June 18th, 2007
Jeff Croft, writing for A List Apart, throws out a suggestion to anyone developing web interfaces with CSS: frameworks can work for you, too.
Frameworks are a hot topic on the web today, names like Ruby on Rails, Django, Cake, and Prototype.js are all over the place. For the uninitiated, Jeff gives us a nice definition of a framework in the article,
[…] a set of tools, libraries, conventions, and best practices that attempt to abstract routine tasks into generic modules that can be reused. The goal here is to allow the designer or developer to focus on tasks that are unique to a given project, rather than reinventing the wheel each time around.
Jeff points out there’s no reason you can’t do this with CSS, as well. There are certainly things that you write project after project, and the use of a framework would reduce repetition and increase maintainability. It’s always nice that if someone is out sick, that another person can quickly go through their code and know where to find the part that needs a tweak. Of course, someone doesn’t need to be missing to take advantage the efficiency of a framework. Having a “self descriptive” code library provides a level of documentation to make any long term maintenance of the system far more efficient.
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