Review: Free mobile-friendly Web design frameworks

Twitter Bootstrap, HTML5 Boilerplate, 52Framework, and 320 and Up take the sting out of building websites for both large and small screens

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52framework
52framework bills itself as "the framework from the future," which in this case means support for HTML5, CSS3, and all the cutting-edge features associated with those things. 52framework is most useful for getting a leg up with advanced HTML5 features, especially the likes of video and local storage, and for having frameworks for handling form inputs. It's less effective for building a design that's both mobile- and desktop-friendly, since other frameworks here have more pieces for those tasks.

Most of the pieces inside 52framework should be familiar: It uses Modernizr and Selectivizr for backward compatibility, sports a grid-layout system, and provides a broad range of CSS3 property controls. What I found most lacking in 52framework was the documentation. Instead of textual documentation, as with Bootstrap and Boilerplate, you'll find a series of YouTube-hosted video demonstrations. They're useful as adjuncts to existing documentation, but not a substitute for it.

That said, there are demo and example pages that at least serve as quick references to the native styles in the framework, but a more robust option would be nice to have. I liked the included Photoshop and Illustrator design templates, which make it easier to use those programs to plan designs using the framework.

52framework is free under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.

52framework offers elegant support for HTML5 features such as video, local storage, form validation, and other client-side functions.
52framework offers elegant support for HTML5 features such as video, local storage, form validation, and other client-side functions.
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