The decision to make this framework was inspired by SenCSS; however, I had many issues with the design choices made in SenCSS — choices that made the framework, at least in my opinion, two-faced.
On one hand, it is minimal and provides basic, reliable styling for certain elements. On the other hand, its styling of forms is unusual and unreliable, it introduces bugs through curious handling of certain properties and elements, and, in general, is too opinionated. These decisions prevented me from using it on any of my personal or professional projects.
While I welcome what SenCSS is doing and I appreciate parts of it, I believe that there is still a genuine need for a framework that, rather than making decisions for you, simply provides solid legs to stand on.
Why? Because each project is unique, and it does not make sense to offload our work onto the customer by adding unnecessary weight to our pages, through styles that we are unlikely to use in the future or that need heavy modifying.
Aardvarks Have Strong Legs
And so does aardvark.legs. It’s designed around 18px vertical rhythm and the belief that all browsers should by default render all elements the same way, including forms.
That’s correct: aardvark.legs, has cross-browser compatible forms with both horizontal and vertical layouts. The HTML mark-up for these is very simple — however, it might require small changes in your coding style. I recommend reviewing the example file and the CSS to gain a better understanding of how it works.
aardvark.legs weighs just under 4kb and supports all the major browsers: IE6, IE7, Firefox 2+, Opera 9+, and Safari 3. As a bonus, it even comes with support for some new HTML5 elements and sets them to display: block; for you.
And as to whether it is reliable or not… ? It is! It powers this website and I’m using it on all of my latest clients’ projects.
Now, go and play around with it. And please, let me know what you think — it will help me improve aardvark.legs in the future.