"Making and Breaking the Grid", by Timothy Samara, really inspired me to explore grid-based Web design. While grid-based Web design seems to be second nature, grids-based CSS libraries are a relatively young innovation. Furthermore, in my own research I have found only one library that is relatively modular, and not based on pixels: YUI Grids. Many of Gridular's concepts are derived directly from YUI Grids. However, YUI Grids has both features that I do not need, and shortcomings that I would like to address, which I extrapolate below.
- Simple enough to remain legible and have a low learning curve
- Few or zero browser hacks
- Compatible with YUI A-Grade browsers, except MSIE6 (It's not worth the maintenance of hacks with its market share ~5%)
- .gr is a pseudo-namespace
- Allow for nestable and potentially complex grid layouts
- Rely on % and em for units, so that layouts are be scalable and code is modular and concise
Differences with YUI Grids
Many of the features of Gridular are meant to be improvements on perceived shortcomings of the YUI Grids library:
- Class names are simpler and hopefully easier to learn
- Grid nesting should work as newcomers would assume
- Support for grid margins and unit gutters
- Support layouts with fixed-position elements (tentative)
Some "improvements" are subject to opinion:
- "Unit Multipliers" (e.g., .gr-3 for thirds) are more straightforward than arbitrary class names for grid configurations (e.g., .yui-gb, .yui-gc, .yui-gd) that are easy to confuse
- No support for layouts that cater to IAB standards.
Some of these differences are merely features that I do not wish to support. However, I do intend to allow Gridular to play fair within YUI Grids (or other relatively flexible and sufficiently namespaced grid libraries), in case you need features that are not supported by Gridular.
Gridular Vocabulary (subject to change)
"Tentative" features are not yet supported.
- A `.gr` that encapsulates *units*, which can be seen as "columns". Without constituent units, a `.gr` is useful as a clearfix.
- Grid Container (Tentative)
- A `.gr-c` nested within a `.gr` for the purposes of accommodating user-defined *grid styles* that cannot be accomplished with a support *grid style coefficient*
- Grid Style (Only `.gr-m` supported yet)
- A class for spatial styles that affects a *grid* and all of its *units*: `.gr-m`, `.gr-p`, and `.gr-b`
- Grid Style Coefficient (Tentative)
- A class that can be added to a `.gr` with a *grid style* to either increase or decrease the units of the *grid*s *spatial styles*
- A constituent `.gr-u` of a *grid*
- Unit Factor (Only `.gr-3` supported yet)
- A class that can be added to a `.gr` to specify its quantity of *units*: `.gr-3`, `.gr-5`, etc. (Note that a `.gr` without a *unit factor* will create a *grid* with 2 *units*)
- Fixed Grid (Tentative)
- A `.gr-f` is a *grid* that is fixed-positioned to a side of the viewport
Gridular is an Alpha Library!
The vocabulary (and corresponding class selectors) are still being assessed, and are subject to change, until the library is at least in Beta form. It is strongly discouraged to rely on Gridular in production environments until it is more fully developed.
- Decide how to handle collapsing margins of adjacent grids
- Finalize basic terms and API
- Assess dependency on Eric Meyer's reset CSS
- Consider this issue of YUI Grids's usage of ems/percentages