This summer will mark the release of Chassis (opens in new tab), a CSS project I am working on with the jQuery Foundation.
Initially a plan to separate out the CSS of jQuery Mobile and jQuery UI into its own project, Chassis has transformed into a blueprint for an independent CSS framework and UI toolkit.
It will be launched in three phases: the creation of a CSS Framework, followed by the implementation of a UI toolkit, and finally helping to make Chassis usable across a range of projects and frameworks.
Phase 01: CSS framework
Features that will be part of this initial release include: typography, tables, form elements, buttons, helper classes and a grid system.
It is important to note that jQuery UI and jQuery Mobile will start adopting Chassis during this phase by removing the 'CSS framework' part of their codebase.
This means that Chassis will become interchangeable with other CSS frameworks that provide similar functionality, making the modular development of jQuery UI or jQuery Mobile projects much easier.
As Chassis will be an independent CSS framework, you'll be able to use it separately as a starting point for your own projects, without requiring jQuery UI or jQuery Mobile.
Phase 02: UI toolkit
The second phase of the Chassis project will be the implementation of UI components and widgets common in jQuery Mobile and jQuery UI.
With the help of build tools and an SCSS preprocessor, it will be easy to customise Chassis to fit the needs of your particular project. By using BEM as a naming convention and moving away from the 'cascading' part of CSS, we'll make it easier to re-theme Chassis, without having to overwrite styles with increasing specificity or tackling the dreaded !important .
Phase 03: Adoption
In order to make Chassis usable for projects that aren't based on jQuery Foundation's frameworks, we'll be working with other developers to make adoption easier.
All of this will be made possible through our collaboration with the wider open source community throughout all phases of the Chassis project. The jQuery Foundation and I look forward to revealing more about Chassis in the coming months.
If you're interested in helping out or learning more, please visit css-chassis.com (opens in new tab).
Words: Sarah Frisk
Sarah is the project lead for Chassis and a software developer at Portland Webworks. When she’s not coding, Sarah works on her two webcomics. Find out more at sarahfrisk.com (opens in new tab). This article was oriignally published in net magazine (opens in new tab) issue 267.
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