A Boilerform Idea

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Chris Coyier on (Updated on )

This is just a random idea, but I can’t stop it from swirling around in my head.

Whenever I need to style a form on a fresh project where the CSS and style guide stuff is just settling in, the temptation to reach for a mini form framework is strong. Form elements are finicky, have little cross-browser issues, and are sometimes downright hard to wrassle away styling control.

This idea, which I’m just now managing to write about, but haven’t actually done any work toward, would be this mini-form framework. Maybe something like “Boilerform”, as Dave jokingly suggested on an episode of ShopTalk.

I imagine it going something like this:

  • It would have basic form-styling to organize form elements, not unlike something like Foundation forms;
  • Account for cross browser issues, not unlike normalize.css;
  • Strong-arm styling control over form elements, not unlike WTF, forms?; and
  • Include native browser form validation stuff, including UX improvements via native JavaScript API’s, not unlike Validate.js.

I think there is value in combining those things into one thing, but doing so with…

  1. A light touch, and without any more opinion about the final styling as possible, and with
  2. Flexibility, perhaps showing off a gallery of different form types with varied styling.

I probably don’t have time to head up a project like this, but I wouldn’t mind helping connect humans who also see value here and wanna give it a shot.