Germany 2011 – Day 1

Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany

Germany 2011 – Day 1

Symposium 2010, London

After the success of the London meetup of Symphony CMS developers in June 2010, Symposium 2010, there was a lot of excitement about the direction of Symphony.

It’s been an eventful year since that meetup, and a very fruitful one.

Crafting the Best Tool for the Job

The focus of Symphony has always been toward flexibility and craft. Designers and developers have the freedom to build what they want, with the confidence that they are doing things the right way, since web standards is a foundation to the entire application, including the templating language, XSLT.

While much has been accomplished over the past year, there is always so much to be done. One of the greatest challenges for the working groups and the open source community is finding the right tools to enable collaboration. The Forum and GitHub are the primary platforms for communication.

Nothing beats face-to-face communication, so those of us who can are meeting in Germany for Symposium 2011.

Symphonists Organization

GitHub introduced the idea of organizations last summer, and the working groups proposed an organization called symphonists to organize and curate community-driven projects.

Domain7 is committed to contributing to open source development, as a way of developing our skills, capabilities and tool sets so we can use the right tools for the work that we do for our clients and our own organization.

Open Source Contributions

To explore new solutions, Domain7 is forging ahead with live experiments, such as the integration of new processes and tool sets. That also means contributing back to the open source community.

New Workflows

As the web industry changes to accommodate new devices and new ways of accessing the internet, we need to change our workflows in order to adapt to different approaches to building web sites and applications.

We recently ran the first of a series of Domain7 Workshops: Designing and Building for the Mobile Web. While we have a Mobile Manifesto, we also need processes to accommodate the shift from desktop-centric site design to a mobile first or responsive web design approach.

Responsive Web Design

Again, the Domain7 intranet is a test bed for using a responsive design approach to building web applications. To reach beyond this initial step, we are developing a more formalized approach to front-end development which can leverage existing tools.

Last month, Twitter released Bootstrap.

Bootstrap is a toolkit from Twitter designed to kickstart development of webapps and sites. It includes base CSS and HTML for typography, forms, buttons, tables, grids, navigation, and more.

To me, this represented an excellent opportunity to leverage this tool set for responsive web design. So, I have been testing out the ability to use Bootstrap in combination with some of my own experiments in fluid grid systems to create a responsive version of Bootstrap, available as a fork on GitHub.

Symposium 2011

I am proposing that this front-end design and development framework can be a common starting point for modular site development using Symphony CMS. So, I am on my way to Germany today, to present my ideas at Symposium 2011 in Cologne. I’ll keep everyone posted about the ideas we discover and the new directions we forge during our three-day meetup.

Stephen Bau

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