We've been talking recently about the next major version of Foundation, including Foundation for Apps and we wanted to tell you more about Foundation 5.3, or Foundation for Sites as it will be called from here on out, released today.
The Web is big, and complicated, and to expect a single version of a framework to work for everything is impossible. Foundation needs to grow and change to accommodate everything we want to do on the Web, and Foundation 5.3 is a major step in that direction.
We've been working hard to close down issues (hundreds, in fact), merge in pull requests (hundreds), and generally make Foundation 5.3 as bulletproof as possible so that Foundation for Sites can continue to be an incredibly powerful, advanced resource for building more traditional marketing or content sites. You can get it now from the Foundation site, but read on to see why we're moving this direction, and what 5.3 brings to the table. It's pretty neat (if we say so ourselves).
Why Foundation for Sites?
At ZURB we're heavily focused on product design — but products still need exposure and information, so we create a lot of marketing sites and content sites that need to work on any device, just like the apps they represent. While Foundation for Apps is in progress, and will be an amazing tool to create powerful Web apps, we still need Foundation to help create responsive sites.
We could merge everything into Foundation for Apps, have one monolithic framework for Sites, Apps, maybe even emails with Ink! But we don't believe that's a good solution, from a code-management perspective or from a feature-bloat perspective.
Bugs, baby. Well, the lack thereof. We've closed down several hundred issues and merged in dozens upon dozens of pull requests for this version because we're committed to Foundation for Sites being as robust as possible.
While this is Foundation for Sites, we couldn't resist adding a couple of nifty new components to make your life a little easier (and even support a little dabbling in apps). That includes a newly revamped switch component, perfect for settings toggles or view modes. These switches are easy to style, work everywhere, and require no JS. It's pretty rad.
We also added an icon bar component, a nav or action element similar to what you see fixed to the tops and bottoms of apps. It supports icons with text — icons or text only — as well as horizontal and vertical configurations. As with anything in Foundation, it's easy to restyle and totally flexible.
A Good Open-Source Citizen
One more thing on Foundation for Sites. Open-source has been very good to us. We've been happy to be one of the top open-source projects on Github for the last couple of years, and in that time many other amazing projects have sprung up to accomplish great things.
Moving forward with Foundation for Sites we'll be working hard to have Foundation leverage some of that amazing work in more direct ways; starting with deprecating Orbit in lieu of an amazing project called Slick from Ken Wheeler. Ken has made something pretty great in Slick, a content/image carousel slider that supports everything Orbit supports, and has a dedicated developer and works fantastically with Foundation. We've noted in the Foundation docs that Orbit will no longer be developed, freeing us up to focus on components in Foundation that only we can bring to the table.
In the future, we'll be looking closely at projects like Slick to see if they can fill gaps in Foundation, or enable us to move the framework forward even more quickly. Give Slick a try, it's ... okay, pretty slick. Sorry about that one.
So Much More on the Way…
In the coming weeks, we'll be telling you more about Foundation for Apps, as well as future version of Foundation for Sites. Ink will also be merging into Foundation as Foundation for Email, all part of our
dastardly plan to dominate all life ambitious plan to make your coding life that much more awesome. Hit us up any time, through comments or the Foundation Forum, with your thoughts and comments. We can't do this without you.