CSS Framework Design Contest
Over the past 2 weeks, I've managed to raise $900 for the CSS Framework Design Contest. Thanks to friends, AppFuse users and SourceBeat their donations. You guys rock!
With this cash, I hope to give away 3 prizes: an iPod (60GB), an iPod (30GB) and a 2GB Nano. Of course, if the winners decide they'd rather donate the money to charity, that's cool too. Any additional donations I receive I'm going to send to the Elena Steinberg Memorial Fund.
Here's the rules of the contest: Create a theme (mostly CSS, images allowed) that makes the CSS Framework look good (download source files). This framework is simply a structured bit of XHTML for page layout, and a number of CSS files for positioning. What's missing is a number of good-looking themes to make this framework look even better. I have aspirations of creating something like CSS Zen Garden - but with more of a web-application flavor.
I'll use the same submission guidelines as the CSS Zen Garder, but add that your themes should be Apache licensed. In my mind, this simply means that anyone can use your theme - they simply have to retain your contact information in a comment w/in the stylesheet itself. I'd like to distribute (or at least make available) the top themes to AppFuse users - so they aren't stuck with a single theme. In addition, it probably wouldn't be too hard to make these into Roller themes.
The CSS themes from this contest should be usable in corporate intranets, as well as customer facing applications. Sure, wacky designs are cool, but sharp and clean are better. Extra points will likely be given for themes that pretty up how forms are laid out and displayed. Ajaxian.com links to some good examples, particularly Wufoo.
I've created a CSS Design Contest project in AppFuse's JIRA - so please submit your entries there. The contest ends on March 31st, 2006 at midnight MST. After that, the winners will be decided using some sort of voting mechanism. I hope to create an application to showcase all the entries in the next week or two.
For inspiration, you might checkout Open Web Design and Open Source Web Design.
Good luck folks - may the best design win!
Posted by anjan bacchu on March 03, 2006 at 09:20 PM MST #
Posted by Matt Raible on March 04, 2006 at 01:27 AM MST #
You mentioned styling of forms. Should I provide a second page that has a basic user input form on it?
also, I tend to use a table for columnar results of queries (using display-tag of course). Do you want a page that?
I think these pages would be useful in this framework.
Posted by Paul Lofte on March 04, 2006 at 10:57 AM MST #
> also, I tend to use a table for columnar results of queries (using display-tag of course). Do you want a page that?</em>
Definitely - both of these would be very useful. The AppFuse demos provide some examples of forms, but unfortunately don't show all the possible elements. Use username "mraible" and password "tomcat" to login.
Posted by Matt Raible on March 04, 2006 at 12:06 PM MST #
I have done this, with the added html files I spoke of in my last comment.
If you are going to re-create something like oswd or zen garden I would suggest locking down the html. I found myself wanting to change the structure of the documents.
I like zen garden because all the styles are on equal footing when it comes to the html their are rendering.
OSWD - has all of these great designs but the html can be inconsistent accross designs.
If you are going to build this up to be something similar to zen garden - except aimed at the corporate web sites. I would love to help out.
Posted by Paul Lofte on March 04, 2006 at 05:10 PM MST #
Yes. If you choose Project "CSS Design Contest" and Issue Type "Contest Entry", there's a customized form for entering contest submissions. I've seen your entry and that'll work too. I'm sent an e-mail to JIRA folks to see how to show only one issue type for this project.
<em>> If you are going to re-create something like oswd or zen garden I would suggest locking down the html. I found myself wanting to change the structure of the documents.</em>
I'm hoping that everyone goes by the honor system at this point - and doesn't change the HTML. Building and publishing a showcase application would certainly help.
<em>> If you are going to build this up to be something similar to zen garden - except aimed at the corporate web sites. I would love to help out.</em>
If we're going to go big like the zen garden, I should probably buy a domain name: cssframework.org is taken, but cssframework.net and .us are available. I'm open to suggestions - and would love any help.
Posted by Matt Raible on March 04, 2006 at 05:20 PM MST #
Posted by Matt Raible on March 04, 2006 at 05:24 PM MST #
Posted by GB on March 05, 2006 at 01:24 AM MST #
appfuse's main goal is to be a kick start to web app development. the css framework (to me) is an extension of that, it's part of the kickstart.
I believe that it should have it's own life and should not be tied to any development environment outside of CSS and XHTML.
I guess it depends on your goals? and whether you want to do the marketing for another project.
devil's advocate must ask : how much the appfuse branding would help or hinder it?
Posted by Paul Lofte on March 07, 2006 at 12:04 PM MST #
Posted by Matt Raible on March 07, 2006 at 12:18 PM MST #
Posted by Anders T. Pedersen on March 10, 2006 at 10:23 AM MST #
Posted by Andrew Cornett on March 17, 2006 at 02:14 PM MST #
Posted by gerryg on March 28, 2006 at 03:32 PM MST #
Posted by Matt Raible on March 28, 2006 at 04:04 PM MST #
Posted by Matt Raible on March 30, 2006 at 12:18 PM MST #
I put together a site to help demonstrate/test various themes and content. I think it's important that all entries look and function properly for all of the layouts and for any reasonable content that marked up according to the framework's guidelines. I know that this is pretty much the idea behind css.appfuse.org, I did this mostly for my own use and learning. This is still a work in progress, but you can check it out at:
Posted by Mark Helmstetter on April 09, 2006 at 02:43 PM MDT #
My main goal with css.appfuse.org is to do just like you've done - and eventually allow users to add new themes, etc. The 2ndary goal is to make it a repository of themes that folks can download (maybe zipping them up dynamically). I've started a project on java.net: http://appfuse-css.dev.java.net. Would you like to join us and help develop css.appfuse.org?
I'm not tied to css.appfuse.org being AppFuse-powered, I just want to make it a good display and an easy download. Making these themes work easily w/ AppFuse should be a secondary concern, and not really part of this project initially.
Posted by Matt Raible on April 11, 2006 at 11:07 PM MDT #
I just tried the last entry (haven't uploaded it to the the public server yet). This brings up an issue regarding standards for submissions. I haven't looked really closely at FuseApp001, but it seems that this entry includes mods to files other than layout.css. My interpretation of the original CSS Framework sources is that the intent was that only this file be modified and that the framework files not be modified by a particular "theme". I'm not a CSS expert, so perhaps there are technical issues with this approach? I guess that Zen Garden doesn't place any restrictions on themes like this, they just apply the submission's CSS to a fixed set of markup.
Maybe I'm thinking about this too much like a deveoper, rather than a designer. I guess I'm just thinking that if everyone makes their own modifications to the entire set of CSS, then really the only component of the "framework" is that HTML markup standards.
Posted by Mark Helmstetter on April 12, 2006 at 07:09 PM MDT #
Posted by Andrew Cornett on April 13, 2006 at 12:05 PM MDT #
Andrew, I hope that my comments did not come across as a criticism of your submission, that was not my intent. I think that we're all trying to figure this out, prove the framework, identify any "bugs" or areas of potential improvement and demonstrate and illustrate it's usage.
I agree, I did find having so many different stylesheets make learning how to apply CSS Framework a little more difficult at first. After reading Mike Stenhouse's blog entry on Modular CSS, it makes a bit more sense to me. I think that we could perhaps come up with some CSS Framework Usage Guidelines and maybe a Quickstart Guide or something like that. The hard part will probably be getting everyone to agree on that should's and shouldnt's.
I think that a wiki would be the perfect place to host these documents, but I think that some sort of forum would also be helpful too. Right now, everyone's comments, questions, suggestions, problems, etc. are all spread over a bunch of blog entries making it difficult to have a more centralized place where people can ask questions and discuss. I'm thinking that this would be a place where people could ask "How do I..." or "When I do X,Y - Z happens". Optionally, there may also be a separate bug tracking system where problems identified in the forums are officially reported and tracked.
I'm just thinking outloud here, maybe some of this is overkill for just the core CSS Framework? Of course all of this will require effort, and a reasonable amout of interest, support, and effort from the community. So far, I'm not sure that I've seen enough interest in the framework and this contest to demonstrate that this is all viable. But who knows maybe once we get some nice looking themes and the word starts to spread, there will be more community interest.
Posted by Mark Helmstetter on April 14, 2006 at 12:12 AM MDT #
Posted by Brian on April 21, 2006 at 12:51 AM MDT #
Or download it from http://css.appfuse.org/cssframework.zip.
Posted by Matt Raible on April 21, 2006 at 12:59 AM MDT #
Posted by Marc on April 25, 2006 at 04:06 PM MDT #
Posted by Matt Raible on April 25, 2006 at 04:17 PM MDT #
Posted by Marc on April 25, 2006 at 04:27 PM MDT #
Posted by Matt Raible on April 25, 2006 at 05:20 PM MDT #
Posted by Marc on April 25, 2006 at 05:27 PM MDT #
Posted by reddeagle on May 02, 2006 at 07:39 AM MDT #