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I'm working with a large enterprise application custom CMS. The content managers have some level of control of the HTML, but there are a number of elements that are created by the dev team for more advanced functionality (server interaction, etc). So for example the dev team may provide a <view-cart></view-cart> custom element that gets the shoppers cart data, and generates a "snippet" of html.

We've been given the following goals from management:

  • Make sites responsive out of the box.
  • Make sites easy to set up.

My thoughts, given those instructions is to bring in a responsive framework. The lead content manager says no responsive framework, he wants them to do custom css for every site, but to me that goes against the laid out goals from management. Shouldn't we consider bringing in a responsive framework and doing custom css for things that the framework can't do?

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The laid out goals from management are

  • Make sites responsive out of the box.
  • Make sites easy to set up.

There's no mention of frameworks either way.

It's likely that management doesn't care whether you use a framework or not.

Personally, I'd use a framework on the theory that like any library, they've handled all the weird corner conditions that I haven't thought of yet.

It sounds like you need to sit down with your lead content manager and find out why he wants custom CSS everywhere. He may know something you don't, or you may know something (like just how much CSS you're talking about) that he doesn't.

  • He says that frameworks are difficult to override for times he wants more control of customization. He also says that a framework would introduce another thing that all other content managers would need to learn.. but right now they have to learn all his custom CSS! Currently he has devs putting classes on every html element describing the content, classes like productPriceText, productQuantityBox, etc. – Ryan Langton May 19 '16 at 14:39
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    @RyanLangton Management may not explicitly care about using a framework, but creating a whole new set of custom css for every site seems to fly in the face of "easy to set up". Framework + tweaks / overriding style declarations as necessary seems "easier" to me. – Becuzz May 19 '16 at 14:43
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    Isn't a "responsive framework" mostly just a predefined CSS anyway? Managers always think they want ultimate flexibility, but what they need is structure. That's true whether they create the "framework" themselves, or use someone else's. – Robert Harvey May 19 '16 at 15:13
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    Try to calc costs (in time and resources) of doing a whole CSS framework from scratch. Be pesimistic. Very pesimistic. The look for a light weight CSS responsive framework. If it has sass or less much better. Then try to calc costs of extending and customizing. Managers often only listen to you if you speak their language, aka, Time-Money-DeadLines. Nobody has unlimited resources (money, time) even your Manager has to report to someone else. Finally if it doesn't depends on you, ask him/her for an email to get record of who made the choice. It's matter of responsabilities. – Laiv May 19 '16 at 18:30
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    +1, for the last paragraph. I were the manager, I would want to be convinced that implementing a responsive framework would make things easier for us, now and in the long run, considering limitations, learning curve, etc. And I would want more than just links to the (biased) framework developer's homepage or a list of features. We've made the mistake of adopting new frameworks prematurely too many times on my company's large webapp. – Jeffrey Sweeney May 19 '16 at 18:40

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