Joys of Starting from Scratch

Many may think that this post is odd, but when you toil in a large, bureaucratic organization, starting and working on something new, from scratch is a treat. Recently I got to do it three times. Instead of maintaining a five year old code base and just fixing and updating it or adding on a feature here or there, I was given new mock-ups and told to go wild. I admit that at first I was so excited I hardly knew what to do. But then I started to think, really think about what type of standards I wanted to set for all the new sites and redesigns that will come in the future. The designer chose a 12 column grid, so I rolled my own small CSS framework for it, rather than use one that already exists and seemed quite bloated. Then I continued to think. I wanted the CSS to be as compact as possible and where have I heard that before? From Nicole, of course. Off to the OOCSS github I went and downloaded the code to see what would work for our situation. Thank you so much OOCSS for your margins and padding, you percentage splits to divide columns, you are a God send. Then it was time to start and I enjoyed every minute. The best part? This all happened about 8 months ago on the first of the three sites and because of the things I instituted then, the sites I’ve done since have been a breeze. I don’t think I’ll ever do another site again without incorporating some part of OOCSS, at the very least the margins and padding cause it is so wonderful to not write that over and over in your CSS. Not that anything is perfect, but anything that cuts down on how much you have to write over and over again, is wonderful.

What would I do differently? Well, once we can get LESS working on the server side, then that’s when I think the real fun will come. We hesitate to use it until it is on the servers so that folks with JavaScript disabled aren’t left out on the styles, but I’m so excited to see how much that will increase efficiency in writing the code.