Okay, I'm not a front-end web guy. Not by any stretch of the imagination. So I tend to ignore a lot of Javascript and CSS stuff unless it's clearly and obviously useful to me. And while I've heard tons of praise for YUI, the Yahoo User Interface library, I'd mostly assumed it was stuff for other people--you know, the ones who understand all that stuff.

But I recently came across a link to the YUI Grids Builder and started playing with it. In about 20 seconds, I realized that I could use that as the framework to finally redo the horrible hack that is my blog layout.

So I did. (that link is temporary and will vanish soon)

It's not done yet, but it's faster, uses less code, looks good (and more consistent) on more browsers, and requires less of my mental energy to maintain. I get to take advantage of the YUI team's expertise and focus a bit more on the stuff I care about.

Anyway, I have a bit of template editing and tweaking of fonts and pruning and stuff to do, but I'm looking forward to throwing away the old and using the new. More on that later.

In the meantime, if you haven't played with the builder or at least read about YUI Grid CSS, take a few minutes and do so. It's really useful stuff and very well documented.

If you end up using it for your site, you'll also likely find yourself reading about YUI Reset CSS as well. And it may sort of freak you our or annoy you at first, but it's really a good thing in the long run if consistency is what you're after.

Anyway, enough of this commercial. I just wish YUI had existed a few years ago when I spent many, many hours tripping over my own lack of CSS knowledge. They've made this stuff so damned easy.

Posted by jzawodn at January 28, 2008 04:59 PM

Reader Comments
# Scott Smith said:

Nate Koechley was on the latest FLOSS Weekly podcast talking about YUI. Sounded excellent and look forward to giving it a go. twit.tv/FLOSS

on January 28, 2008 05:18 PM
# Greg Schechter said:

If you thought Grid Builder was cool you should check out Pages
A friend of mine, Will Duff, made this for the Yahoo University Hack Day.

on January 28, 2008 05:22 PM
# Stuart Langridge said:

Completely agree with you. I used YUI Grids to build the LugRadio website and it was insanely easy compared with the outrageous pain involved in doing it the hard way. I appreciate that proper CSS hackers don't like frameworks (in the same way that I'm not hugely keen on JavaScript frameworks, although I've changed my mind a lot on that), but as a way of putting decent cross-browser working CSS layouts into the hands of people like me who can't bear to learn all the details, they're hard to beat.

on January 28, 2008 05:28 PM
# Al said:

Well there is certainly a whole lot less cruft in it, can't be a bad thing!

on January 28, 2008 05:53 PM
# Jonathan Disher said:


Jesus this is cool.

My wife says she's jealous because I keep coming home all happy and shit. She's gonna hate me tonight, this will make a couple personal projects SO easy now.

on January 28, 2008 06:43 PM
# Michael R. Bernstein said:

Jeremy, Sam Ruby has been trying to get in touch with you, as noted here:


on January 28, 2008 07:07 PM
# Scott said:

reset-fonts-grids.css is my best friend. No better starting point as far as I'm concerned.

on January 28, 2008 07:56 PM
# Wesley Tanaka said:

Your current layout works better at narrow browser widths

on January 29, 2008 09:13 AM
# Matthew Kent said:

Very cool Jeremy, thanks for sharing.

Handy for us design clueless sys admins :)

on January 29, 2008 09:14 AM
# Aaron Brazell said:

Don't forget about Blueprint too. It's not all Yahooie but it might arguable be more robust as a CSS grid-style framework. And that comes from somebody on your side of the design vs data tracks.


on January 30, 2008 09:10 PM
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