Google Launches Starter Kit For A More Consistent Web

Today Google launched Web Starter Kit, a download that consists of all the templates and tooling developers need to create sites that function on any device and any display.  

Today’s Internet users don’t have just one device. They prefer as physical keyboard for their PCs but they want as touch screens on mobile. These days, no two screen sizes are alike. Users expect the same website to perform differently depending on the device by which it is accessed. 

Since these features don’t come built in to new websites, developers have to put them there, over and over again. This is referred to as “boilerplate,” chunks of essential code that needs to be manually inserted before any creative work can be done on a website. 

Google’s Web Starter Kit provides much of that boilerplate as downloadable content, so developers can speed up their projects and get site building. In its introduction to the kit, Google divides the workflow in to three functions: developers can pick a template, build the site and test it out.

The Web Starter Kit builds off of a previous Google effort, Web Fundamentals. This earlier effort informed developers about best practices for building accessible websites while harnessing the most modern technology possible. If you’ve been following previous Web development best practices, you’ll find these tools build on the fundamentals you’ve already adopted. 

The kit is designed to not just create attractive websites across Internet connected devices uses Google Chrome, but all browsers. That’s because it’s based on the Web standards provided by the W3 Coalition to make the Web accessible. 

Google is not launching its Web Starter Kit into an empty market. Many developers have already adopted Bootstrap, a similar framework for building cross-platform websites. However, Google engineer Addy Osmani said on Hacker News that Google doesn’t plan to compete with Bootstrap in terms of user interface components, of which it has notably less.

Google’s Web Starter Kit may tie into some new design concepts coming from Google in the coming weeks and months, including the expansion of its Polymer Web design principles it announced at Google I/O 2013 and the rumored Google Quantum Paper project for Android design.

Bootstrap, Foundation and other existing boilerplate kits have very distinctive looks. If you’ve used them you can start to recognize patterns all over the Web. A little competition from Google will keep the next generation of cross-platform websites from all looking the same.

Photo via Web Starter Kit

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