ZURB’s Foundation 4 Framework Arrives

ZURB’s Foundation 4 Framework Arrives

Feb 28, 2013 News

With the exception of the Forrst acquisition, ZURB has been a bit more quiet on the public front this year compared to last, but it surely hasn’t been because they’ve been taking it easy. Behind the scenes, ZURB has been working hard, completely renovating one of their most prized creations. As of 12pm PST today, the fourth iteration of their responsive front-end framework, Foundations 4 is available for download.

With over 300,000 downloads to date (and a Top 20 starred GitHub repository), Foundation continues to have a worldwide impact how people approach responsive design in their personal and business projects.

One of the main focuses for the Foundations framework has been mobile. Last year they broke ground with Foundation 3, but ZURB takes this to an entirely new level with Foundations 4, completely rewriting the framework with a “mobile-first perspective.” Time spent on mobile devices is growing at 14 times the rate of less portable, desktop solutions, and what better way for designers to capitalize on the growing trend than to give them a powerful framework to start with?

ZURB makes it very clear designers utilizing Foundations 4 will need to adopt a mobile-first strategy to designing, with desktop solutions being secondary, growing in complexity by layering as the screen size increases. The trend is unavoidable and by ZURB changing the framework, they are pushing the thought process behind mobile-first design to developers, especially those who are yet to make the switch.

As for the technical details of Foundations 4, ZURB stated the following:

Designers will benefit from smarter, more semantic coding. There are more mix-ins and placeholder classes. The more-streamlined code will allow designers to focus primarily on the HTML, which speeds up coding and time between iterations. In addition, the Javascript has been refined. We’ve opted to go with Zepto, a lighter and faster version of jQuery, to ensure that pages load quickly and efficiently given our mobile focus.

ZURB seems to understand the changes needing to be made as trends continue to push thinking forward. Completely changing the way designers go about using the framework seems like a big risk, but in doing taking those risks, there are also great rewards.

Foundation 4 adds a great deal of improvements to turn what was an already incredible framework into an even more powerful one, capable of scaling with design trends, not just content. I’m extremely excited to see what designers are capable of creating with this more robust framework.

  • Joe

    I recently started to develop sites with Foundation. I have been more than pleased! I am super excited about version 4. All the complaints of 3 being bulky are now gone.

    I actually think this new version may just tip many scales that had previously been sticking with Bootstrap.

    I believe strongly in what Zurb developers are trying to do. Push the web-development industry in the direction that hardware is clearly heading. If you had any doubt of that; enter Windows 8 and the PC tablet. We can all look at statistics and say there is still time….but lets be honest with ourselves.

    Design companies that embrace this concept NOW will be the ones profiting later! The benefits of using a framework make so much sense to any web-design company with more than 1 person. It means the comfort of knowing that your site quality control (from a code perspective) is easily monitored. To me that is huge!

  • RB Speed

    Foundation is the grid framework that made me like working with grid frameworks. The Bootstap/Foundation debate will continue and, to be honest, both have their advantages but when asked which one I recommend, Zurb all the way!
    The one-two punch of Sass/Compass was the original draw for me. Being able to create a grid using css reduces (if not completely eliminates) the need for presentational-classes in the html doc which is an irksome non-semantic html5 friendless no-no. Personally not a huge deal for me, just regurgitating the general consensus

    I’m about to start a new site and can’t wait to jump into the new framework. Speaking from my experiences with version 3, the only problems I ran into were that some default components are difficult to skin (I’m looking at you topbar) but thankfully everything is very well documented with code and visual examples. The other problem I had was that, because of it’s architecture, it was near impossible to create a mobile-first design. Problem solved in 4

  • http://www.wrapyeti.com/ Bob Wang

    i really love foundation framework, it’s very clean and simple, and you won’t to override the prepend style, it provide the important and necessary utilities without additional things such as buttons in others framework. It use the simple flat ui design default, that’s advisable.

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