The Story Behind the Shipwright Framework

The Reasons Behind the Madness

It started as a set of helper-classes

I was always an early adopter of features for web browsing. When CSS 2.0 was first introduced in college, I remember my professor on web design and development treated it like it would never catch on. At the start of my professional career, I always kept a small stylesheet of helper classes around for every project to speed up new site development, as I’m sure every web developer did back in the day.

The Birth of Frameworks

I remember when I first heard about 960 Grid, then Bootstrap, and then Foundation. I looked at them all and even experimented with them. Personally, I had major issues with the 12-column grid even though, mathematically, it made a certain level of sense. 12 is, afterall, the lowest common multiple of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. The biggest issue I have is, what if you are given a design with 5 columns, or 7 columns?

Well, write your own classes! I’ve heard cried out before. Then, why use frameworks if you’re going to have to write your own structural classes? I’ve seen other, far more limiting elements of frameworks, Bootstrap especially. At it’s age, Bootstrap is quite large, and has a lot of UI/UX tied into it.

Of course, Bootstrap was never created with the intent of being a framework to develop websites from scratch. Bootstrap, authored by Twitter’s internal development team, was created as a way for the internal development team to rapidly deploy web prototypes without involving their internal design team. Skeleton, another online framework, provided a lot more of what I was looking for, but was still saddled with the 12-column grid that I feel is more limiting.

It’s not Bootstrap’s fault for being limited or bloated. The problem is asking it to do jobs it’s not meant to do. Which leads to lots of sites looking like Bootstrap Sites.

Design Leads Development

As a web developer, I’ve always believed it’s my job to make the designer’s vision a reality. The creation of frameworks like Bootstrap and Foundation has limited web designers, forcing them to design to the constraints of a framework. I have worked with designers and find that they work best without pre-set constraints to their design.

The Creation of Shipwright

6 years of experience on the field, building custom websites for clients and as a business, I decided to expand my current set of ‘helper-classes’ to create my own CSS/HTML/Javascript Framework. The business I worked for at the time had a nautical theme with it’s branding, so, in honor of that, I have decided to name my framework Shipwright.