If you’ve been building websites for a while, chances are you have some boilerplate code you use to jump-start a new site — perhaps some CSS resets, a basic HTML structure, and so on. You tweak and refine your boilerplate as standards evolve.
One of the best ways to improve your basic code is to see how other people do the same thing. We recently stumbled across HTML5 Reset, a set of templates and code that makes a great starting point for a sites that will be using HTML5 and CSS 3.
HTML5 Reset draws on many well-known sources like Eric Meyer’s reset stylesheet, the Modernizr script for HTML5 across browsers, Dean Edwards’ IE7.js. (Separately, there’s also the excellent HTML5 Boilerplate, which has similar HTML5 and CSS 3 features, but of course a slightly different way of implementing them.)
As the HTML5 Reset authors note, the code is by no means an “end-all and beat-all” set of templates. In fact, the code may not work for your project at all, but even you don’t end up using it as-is, you may be able to glean some good ideas from it.
For example, because I use Sass for developing stylesheets, raw CSS isn’t all that useful for my projects. However, HTML5 Reset has a very nifty class for clearing floats without extra markup, so I ended up incorporating that element into my own Sass-based boilerplate code. Take what’s useful and leave the rest.
There are a couple versions of HTML5 Reset — the “Kitchen Sink” version that includes nearly everything and has copious comments and a “Bare Bones” version that’s stripped down to just the basics. I recommend checking out the former unless you’ve decided to commit to HTML5 Reset. It’s always easier to start off by removing things you don’t need than trying to figure out what you need to add.
If you’re curious, head over to the HTML5 Reset site to learn more. HTML5 Reset is available under the BSD license. If you see bugs or have suggestions on how to improve HTML5 Reset, be sure to let the authors know.