Whenever we needed fresh HTML and CSS for a new project, the procedure started the same: Copy & Paste. I always took the basic structure of old projects, adjusted the code to my current need, eradicated old mistakes, tried newly learned tricks, ?. Through the years some code and techniques proved either the best or the most asked for. In order to save time I had the idea to compile some basic HTML and CSS together to a kind of “HTML/CSS framework”.
Such a framework was on my mind for quite a long time (probably 4 or 5 years). But only since we had more projects where we were responsible for the HTML (and not, as was often the case before, some agency), it was worthwhile to develop it. So, in August last year I suggested to our CEOs to invest some time into making our lives easier.
I started on 28th of August 2007 with some research on already existing CSS frameworks:
Although those are great for beginners and advanced coders, IMHO they are just “too much” and too restrictive for professionals. (They are still good learning material for professionals.) Not a CSS framework, but something like what I had in mind:
After my research it was clear to me: I wanted to write something deliberately different from those frameworks (and not call it “framework”).
On the 12th of September I presented my precious CiSSi (Detlef named it originally “Cosmos imperative Source'n'Styling instructions”, I renamed it “CosmoCode's incredible Source 'n' Styling instructions”) to my colleagues. By that time the “famous 90%” of CiSSi were finished. (“You get the first 90% of work done in 10% of the time. And the last 10% of work in 90% of the time.” Who actually said that? Never mind, it is just true!)
My colleagues were soon convinced of the main benefits and scenarios:
it saves time
it eases the beginning of a project
mistakes are not made a second time
it helps building naming conventions
developers have already basic code to start with (without having to wait for the HTML
small project customers can choose a structure, colours and send a logo - done!
for all the rest (designers, decision makers, big project customers) it can still be a help to get started
Although CiSSi was first designed to serve only CosmoCode's internal purposes, we soon decided to publish it under an OpenSource license. But why releasing it now and not back in September? First, we had a lot of “pressure projects” over the last few months. Then, because of the other “famous 10%”.