Dev Depot: Covering All Your Css Bases With Base

Stephen Yagielowicz

Adult website developers are used to taking shortcuts towards bringing sites to market and this means that any advantage in development time or site quality will pay dividends. According to its publisher, Base (matthewhartman.github.com/base/) is a super simple, responsive design framework intended to work across mobile devices, tablets and desktop computers. Built for all devices big and small, Base has your CSS needs covered.

Developed in LESS, Base uses this powerful CSS pre-processor to help coders write cleaner and more organized CSS, which can be more easily maintain over time, without the typical headaches of plain old “vanilla” CSS.

Developed in LESS, Base uses this powerful CSS pre-processor to help coders write cleaner and more organized CSS, which can be more easily maintain over time, without the typical headaches of plain old “vanilla” CSS.

On top of its minimal styling selections that provide basic styles for HTML headings, block quotes, forms, list items, tables, typography and other elements, Base also includes several JavaScript plugins which allow useful interactions to be more easily implemented across various screen sizes and display platforms.

The free Base download includes the 12 column grid template in PSD format along with the Base style sheet and LESS file for easy customization of the styles. An HTML5 template including jQuery plus a default JavaScript file with enhancements and fallbacks is provided to help you get started developing sites with Base.

All Base CSS style sheets are contained within the less directory, with the publisher recommending the use of WinLess to export the final output to the site’s root / directory. A main CSS file, style.less, offers a neatly laid out structure and features comments for easy editing. The 12 column fluid and responsive grid layout caters to mobile devices, tablets and desktop computers alike. Columns can be wrapped within a .section or .clear div to clear the floats, allowing for extreme flexibility of design.

Employing a default global font size of 14px and a line-height of 22px, Base converts these measures into rem units for scalability and accessibility, applying the formatting to the <body> and all text paragraphs. Paragraphs also receive an additional bottom margin equal to half their line-height, or 11px, by default. Because rem units are not supported in all web browsers, a specific pixel size fallback is provided.

Base is compatible with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7+, as well as modern browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera. Base is also focused on client accessibility; working with screen readers in mind while offering non-JavaScript fallbacks for top compatibility.

Having its latest update released at the end of March, the Base framework is in active development with users offering feedback on improvements, furthering the release cycle.

The developers recommend that before downloading Base, users get their hands on a good code editor, such as Sublime Text Editor 2, as well as some working knowledge of HTML and CSS — which you’re unlikely to be interested in this product without having.

Regardless of how it fits into your workflow, Base is an easy way to jumpstart your next responsive design project, especially if you are already familiar with LESS and just want a timesaving starting point. Check it and see if it will help your designing stand out.

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