Starting up with Web 2.0 development ?
Let’s choose between three essentials tools to begin a new project !
HTML5 Boilerplate (a.k.a. H5BP) is the original scaffolding tool by Paul Irish & Co (will have to search for the exact history…).
It allows you to build a clean website structure with standard features based on best practices like :
- responsive design-ready CSS
- 404 page
- Google Analytics
- favicons for apple
- many more…
It does not support CSS preprocessing (SASS, …) and requires you some effort to upgrade to the latest version later (by separating your work from the original files that will be upgraded)…
It’s good for small sites.
Find it at html5boilerplate.com
While H5BP is a static project template to download, Initializr allows you to customize it by selecting the features you want on your site and then downloading the generated files.
It has 3 ready-to-use configurations :
- Classic H5BP
- Responsive (using a custom framework by @verekia)
- (Twitter) Bootstrap
The customization is made online and on-the-fly : you can see the generated files directly online while filtering the features (“What’s inside” button). It still does not support CSS preprocessing.
Since it’s simply a “configurator” over H5BP I find it more convenient than H5BP alone for small sites.
Find it at initializr.com
To solve the “static template” issue, H5BP first evolved into “generator-mobile-boilerplate”, then into several specialized tools now known as “Yeoman”.
Those tools bring the features you usually want on any project :
- yo scaffolds your project (like a Maven archetype)
- Grunt and Gulp build and execute it (like Maven / Ant)
- Bower and npm handle dependencies (like Maven / Ivy)
In short, Yeoman is the standard, complete tool suite for Web 2.0 developers like Maven is for Java developers.
Find it at yeoman.io