In the last six months I’ve become obsessed with my own development workflow. I’ve been attempting to optimize the tools I use, slim down the number of tools in my kit, and build repositories of starter code. The goal with my starter code is simple: start writing as fast as possible. To that end, I’ve developed a variety of starter kits using different code frameworks and with varying degrees of complexity to suit their individual tasks. All of them are available on GitHub for personal use, and I’d love some development contributions from the community.
Kit 1: Static Site Starter
This is my basic starter kit for quick and simple projects. It’s HTML and file structure are based on the HTML5 Boilerplate project, so I know the basic templates are rock solid. I’ve also included a subset of the CSS from the Twitter Bootstrap project. This includes their reset CSS and a slimmed down version of their typography system that’s easy to build on top off. I’ve also built the file structure and CSS to take advantage of the SASS preprocessing language, and included a subset of Bootstrap’s variable system to aid in development. The Bootstrap framework is built using LESS, but I prefer SASS, so I’ve used John W. Long’s port of Bootstrap to SASS to make my own life easier. Finally, I’ve included thoughtbot’s Bourbon SASS mixins to make the use of CSS3 properties easier.
The goal with these tools is simple: I want solid starter code, streamlined development and the ability to clone files and start writing immediately. I began this kit when I realized that I was performing the same tasks whenever I started a new project. On several occasions I had ideas that I wanted to get working on, only to get sidetracked by all the tasks of setting up my code base. By the time I got through those repetitive tasks, all of my inspiration and motivation had disappeared. Now I can avoid that issue and start working whenever ideas hit me.
Kit 2: Static Prototyping Framework
Kit 3: PHP Prototyping Kit
This kit is more of an experiment than something I actually use, but it’s worth mentioning because a lot of people probably already use PHP in the way I’ve used it here. This kit is almost exactly like the Static Prototyping Framework, but I’ve replicated the Jekyll functionality that I use most with PHP includes. It still allows you to write code without repeating yourself, but it doesn’t output static files at the end. The advantage is that more people are aware of PHP than Jekyll, so it allows some developers to get set up and running with a language they’re already comfortable with.
Also, it’s acronym is PPK, which is the chosen firearm of James Bond. I thought that was kinda cool.
Wrapping It All Up
All of these projects have been open-sourced on GitHub for the use of anyone who’s interested. There’s no need to include an attribution or credit. Just use them wisely and make some great things! And if you’re interested in open source, check out some of these other Fresh Tilled Soil projects: