There is almost always some CSS you use in every project, if you make that easily reusable you only have to write that once, your own ‘framework’. That, and normalize (I remove the parts of normalize I overwrite in my own CSS though, saves a kB or two ;) )
@tannercampbell, your comments here made me lol :P
@tannercampbell, I love frameworks too.
I’m relatively new to web development (about 18-months now). My first live client site http://arxotica.com was launched last May. It was responsive and a custom WordPress theme, and IMHO surprisingly decent, thanks to Zurb’s Foundation and Themefortress’ Reverie theme.
Undoubtedly, these sites are heavy with unused CSS. That is starting to bother me more, but not enough to stop using them. I’m trying out Skeleton for a new project which is all about being lean. But may go back to Foundation. Or I may check out Blueprint.
I think Frameworks help a lot, and I’m grateful that Framework authors share their secret sauce and extensive experience.
I’ve never had to use one and probably never will. The one time I looked at several of them, it was a bloated mess with classes that didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I like to think I’m pretty good with CSS and I actually enjoy writing lean and efficient CSS on a per project basis. I don’t like grid systems because they class things with columns and things that aren’t true in a responsive layout. Just because its 5 columns or 30% at desktop size, doesn’t mean it’s the same proportions at mobile sizes. I rarely even uses classes and IDs because I can target most things with clean HTML selectors. Anyway, I’ve only ever worked on one corporate level site that used blueprint and it was a friggen nightmare. I really only ever work on small to medium sites, so writing only what’s needed suits me better. I do use a version of Eric Meyers reset that I modified, but that’s a pretty small chunk compared to Bootstrap or Foundation. Just my thoughts, but CSS is so fun to write… Why doesn’t everyone love writing it!
That is just it in my opinion. A bunch of extra stuff you will more than likely never use. Unless you learn the framework you will be using in and out and apply everything to every project, I think it is better to collect various snippets as I go that i find myself using all the time…
Though i will say i dabbled with Blueprint on a few projects and it really wasn’t bad at all. I just prefer keeping things a little more organized/cleaner.
I have used a bunch of frameworks and have been frustrated by the same issues as the rest of you. In particular, I was amazed by the lack of consideration for big screens as RWD seems obsessed with smaller viewports.
As a result, I set about making my own. [You can see it here.](http://ashloudon.me/respondo/ “Respondo”)
My focus was on keeping the learning curve as shallow as possible, avoiding bloat, maximising semantic elements and scaling **properly** across viewports. I also thought that we should have a touch-specific style sheet.
The downloadable version is uncompressed and well commented so you can jump straight in.
Normalize is practically indispensable. It takes care of many little bugs between browsers but still leaves the natural functionality of the browser in place. Resets like Eric Meyer’s “Reset CSS” make a big mess of CSS and remove all basic styling, it’s just not a good thing to do project time wise or load time wise.
Bootstrap has a lot of CSS it uses which can be heavy, but if you’re using LESS it’s easier to get what you want and then strip out the rest.
The 960 Grid System is also very helpful if implemented correctly. If you’re designing for a CMS then you can create templates for the clients and they can more easily format content when they have no prior experience with HTML and CSS.
It all depends on what your project is, but I would highly suggest Normalize and the 960 Grid System for every one if possible. I’ve built sites for companies all over the world and believe me it has saved me much frustration at times. lol
I have written a blog post on this topic as my opinions have changed quite a lot regarding frameworks over the past few months!
Feel free to give it a read: http://joshuajohnson.co.uk/blog/opinions-on-frameworks/
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