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Foundation Evangelist, ZURB's Chief Instigator here.

As a leader, it's often difficult to see your hard working employees move on to other opportunities. And you hope deep down that the lessons they learn from you along the way will be remembered as influencial in their career. Mark had a great run at ZURB before Twitter. I wish him the best.

For ZURB's current employees, and the ones that put thinking into developing Foundation, it's important for me to make sure they receive credit for the contributions they have made to the design community that extend beyond what Mark remember's Bootstrap to be (or wants it to be) or what Foundation has become. The first iteration of Bootstrap emerged from the work ZURB did over the last few years prototyping with our clients. In fact, the initial Bootstrap push had direct lines of code and copy taken from ZURB's work on what today is Foundation 1.0.

When you see Mark's history conveniently rewritten as "I developed Bootstrap," it's important for me to make sure that those who contributed to it's initial core from ZURB are recognized. There were many ZURBians who put countless hours into writing code and laying down the vision for a css framework before Mark "envisioned" this solution for his Twitter engineers. Talented designers at ZURB even shared that vision with Mark as part of our refinement of Foundation 2.0 before it was launched.

Foundation (http://foundation.zurb.com) is fine and kicking and we benefit from the global awareness of css-frameworks. ZURB is quite happy about that and we'll continue to evolve our solution to benefit the community. I want to make sure talented product designers like Jonathan Smiley and Matt Kelly, who helped envisioned the idea, get credit for their contributions for making stuff like this possible. These guys are my heroes and I hope that you see that as well in the code they write and share.




Interesting, I had not heard of Foundation before, and am interested in checking it out to see how it does with the few things that annoy me about Bootstrap. So appreciate the pointer.

But when I go to the Foundation web pages... I've clicked like 5 times, have managed to get to the Getting Started page, and I still haven't seen any code examples of how to actually use it. Note that the Bootstrap docs start with and are centered around examples; it _starts_ by telling you how to install it and start using it. Every 'feature' element on the home page is right next to a code example showing how to do it.

I think Bootstrap's documentation is actually a huge part of it's success. If you're wondering why Bootstrap caught on where Foundation didn't, I think that's probably part of it. Foundation's docs _look_ as pretty as Bootstrap's (which is a good sign given the nature of the products), but they aren't done as well for getting people to dive in quick or overview of how the code actually works quick. Writing good docs is a skill of it's own, and whoever does it for Bootstrap has definitely got it. You can get started with Bootstrap _so_ fast, because the docs are written with that goal in mind and achieve it.


Wow, I had no clue, but assumed Foundation sprung from BS. I like that Foundation is lighter and easier to override than BS, and even though it has a similar look, it's decidedly different than the stock, ubiquitous bootstrap design. But lack of IE8 support makes it a bit of a hard sell. I'm excited to see what's in store for both frameworks, but hope to see Foundation continue as a leaner, less opinionated alternative.


I really like Foundation based on the same points you raised.

It does support IE8, minus the responsive stuff, it's < IE8 that it doesn't (http://foundation.zurb.com/docs/support.php), and that's a deal breaker for me and why I've never used it since most of the sites I build still get around 10-12% from IE7.

You could use the older version of Foundation, but that doesn't appeal to me either.


I use foundation at work. We have the rule that "make the site look fine in IE7", where it has to work but it doesn't have to be perfect.

You can use foundation 3.1 with the htc boxing fix [1] that fixes the grid problems with IE7.

I love use foundation over BS, since BS (to me atleast) is more of a UI decision, where you build your site from scratch with foundation).

[1] https://github.com/Schepp/box-sizing-polyfill


I am reminded of the classic MBA example of Pullman coaches. Pullman did not invent the concept but made it work commercially. The result was his predecessors had long and successful careers in the railway engineering industry.

I respect your defence of your people and much kudos to you. I would not fear for their futures - they have shipped a much respected product, and inspired a calling card product.

Good luck


@chiefinstigator, thanks for this backstory and huge respect to the ZURB Foundation team. My only complaint is that I think you could made your point better without digging at Mark.


Hey Bryan, good to hear from you again. It's been roughly two years since we even spoke to each other, let alone saw each other in public. Before I dive into it, I have always and will continue to always have nothing but the best wishes for ZURB. Now, to get to it.

You did teach me a lot, Bryan, and I know the (edit: removed the number) ex-ZURBians would agree with you on that. You taught me about design process, design thinking, and how to communicate well with clients and other designers. Moreover, if you hadn't brought me out to California, I wouldn't be where I am today. Thanks again for that, I really do owe you one there. You taught us a lot more, but we don't need to go into that as I'm sure everything that drove us away has changed for the better.

Yes, Bootstrap emerged from my work at ZURB, but more importantly, from the entire web community. Before I redesigned ZURB.com or wrote nearly the entire ZURB Style Guide (at least the CSS and Design Patterns sections), frameworks and style guides were already in high demand and influencing our work at ZURB. You can take a look at the CSS section here: http://d.pr/i/uoGb. I have screenshots of every page of the project from right before I left.

It's important to note that I never worked on Foundation, nor had any idea it was in the works until it was released on 10/14/2011, two months after Bootstrap was released (https://twitter.com/ZURB/status/124984359135608832). In fact, it was Dave Gamache, former ZURB designer and now former Twitter designer, who wrote a majority of Foundation 1.0 after I left ZURB. Go ahead and ask him (@dhg) about that for more details.

However, I did copy and paste code, but never from Foundation. The things Bryan is referring to are "how to" docs, lorem ipsum and filler text, and examples for the address tag, emphasis tags, lists, and blockquotes. Looking at the very first commit to Bootstrap (https://github.com/twitter/bootstrap/tree/eb81782cdbdc68aaeb...), four months before we released v1.0, you can see that content there. I have made no attempt to hide it, nor could I. In the hundreds of following commits, I removed nearly all that code before launching BS1.0, but I missed some (the items listed above). Within days, I removed it and replaced it with my own code, copy, and examples. Edit: for full transparency, you can see Bootstrap 1.0 and the offending content at http://d.pr/i/Rn9r.

I made an honest mistake that any developer can by using code from the work I did at my previous employer, but I also fully rectified it immediately by removing all the offending code and replacing it with my own.

I made a mistake early on by using the work I had done at ZURB as a basis for everything I have done since then. In the theoretical sense, that is never frowned upon, but in the practical, it is, and I'm sorry about that. But I never ripped Foundation, nor ever intend to. If anything, you need to take a fresh look at Foundation 3 and ask yourself who's really taking code from the other's framework. (edit for clarification).

Ever since Bootstrap 2.0 came out, you've ripped nearly every single component we created in our framework and added it to Foundation, including: the basics of our grid system, navbar, responsive navbar, breadcrums, alerts, labels, tooltips, popovers, prepended and appended inputs, breadcrumbs, accordion, progress bars, image styles, and more. All of those were in Bootstrap first, and you've added them without even batting an eye. We've also added things that other frameworks and products added, but when you're calling me out for ripping something I never had access to, you really need to take a step back and look at what you've done as well.

I have no illusions about how I got to where I am: I thank everyone profusely, day in and day out, for making it possible. I made the mistake of using the work I did at ZURB to start a brand new project, and I apologize for doing it that way and corrected the mistake within days. I never stole from Foundation, nor do I ever plan to.


@markdotto, thank you for your response @chiefinstigator's comments. Great to hear your perspective. I don't think you needed to be on the defensive as much as you are. All one needs to do is look at the Bootstrap Github page: all your code, its documentation, issue tracking, the sheer number of commits, etc. to know that you and Jacob worked your absolute fucking assess off with/for an absolute fucking shit ton of developers over the last few years. I understand both the ZURB and Bootstrap teams' feelings are raw considering how much time you all put in, and I'm just writing to hope that things will smooth over as time goes on. Both groups contributed so much to the web community for them not to. Again, great work guys, you've changed the world for the better.


Thanks man, appreciate that, and I hear you. I tried to maintain my cool and approach it as diplomatic and honestly as I could. This has been brewing for awhile and we have never responded, so I wanted to give as much context as possible. There is still much that could be said, but we'll save that for another time. I truly think all of us are just interested in making stuff on the Internet, and that's all I really care about: making awesome stuff with awesome people. Thanks again. <3


+++ <3 back


First time I see Foundation, you're being extremely polite with this issue, You guys diserve much more credit.


Hey, first off - I absolutely <3 LOVE <3 ZURB's Foundation, especially the latest 3.x releases. ALL of you all who have contributed to it, be it in it's infancy (@markdotto) or more recently/throughout it's development (@chiefinstigator), you've all been a part of creating an fscking awesome framework that I've been using since 2.0 was first released. I don't know the history between the two of you but I have a feeling neither Foundation OR Bootstrap would be the great frameworks they are today without the hard work both of you all and your colleagues have done. I understand where chiefinstigator is coming from, wanting to be recognized and having credit given where it is due, and it seems to me that Mark/markdotto has done that here and now on HN in this very thread by acknowledging that Bootstrap evolved from some of the work done by himself and others at ZURB.

(I love hearing about these connections/relationships between developers and companies!)

I think that the emergence of two of the best html5/css frameworks out there is a great thing and can only help developers and the internet as a whole. Let's not forget the spirit of Open Source - the ability to share, build upon, and innovate on the hardwork of others and in turn build better code, better products, and a better experience for both developers and end-users. Rinse. Repeat. That's a good thing.

I applaud you all for your contributions to the development community. Both of you and your respective teams are an inspiration to not just myself but I'm sure tens of thousands of other developers as well. Keep up the great work, keep releasing code, and have fun doing it.

NOW. @chiefinstigator - I'm working on a project based on Foundation 3.1.1 and am attempting to use the sub-nav navigation menu, and from what I can tell, none of the examples in the documentation work. Unless I'm supposed to be changing the 'active' class to the currently selected menu item manually... what gives? Here is the Gist - https://gist.github.com/2980502#file_f3_subnav.html i've included the navigation plugin and made the call to $(document).foundationNavigation(); as described in the documentation. What am I missing? One note, on each of the dd elements I have a method that is handling the onclick() event. Could this be the problem? (Just thought about that...)

EDIT/ADDED: Can we get a little friendly competition going on here.... ZURB and Bootstrap users/evangelists alike..... what's going on here?


Well said.

If you need support for the top bar, shoot us an email, foundation@zurb.com. Happy to help.


If you had invented Bootstrap, you would have invented Bootstrap.

Assuming what you are saying is true, credit would have been nice though.


Because history clearly shows that the rightful people always get credit. Ignoring things like Edison vs. Swan (invention of light bulb), or Marconi vs. Tesla (invention of radio), and likely hundreds of others cases that could be listed if I felt like typing that much. I know nothing about GP's post/claim, but dismissing claims offhand with some glib line from a movie is not really adding much enlightenment.


Taking someone else's work and presenting it as your own is okay now?


Well, both works are open licensed (bootstrap and foundation), so legally there should be no problem (if Bootstrap credited the original code.... which it doesn't).


Nope not okay.

However:

- How much of Bootstrap's is directly lifted from Foundation? Or was it mostly the idea? _Execution_ makes or breaks. Vision and ideas complement execution.

- And Bootstrap's success isn't just because of the code alone. It was the packaging, and the selling.


And maybe the fact that it had Twitter's name behind it?


I just started using foundation and just wanted to say thanks! It's a great front end framework. It does not get enough love in the community.




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