New Groundwork Web dev framework shows promise

The open source project enables development of applications scaling from handheld devices to large-format televisions

Although it shares a name with a systems monitoring tool and a content management system, the Groundwork software development framework could make a name for itself in mobile Web development.

The open source project, introduced earlier this month, is an HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript framework for rapidly prototyping and building websites and applications, said Gary Hepting, founder of Groundwork and an engineer at online television show provider SideReel. Currently in beta release, Groundwork leverages the Sass CSS preprocessor, which extends CSS3 by adding nested rules, variables, selector inheritance, and other features. "Groundwork offers an extremely flexible fractions-based grid system that can utilize halves through twelfths and two strategically targeted break-points, or media queries, that enable the ability to adapt layouts for mobile and handheld devices," Hepting said.

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The project, though, shares the same name as the GroundWork IT monitoring system and the Groundwork CMS. But Hepting said he's had no complaints so far about the name: "If it ends up being an issue or too confusing to people, it can easily referred to as 'Groundwork CSS,' which is the actual GitHub/Twitter handle, so I'm not too worried about it. What's in a name?"

Analysts offered differing perspectives on the Groundwork CSS framework. "I've only looked at the website, but [it] looks to provide value similar to that of Adobe Edge Reflow," said Michael Facemire, senior analyst at Forrester. But analyst Jay Lyman, of 451 Research, said Groundwork "highlights the polyglot programming trend whereby there is a lot more variability in the languages and frameworks used by developers for today's applications," bringing together tools and frameworks like JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS is in line with polyglot programming.

Groundwork, according to the project's Web page, enables development of applications scaling from handheld devices to large-format televisions.

This article, "New Groundwork Web dev framework shows promise," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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