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Choosing the right framework matters

Thursday, September 5th, 2013 by Servage

If you are a coder, you know that coding can be a daunting task, but one that has to be done anyway. Therefore, all web programmers constantly struggle to make their tasks easier, through various techniques and utilizing relevant tools. Frameworks are one such tool that is used to avoid having to repeat tasks, as well as organize coding and documents.

Advantages of Frameworks

With frameworks, we are saved from reinventing the wheel each time we start a new project or new page/section. Frameworks also save us from creating various UI components from scratch, that we need frequently. With frameworks, we get instant solutions for our HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery needs. Web frameworks are also capable of making structural assumptions, as well as auto completion of many tasks at different levels. Additionally, frameworks have default files or capability to save templates, of your choice, to get underway immediately without wasting much time on coding.

There are many other advantages with frameworks that we can’t get with other tools, especially when working towards a big sized web development project. Therefore, frameworks are essential for today’s intricate website projects and, in particular, web applications. There are more complexities with coding in cases of web application programming, so making use of a suitable framework is highly desirable. If you are a seasoned and active developer, you can customize your frameworks as well as keep them updated with latest technologies.

Disadvantages of Frameworks

Unfortunately, not all frameworks are capable of handling all programming tasks, especially when we need to do creative actions for certain innovative projects. Therefore, we need to rely on alternative resources, which are scattered, but ultimately enable you to make your tasks easier, by letting you incorporate the latest code, tools and snippets into your projects.

If we want to term these alternative resources, we can say they are a toolkit. With a development toolkit, we can expect access to small and big snippets, some plugins and bookmarks. Therefore, assembling all these resources in a single document or folder is not possible, as is the case with frameworks. Moreover, organization of a toolkit is not a one time process, such as when you download the source of frameworks from the web.

Benefits of A Toolkit

Frameworks are intended for particular tasks or portions of a project. In the case of a toolkit, you have a range of options to meet your diverse needs, so you can address any problem you frequently encounter in your iterations. Thus, a toolkit is personal for the developer. If I talk about my own toolkit, I would recommend some useful tools. My first preference is a good CSS preprocessor like LESS and SASS. CSS preprocessors extend basic functionality through use of variables, mixins, selectors and nested selectors. They also speed up your development process significantly.

Web developers read a lot during research, and thus are being updated with latest trends in the community. In due course, we encounter many useful reading materials, plus code and development methods written by other web programmers on the web. If we are in the habit of bookmarking and organizing these materials, we can reuse them in crises. For instance, you can bookmark CSS and sprite generators as well as color scheme creators.

Other Tools for Toolkits

Other tools, such as grid system generators for responsive designing, can help make your life easier. Such tools are available on semantic.gs, etc. You can use these tools with LESS, SASS and Stylus to generate various grids. Similarly, plugins like Emmet, help  turn your full line code into abbreviations in HTML and CSS. Some jQuery plugins like Scrollto.js, idTabs, Supesized, ResponsiveSlides.js, etc. are highly useful in modern web programming.

References & More Reading

When toolkits are better than frameworks
less
Sass
The Semantic GRID SYSTEM
Emmet

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