Development Toolkit- Things That Make Things

Written by lookthinkmake | July 25, 2014


Development Toolkit- Things That Make Things

The web can be a crazy world that’s constantly changing, and that’s why we love it. Here at lookthinkmake, we’ve built a tidy toolkit of the latest and greatest bits the Internet has to offer. Rather than waste time on setup, we can now jump right into the fun stuff like design and coding.

What’s this kit and why’s it so great? I’m glad (I acted like) you asked.

HTML5 Boilerplate: An Empty Canvas

development-html5

HTML5 is the standard for modern websites. Built with the knowledge of hundreds of developers, this boilerplate structures it into an adaptable front-end template. It’s a great blank slate where we begin all web projects.

Sass: CSS on Steroids

development-sass-software

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) define the entire look and feel of a website. As websites grow in complexity, so do their stylesheets. Sass takes CSS to another level by providing tools that expand functionality and make for cleaner code. Variables let you make quick, sitewide changes in an instant. Mix-ins allow complex functions in what would otherwise be a static document and nesting imparts structure to what would be a tangle of code in CSS.

Bourbon: Sass’s Best Friend

development-Bourbon-software

Created by our favorite team of internet superheroes, Thoughtbot, Bourbon is a library of mix-ins that enhances the functionality of the formerly ballyhooed Sass. Without Bourbon, developers would need to add prefixes to advanced CSS or Sass to enable cross-browser support. Bourbon simplifies that down into one function, making it fast and simple to write cutting edge code.

Neat: Just Enough Structure

development-neat-software

All great websites incorporate a grid, and Neat is our favorite grid framework out there. Thoughtbot created Neat as a companion to Bourbon. Neat is a quick way to give your site a lightweight, flexible, and responsive structure.

Gulp.js: Putting it All Together

development-gulp-2x

We wrap it all up with Gulp, which automates mundane tasks. Gulp compresses files, checks files for errors, starts a local webserver, and reloads the browser when it detects code updates. Gulps functionality doesn’t stop there, however. It’s ever growing community support brings new features and extensions all the time.

New design and development tools for websites are released daily, so our toolkit is constantly changing. In fact, it was rewritten almost completely during the writing of this very post. You can keep up with our kit here and start making things of your own.

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