Playing Chicken With Common Sense

SubForum is an open source discussion forum using the ASP.NET MVC framework.  However, we are going to use the 960 Grid System to develop the interface.  The 960 Grid System is basically web design for 1024×768 display.  Word is 800×600 is dead and 960 pixels is the new gold standard.

The current interface was put together using css alone.  We are not putting any of the styling into the controls or aspx pages.  All styling will leverage CSS and will not be embedded into any component, control, or page.  We believe this will allow designers more freedom to develop themes which SubForum will support.

Also, you can see that the demo site looks okay (not great) but it is functional and works (already - so soon).  SubForum will support Tags, discussion topics, a login, a navigation control, and an editor for adding your 2 cents to the discussion.  As you can see from the following screenshots we have those items in place already.

sshot-1

We decided to use markItUp! to edit the comments.  There are quite a few controls out there to do this but markItUp! is one of the most complete.  Plus, it has a lot of support via plugins and a community that follows it quite closely.  However, we may still change that component if we think another will be better for SubForum.

sshot-2

Now, back to the the 960 Grid System.  We will use the 16 column template provided in the download.  The following screenshot shows a mockup of the SubForum default theme.  I am taking from a wordpress style and what you can see is that the columns allow for better placement and alignment of items on the page.  It also provides a standard set of widths because the 960gs has 20 pixels wide gutters between columns.  View the demo on the 960gs home page to see exactly how flexible.

sshot-3

Please feel free to download the code and try it for yourself.  And if you are interested you should join the SubForum team and provide some of your time and expertise in building or testing it.

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