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BlueTripCSS – Combination of Popular CSS Frameworks

Posted · Category: Framework, GPL License, MIT License

CSS Frameworks have been a hot topic the past few months. Although they’ve been getting a lot of heat from semantic freaks and minimalists (for adding unnecessary code), I think they’re a step forward. Web design is about doing things quickly and beautifully. No matter how you feel about frameworks, it’s undeniable that they speed up the design process.

We have seen some of the popular CSS Framework like, 960.gs, Blueprint, YAML. Capsize Designs decided to combine the good points of each of them to get something that I was satisfied with. He has pretty much taken the entire grid from Blueprint (with a bunch of his own changes) and the entire typography from Tripoli (with a bunch more of his changes). Since most of it came from BlueprintCSS or Tripoli, This CSS Framework is called BlueTrip. The end result ended up really nice.

Blue Trip CSS Framework

Requirements: –
Demo: http://capsizedesigns.com/blog/2008/04/bluetripcss…
License: MIT and GPL License

  • > “Web design is about doing things quickly and beautifully.”

    These frameworks may well help speed things up (although I find improving my own skills/knowledge is the better method), but they certainly do not make things beautiful. In fact they do the complete opposite by encouraging you to create meaningless tag soup markup.

    Whatever happned to actually learning and perfecting your craft rather than relying on cheap inefficient shortcuts?

    The only time you’d catch me using one of these frameworks is for prototyping, never for a real production that someone has paid good money for.

  • @Ryan

    I don’t know your professional situation, but in my experience, 90% of designers end up with their own set of tags that they use on a regular basis. Whether or not they are semantic may be up for debate, but in my mind, a design firm needs a common system that is consistent, understandable, and helpful, or else each designer will do their own thing and coordination will slow things down. If a non-semantic class name is the only price we have to pay for that, then I say bring it on. It’s just a class. Let the ID’s describe the content. If you feel that they’re inefficient, then that’s another issue altogether (although millions of designers using Blueprint, YUI, 960.gs, and Tripoli would disagree).

    -Mike, Capsize Designs

  • Great to see some discussing about the Frameworks out there. I’d love to see more of this, especially reviews on AJAX frameworks.


  • Mike, I am a professional web developer building sites every day. I use my own framework that blends speedy development with the knowledge one should have as a professional in the field.

    The aim of my personal framework (which team members also use) is to cut down on repeat work and kick start development. When it comes the main meat of styling the content we deal with that case by case. Presentation is handled in the CSS and with meaningful identifiers and classes, not through presentational classes such as those used in bluetrip (span-1, span-12, prefix-1 etc). There are many advantages to taking this route, one being that once the content and structure has been defined you are *almost* entirely working within the CSS, no need to go back and change classes, ids or structure in the HTML (as you often have to with blueprint, yui etc). This is the whole point in separating content from presentation.

    Of course I encourage researching these frameworks to learn more and to use them in rapid protoyping. I also recommend developing a custom framework but as I’ve stated I do not consider cookie cutter frameworks suitable for real world professional situations.

  • @Ryan

    Fair enough.

  • James


    Guys, that was an interesting exchange. Obviously you’re both coming at it from a designers point of view and I respect your opinions. From my point of view, as a developer, I like what these frameworks can bring to the game without me having to have such an indepth understanding of CSS.

    I’ve only just been in the position to employ a designer to help me out with our projects, so previously these kind of frameworks were a real boon!

  • Chris


    “Whatever happned to actually learning and perfecting your craft rather than relying on cheap inefficient shortcuts?”

    You said yourself you are using a css framework you made, and is used by your team members,

    that’s actually contradictory to what you stated, Your team members use your framework that you made, .. what happened to actually learnign and perfecting your craft if they’ll just use your framework

  • @Chris
    By that reasoning, no one should be using jQuery, CodeIgniter, Rails, Dojo, CakePHP, Groovy, ExtJS, or any other framework. Perhaps we should also abandon all CMS and blogging platforms because they allow us to get the job done without coding it from scratch. We are web designers. We do it for money. It’s a job. If something can make the job get done more quickly, then I’m all for it. Sticking to raw CSS just because you think there’s some pride in doing that is like coding everything in binary in the face of object oriented languages.

    I never said that BlueTrip is in any way a replacement for knowing CSS. You’re still not going to be able to make a decent site if you don’t know CSS, even with BlueTrip. BUT BlueTrip is a tool to make your site creation go faster because it takes out the grunt work and lets you get to the site specific stuff.

  • Chris


    I’m sorry the post was intended for Ryan not you, if you read in my post, I was quoting him actually.

    I’m also 100% pro framework for what’s it worth. I use Blueprint CSS and Jquery atm.

    I am quite bothered by this post of Ryan:

    “The only time you’d catch me using one of these frameworks is for prototyping, never for a real production that someone has paid good money for.” —>

    Sounds like using frameworks makes you an amateur right? :)

  • Oh I know :). I was trying to back up your point with one of my own, but looks like I was arguing with you. Sorry about that!

  • “Whatever happned to actually learning and perfecting your craft rather than relying on cheap inefficient shortcuts?”

    If you are using frameworks, templates, or a CMS because you don’t have a clue how to do it yourself, then you are doing it for the wrong reason. The whole point is to speed up development, not a substitute for it.

    Nobody forces you to use the grid system. I use frameworks all the time, but often create my own grid, or don’t use one at all. I think that frameworks are great because they allow you to start with the basics (fonts, reset, forms, etc) and allow you to build off of them.

    Why don’t we all build websites in binary? No more using Rails, or Zend, or Code Ignitor, or ColdFusion on Wheels. That is cheating and cannot be considered professional! (For those of you who didn’t catch it, I am kidding.)

  • david

    just wondering, if blueprints only downfall is that the class names aren’t semantic, couldn’t the class names just be renamed once the page has been built?

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