Christian Montoya

Blueprint version 0.8

As you might have heard, I have taken over the Blueprint project along with Joshua Clayton as of September 2nd. This came after months during which I lapsed on my involvement with the project; I began with my contribution of a completely realigned typography.css, then began contributing small bits of advice as I developed Construct, but finally slowed to a halt as I was forced to focus all of my energy on my demanding dayjob(s). When I realized that Blueprint had gone dormant, however, I decided to do everything I could to revive it & realize a stable, 1.0 release. Taking over the project in September was an important step toward that goal, but to be honest, I struggled with the Github learning curve, as well as understanding all the things Olav had done with the core since I had stopped paying attention months ago. I spent quite a while just getting "up to speed."

I'm happy to say, though, that I'm no longer struggling to catch up with Blueprint (much thanks to Joshua for that). Over the past couple weeks, I've been squashing bugs, fixing mistakes, implementing new features, and committing all my changes like a good project leader. Over the weekend I did a number of improvements to the project, which included fixing oversights in the core files, resolving a boatload of bugs, and bringing back a number of plugins that had fallen by the wayside since version 0.6. There's still a lot of work to be done to get Blueprint to a proper 1.0 release, but I made enough progress with the framework to say that it has now reached a new milestone and I'm calling that milestone 0.8.

I'm not going to give a feature-by-feature breakdown of what makes 0.8 different from 0.7.1, but suffice it to say that 0.8 represents my vision of Blueprint being just as flexible and intuitive to use as it is easy. I'm focusing on the novice designer that will work with the framework "out of the box," and I'm doing my best to make sure that they have as many tools at their disposable as possible while also preventing them from running into unexpected problems that don't make sense. Case in point: I changed the rule for "p img" to "p img.left," you can view my reasoning in the related discussion thread. On the plugins, I've brought back some plugins like RTL, Buttons, and Link Icons, and since this release I've also released a new plugin that I developed on my own called Tabs.

All that being said, Blueprint is a ton of work. I love the project and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that everyone from expert to beginner is using it in the next year, but I think you can tell that it's more work than what a couple of people can handle. I haven't even had time to work on Construct in the past few months, which I still consider to be extremely important to the goals of Blueprint as a framework. So I'm looking for more people to get involved with the development of Blueprint. I posted a call for contribution on the mailing list, and I'm posting that again here:

At this point I need the Blueprint community to help out, so that we can ensure that 0.8 is really solid & ready-to-go, and get this project moving closer to version 1.0. Here's what Blueprint needs:

  • A real & well-maintained browser compatibility list, preferably based on testing done in the OS & correct browser for each case, rather than just based on I would like to put this on a page in the Wiki as well as in the project source. People will be more willing to use Blueprint when they have a compatibility list they can refer to and show within their organizations. This should either be tackled by one person or multiple people; if you are interested in being responsible for all testing or just one browser/platform, let me know. Blueprint tests
  • A run through of all the bugs in Lighthouse. I've resolved or closed as many bugs as I could, and what's left is either bugs that are more than a quick fix, or bugs that lack examples and are therefore hard to verify. If you have submitted a bug in the past 6 months, please go to the bug tracker and see if it's been resolved. If not, it probably needs looking at again. Blueprint bugs
  • New tutorials & a new cheat-sheet; this is really just a matter of making sure the current tutorials are up-to-date, and if not, take a stab at fixing that. Blueprint tutorials
  • A better homepage. Back in the day, Ludwig Wendzich & Olav Bjorkoy were working on this mockup. This is how jQuery's download section works, and I would like to be able to offer this for Blueprint too. Does anyone here know what needs to be done to replicate this for Blueprint? Also, if you know of anyone who would be willing to sponsor a server for hosting a tool like this, let me know. I imagine it would be a bit heavier than the simple one-pager I have on a basic server right now.
  • Finally, I'm trying to build more community features for Blueprint. For now, if you use Facebook, you can add yourself as a fan on the Blueprint page. And if you use LinkedIn, you can join the professional Blueprint group.

Join up and contribute!

Well, you've got the whole story now. If you want to be a part of the best CSS framework in the world, let me know! There's lots to do and lots more to accomplish :)

Thank you for reading • Published on November 11th, 2008 • Please take a moment to share this with your friends