A closer look at CSS frameworks

  Website Source License Contributors Discussion Bug Tracker Wiki Tutorials
Blueprint Homepage Open (Github) MIT Many Google Group Lighthouse Github Many
960gs Homepage Open (Github) GPL/MIT One None None None Few
YUI Homepage Open (Github) BSD Many Forum Yahoo None Many
Tripoli Subpage Open GPL One None None None None
Bluetrip Homepage Open (Github) MIT One Forum Forum None None
YAML Homepage ? CC-A One Forum Forum None Many
Baseline Homepage ? CC-A-SA One None None None None
Elastic Homepage Open (Github) BSD One None None None None
Boilerplate Repository Open (Google) BSD One None None None None
Elements Subdomain ? ? Many Google Group Lighthouse None None

Understanding This Chart

Please read the related blog post: A Closer Look at CSS Frameworks — ChristianMontoya.com.

A homepage, which is a unique site with a unique address, is consider good because it is a go-to place for the framework. Subdomains and subpages are considered less than ideal because those are easier to lose track of and more difficult to transfer in the case of project ownership. When Blueprint ownership changed hands, for example, the only web pages for the project were blog posts. These could not be transferred to the new project owners, and the organic search authority for them was lost.
Source is considered to be "open" if it is hosted on a public repository that others can fork and contribute to. Google Code is considered less than ideal because you cannot fork code. Also, while frameworks like Tripoli have an open-source license, there is no public repository that I know of for developers to access.
A license is good if it allows commercial use. Creative Commons licenses are OK but open-source code licenses are preferred.
This is the number of people who actually contribute code to the project source. "Many" is two or more. This is preferred because team collaboration is very healthy for any code project. While some frameworks may be simple enough to not require more than one person, it is always good to know that there is a community of developers behind a project, however small.
Discussion / Bug Tracker / Wiki
Any online service that serves these purposes will do. It is very important that one be able to ask questions, report problems, and share information on a project with as few impedances as possible.
Any tutorials that explain how to install or include the framework do not count. Tutorials that are preferred are articles, screencasts, and other free media that explain how to actually put the framework into use. It is also important that these tutorials be reasonably easy to find from the project's homepage. Demos are not considered as they are not necessarily instructive.

This page is copyright 2009 Christian Montoya under a Creative Commons License. Reproduction of this chart and associated data is only allowed in the case of translations for other languages. For all other uses, please refer to the license text.