Thoughts on improving FSS

Justin Obara obara.justin at
Fri Aug 26 13:18:20 UTC 2011

I just read the "Writing CSS For Others" post on Smashing Magazine, and have some thoughts on our approach to implementing the FSS.

What we have to always remember is that the FSS is not intended as a be-all-end-all CSS framework. Rather, it is meant to be a starting point for others to develop "their own" CSS framework quickly, while maintaining some level of commonality across products/projects. This would allow an integrator to benefit from the FSS's theming and UI Options integration, and not be required to make a cookie cutter type web site. Most of our focus, in this regard, has been around not bloating the FSS files. We haven't focused enough on the point of "How easy is this to understand and extend?". While I don't think that the FSS is necessarily doing a bad job at this, I think there is room for improvement.

Below is a list of improvements we could make to the FSS. I've tried to capture issues that we've been talking about, but may have missed or mistaken some. Please feel free to chime in with what you think may be needed or could be done better.

Remove dependencies between CSS files (e.g. themes and components).
Remove duplication of styles (e.g. colour styles in the theme files).
Reevaluate the current file structure of FSS. Should it be separated across files differently?
Reevaluate what the themes are for. Just colour, or layout too?
Develop a consistent "style" for writing our CSS much like we have for our JS. (e.g. single vs. multiline, grouping of declarations, commenting and etc.)
Expand FSS to work with the new features of HTML5 and CSS3.
Develop a build system to minify and concatenate our CSS.
Develop an Infusion theme and use FSS throughout Infusion. This should be useful in determining the effectiveness of the FSS as well as providing more examples of how to use it.

While I don't believe we'll get to all of these for the 1.4 release, we should keep them in mind moving forward. 


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