Build more with less.
Table of Contents
- What is Cardinal?
- Getting Started
- Further Documentation
- Browser Support
What is Cardinal?
Cardinal is a modular, “mobile-first” CSS framework built with performance and scalability in mind.
The purpose of this framework is to make it easier for front-end web developers to prototype, build, scale, and maintain CSS for responsive websites, user interfaces, and applications. Cardinal omits many aesthetic design decisions that often bog down other CSS frameworks (which are often UI toolkits, not frameworks), leaving the design and creativity up to you.
- “Mobile-first” CSS written for the LESS preprocessor
- Sensible global styles, variables, and useful mixins
- A flexible grid system and encapsulated styles for common UI objects (buttons, forms, tables, etc.)
- A collection of utility classes optimized for great gzip compression
- The entire framework, minified and gzipped, clocks in at a mere 11.27kB
If you would like to install Cardinal with the Bower package manager tool, you will first need to install Node.js on your machine or server. Once you have Node.js installed, make sure npm is installed (info here), and use it to install Bower, like so:
npm install -g bower
Also, Cardinal depends on the awesome tool Autoprefixer, which adds the proper vendor prefixes that provide the specified browser support for this project. This way, you don’t have to worry about manually including the correct prefixes while writing LESS/CSS. You are encouraged to incorporate Autoprefixer into your build process (this is easy to do with tools like Grunt or Gulp).
There are several ways that you can use Cardinal in your new and existing web projects.
The fastest way to get up-and-running with Cardinal is by using a package manager, like so:
To install Cardinal with Bower, run the following command(s) from your terminal:
cd your-project-directory bower install --save cardinal
Once installed, you can find Cardinal here:
your-project-directory │ └───bower_components │ └───cardinal
To install Cardinal with npm, run the following command(s) from your terminal:
cd your-project-directory npm install --save cardinalcss
Once installed, you can find Cardinal here:
your-project-directory │ └───node_modules │ └───cardinalcss
You can grab the latest version of Cardinal by running the following command(s):
bower update cardinal
npm update cardinal
npm install less npm install less-plugin-cardinal
lessc custom.less --cardinal
If you do not want to use a package manager to integrate Cardinal into your project, you can also download it directly:
Build from Source
To do so, you need to already have Node.js and npm installed on your machine. Cardinal uses Gulp to build and watch the CSS files.
git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:cbracco/cardinal.git cd cardinal npm install gulp
Download the Zip
You can also download the
.zip file and proceed however you wish. Include the minified CSS file in the
<head> of your project, or modify the LESS files directly (not recommended, since it will be difficult to update to future versions). It’s your world!
The easiest way to include Cardinal in your project is to include the entire thing before your project files, like so:
// // Vendor // @import url("../../path/to/bower_components/cardinal/cardinal.less"); // // Project // @import url("project-file.less");
However, you don’t have to use the entire Cardinal framework. The only required partials are located in the
// // Vendor // // // Base // // These variables, mixins, and styles are required if you want to use this // framework, and they should be included in the following order. // // Base -> Variables @import url("base/variables.less"); // Base -> Mixins @import url("base/mixins/to-rem.less"); @import url("base/mixins/media-queries.less"); @import url("base/mixins/antialiasing.less"); @import url("base/mixins/clearing.less"); @import url("base/mixins/font-face.less"); @import url("base/mixins/momentum-scrolling.less"); @import url("base/mixins/text-truncate.less"); @import url("base/mixins/vertically-centered.less"); // Base -> Normalize @import url("base/normalize.less"); // Base -> Reset @import url("base/reset.less"); // Base -> Debug (DO NOT USE THIS STYLESHEET IN PRODUCTION!) //@import url("base/debug.less"); // Base -> Default Styles @import url("base/root.less"); @import url("base/anchors.less"); @import url("base/text-elements.less"); @import url("base/headings.less"); @import url("base/lists.less"); @import url("base/horizontal-rules.less"); @import url("base/blockquotes.less"); @import url("base/code.less"); @import url("base/embedded-content.less"); @import url("base/form-elements.less"); @import url("base/tables.less"); @import url("base/print.less");
Beyond that, you can use whatever grid system, components, and utilities you would like. The
base/ directory just sets some good base styles for the framework.
After getting started and including Cardinal, you will probably want to begin customizing it to suit your project. Cardinal has a bunch of LESS variables located in the
base/variables.less file that can be tweaked to your needs. These variables should not be edited directly. The recommended way to make changes to Cardinal LESS variables is to create your own project-specific variables file (e.g.
project-variables.less), and override the default variables in this file, like so:
// project-variables.less // Typography -> Font Sizes -> Base $font-size: 17; // // Typography -> Line height // $line-height: 26;
This file should be included in your main LESS file after you’ve included Cardinal.
There is a
README.md file included in each major directory of this project that further details the code located in those directories.
Cardinal supports most modern browsers:
- Google Chrome 25+
- Mozilla Firefox 19+
- Safari 6.0+
- iOS Safari 6.0+
- Opera 12.1+
- Android 4.2+
- Internet Explorer 9+
Is something broken? Do you have ideas or feature requests? Please submit an issue here on GitHub. Or, if you are feeling especially motivated, write some code and submit a pull request!
IMPORTANT: Before doing a bunch of work, please consult the CONTRIBUTING.md document, which gives detailed instructions on how to contribute to this project. If you do not follow the instructions, your code will probably not make it into this project.
Cardinal will be maintained using the Semantic Versioning guidelines. From here on out, releases will be numbered using the following format:
- Breaking backwards compatibility increments
major, while resetting
- New code that does not break backwards compatibility increments
minor, while resetting
- Bug fixes and other small changes increment
Cardinal is a project by @cbracco. Its principles and techniques are very influenced by the following projects, organizations, and individuals:
- OOCSS (@stubbornella)
- inuit.css (@csswizardry)
- SUIT CSS (@necolas)
- TACHYONS (@mrmrs)
- Basscss (@jxnblk)
- Scally (@chris-pearce)
- Atomic CSS (@yahoo)
- HTML5 Boilerplate (@h5bp)
- Kraken (@cferdinandi)
...and any others I may have forgotten — let me know if I have, and I will certainly add them.
Many thanks for your hard work and great ideas!
Cardinal is licensed under the MIT Open Source license. For more information, see the LICENSE.md file in this repository.