Christian Montoya

Blueprint, Montoya-style

I've been following Blueprint since I first heard about it, back when it was at version 0.2. That's been at least 3 weeks, right? Anyway, I was very interested in the project from the start and I have been following the mailing list closely ever since, contributing advice and information (because, you know, CSS is kind of my thing). I already see Blueprint as something that can save me a significant amount of time on each project where I would use it, since it provides so much basic styling out-of-the-box.

Still, I have not been without my doubts about the way Blueprint development has been going. I'll admit that I've criticized it since I started following the discussions for being bloated, and in some places, a bit careless. In its current form, there are a lot of things I would change before it would truly "work" for me.

I mentioned to the group over a week ago that I would put all my changes together and share them with everyone to hopefully contribute to the development as a whole. It took me a while to get down to it, but I finally managed to make significant progress on this and so far what I have is up at my lab. To summarize my changes:

  • I removed a lot of bloat from reset.css, which was based on the original version by Eric Meyer. I wish people would stop using Eric's file, and I know I'm going to get flak for this, but let me explain: I seriously think Eric's reset.css was put together as an example of how to eliminate all and any default styling on all html elements. It has a lot of things that are totally unnecessary, like removing margins and padding from inline elements. If people are looking for reset.css files that are actually meant to be used in a production environment, well, they should really be looking for initial.css files, about which I wrote an article some time ago: CSS techniques I use all the time.
  • I applied everything within reason from The Elements of Typographic Style applied to the Web, which I really think should be required reading for everyone involved in web design. I haven't gotten everything exactly right, but I'm pretty close.

Now, I've submitted these modifications to the Blueprint community and I don't know where they will take them, but I'm really hoping these changes will be accepted since I think they are essential to improving Blueprint and making it a lot lighter. If they aren't accepted, I can just about guarantee that I will end up releasing my own CSS framework very soon, and there's a chance that I will do it regardless, since there are a lot of things that are done a certain way in Blueprint which wouldn't fit every site (so, the more variety the better, right?). To put it another way, I think the fault with Blueprint right now is that there are too many people approaching its development as a means to make a framework that can provide the styling for an entire website without the need for any extra CSS work period, which in some ways is a decent goal but in other ways just doesn't make sense as far as frameworks are concerned. Things like applying specific styles to links make a good example of what I don't think a framework should do.

So… I'm interested in hearing whatever you might think about me possibly making my own framework (based to some degree on Blueprint, but still very different) and any ideas you might have about things that are done well, or not so well, with Blueprint in its current form.

Update 8/31/07: I am now an official member of the Blueprint team, and some of my changes are being used in the next release :)

Thank you for reading • Published on August 31st, 2007 • Please take a moment to share this with your friends