post.)

About the Author

Jens Oliver Meiert, photo of July 27, 2015.

Jens Oliver Meiert is an author, developer (O’Reilly, W3C, ex-Google), and philosopher. He experiments with art and adventure. Here on meiert.com he shares and generalizes and exaggerates some of his thoughts and experiences.

There’s more Jens in the archives and at Goodreads. If you have any questions or concerns (or recommendations) about what he writes, leave a comment or a message.

Comments (Closed)

  1. On November 18, 2009, 19:23 CET, Neovov said:

    Thanks for the ending teasing…
    This go.css made me do some regular expression to make it readable (but still uncomprehensible).

    Nice post, but I’m still wondering if a great HTML/CSS framework can exists (depending of the “framework” definition). Maybe if you have to make a billion pages for an huge customer. But for different customers?

    Through the time I made a kind of HTML/CSS squeletton I use in each project I work on. But I find it still uncomplete… (I’m sure you can help 😉 )

    BTW, isn’t there a problem with the Choke’s file weight in your post ? (Choke 1.0 (ZIP, 189,210,670 KB))

  2. On November 18, 2009, 22:08 CET, Vladimir Carrer said:

    Interesting thoughts.
    If I should define CSS Framework in one sentence I will say: CSS Framework is making high level reusable CSS Code

  3. On November 20, 2009, 10:39 CET, Thomas @ DailyThomas.com said:

    Maybe, one day, I’ll start using a html/css framework. For now, I just don’t see the benefit of it. Maybe I’m just too conservative… I also still use wsftp95 for uploading my files… lol !

  4. On November 24, 2009, 14:34 CET, Richard said:

    There will probably never be an ideal HTML/CSS framework but often it is a case of just avoiding reinventing the wheel (even if the wheel we are using is a little wonky and doesn’t handle corners well, ha ha).
    Do you have have any recommendations on frameworks that meet or come close to your ideals?

  5. On November 30, 2009, 15:12 CET, Alan Gresley said:

    Just give me some pieces of 4 by 2 (timber), nails and a hammer and all is well. I build up code fragments like this in NoteTab.

    <code &lt;  &gt;
    ^!InsertHtml <CODE>&lt;^&&gt;</CODE>
    
    <li><a href=""
    ^!InsertHtml <LI><A href="">^&</A></LI>
    

    This produces this in the source.

    <code>&lt;&gt;</code>
    
    <li><a href=""></a></li>
    

    You can create some very large code fragments and even optional selection boxes. Take some time to build up though.

    Frameworks look so bloated in comparison.

  6. On December 23, 2009, 18:54 CET, Alan said:

    Meiert’s four U’s sounds like a good principle to me, Maybe i should be concentrating on the last one since it looks like google will be leaning more and more on the speed of websites after adding the speed section to the webmaster tools.

  7. On May 10, 2010, 15:13 CEST, Webstandard-Blog said:

    Sounds good Jens, but a lot of those HTML-& CSS-Frameworks includes a lot of code-overhead you don’t really needs (mostly). Therefore I reduce it, as much as I can and the web-projetc needs.

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