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President at ZenDev, LLC Joined about 8 years ago
Fun thing to note - This website was built using Wordpress and ZURB Foundation! Check out this quick writeup on the team and tech involved: https://wptavern.com/obama-foundation-launches-new-website-powered-by-wordpress
This is a great question! We don't have too much Elixir experience in house but if you do I'd be happy to collaborate with you to get one to happen. We recently helped a team build out a C# implementation using inky-rb as an example - it should be open sourced sometime pretty soon.
If your'e interested in taking a pass on this, reach out to me at kball (at) zurb.com and I'll give you some pointers in the right direction.
Thought this might be a nice counterpoint to the misogyny $#!7storm on the front page. Positive support of marginalized groups.
Nice writeup! There's a ton of good stuff in here, and a great breakdown of some of the value created by Foundation for Emails 2.
I'd love to hear more about the challenges you ran into that led to this statement: 'A problem might occur when generating personalized newsletters with variables in its content, because it is surely not desirable to build each and every email from pseudo-HTML to its final form.'
I'm the engineering lead over at ZURB, and I'd like to chase this down further. Given the craziness that is the underlying table-based markup required for responsive emails, we actually do imagine that inky becomes the way that emails become built, top to bottom. One wouldn't imagine writing server-side software in assembly, why should email developers be forced to write those crazy table structures in email?
That being said, I know that we're not all the way there. We're working on streamlining it, improving inky, and integrating it into various build flows (such as the Rails asset pipeline). If you're running into situations where its not working, we want to hear!
I'm going to tackle just a couple of these questions, and let some of the other guys attack the others.
On roadmaps: We've got an internal process for assessing feature possibilities with regards to the vision, moving them into the roadmap, and delivering on them. That being said, we're looking at bringing this process more into the open and having more community voice and involvement in determining what makes it into each release. Watch this space. :)
On tools and services. We do most of our backends in Ruby on Rails. We rely on Intercom to streamline our communications with folks. We love Campaign Monitor for handling our email lists and emails.
With regards to services that allow you to build websites without writing any code... my sense is that these services are great for the basics. If you're a small business or individual just trying to get online for the first time, great, take one of those services. However, they're always going to be less customizable and they're always going to be behind the cutting edge in what they can do. This is not a criticism of them - it's more by definition - to create a bulk service you HAVE to make choices about what you support, and it takes time to add new feature and availability support. So in my opinion anyone trying to do something innovative or create a unique brand/visual experience is going to need to go to custom.
I'd say the best thing is that sometimes folks will take an idea, get excited, and just go off and build it. We've gotten some amazing features just by someone who's using Foundation scratching an itch and going off and building it.
Probably the worst thing is that the developer community can be really critical... you'd think that as software developers we'd have a good sense of how hard it is to ship quality software and have some patience, but often times having to work with software just makes folks more impatient.
Our mission at ZURB is to change the way people design connected products and services, with a goal of reaching 50 million people. Foundation is a key piece of this - I'd like to see it become a framework that allows you to implement your visual identity and seamlessly take it across all of the different places you have touch points with your customers - websites, applications, email.
For example, if you think about Email - we traditionally think of email as something to "pull people" back to something else, an application, etc. Partly this is because the tools for building emails are so challenging... But what if it was easy enough and flexible enough that you could treat emails as just another 'surface' of your application? Where you could take the visual styles you've developed on the web, quickly and easily apply them to email, and create another touch point that just "feels" like part of an integrated experience.
Bootstrap is a great prototyping framework, where you can get something that looks pretty good out of the box, but even with theming most Bootstrap sites kind of look like Bootstrap. Foundation is much more... "foundational", in that it is designed from the bottom up to allow you to truly implement your own visual identity on top of it. This is one of the reasons why Bootstrap has been more popular for developers, while Foundation has been more popular in the design world - many devs just want something that's going to look decent without having to worry about design, while designers want something that makes it easy to implement their vision.
That being said, we're planning some features (like better theming) that will make it easier for developers to pick up Foundation out of the box and start working with it.
With regards to upcoming products, we think there's a long way we can go with Foundation for Sites and Foundation for Emails, but we're getting rolling on Foundation for Apps 2, which will be a rebuild of Foundation for Apps with Angular 2.
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