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Foundation for Emails dead?

Over the past year, I've pivoted my development skills into focusing solely email development. Email development has always been very 1999 in regards to the html, however I was encouraged that email development could be simplified and potentially just as robust as websites when I found Zurb Foundation for Emails. Thanks to Zurb's Foundation for Email repo, I found the fun which NPM, Gulp, and other fantastic packages can bring towards email development.

Disclaimer: I'm a power-user, I do email every day and all my clients are email focused. I'm also huge about continuous  improvement in code, workflows, skill, and everything else in life. Please keep this disclaimer in mind if you find yourself frustrated with my opinions towards the code, license, and community.

It seems as though to me that Zurb Foundation for Emails code has become stale. For many months I anticipated that a code update would be made, however based upon the documentation site - v2.2.0 - is the latest and no other official release announcement has been made. v2.2.0 was released in June 2016 (>12mths) and email client quirks and issues have changed drastically since then.

It appears Zurb has officially relied solely on community for updates, like all open source packages that come from organizations (i.e., Google). Zurb seems to now completely rely on community members to make patches and pull requests. It's great to see project maintainers encourage the community to write patches and make a pull request. However I began to question (+worry) how do maintainers verify and test the pull request? The pull request might fix one template, one email, however the use can vary greatly. I began to realize that merges were breaking previously resolved issues and commits were not well tested.

This leads into my first pet peeve about the project, I found the following quote is now a false statement.

Quickly create responsive HTML emails that work on any device and client. Even Outlook.

I realized in the past few months many device/client issues within the code of v2.2.0 and began to manually apply patches (which I found in the pull requests or issue queue), and they seemingly resolved the device/client issues in relation to my developed emails.

I realized that Foundation for Emails was putting together some very useful npm packages and built a robust development processor however the project lacked assistance with actual coding.  I'm constantly finding issues with email clients getting updates however seemingly blocked by the Zurb mindset of doing "Responsive/Media Query". Attempting to debug issues with tables within tables (within tables), the lack of microsoft office conditional statements produced (i.e., ghost tables), td vs. th, and the unnecessary amount of inline styles inserted. I finally realized that all these coding practices by Zurb Foundation for Emails were seemingly making my emails less responsive (and more time intensive).

I've began to develop my own private fork of Foundation for Emails and have been hesitant in wanting to learn or rewrite templates into another framework (i.e., MJML), concerned that I'll just find similar issues. Having a wide range of experience in email development and seeing many working templates (Foundation or not), I've come to believe that many email developers (Zurb included) do not share openly their innovative templates and knowledge of quirks.

 

rant

Over the past year, I've pivoted my development skills into focusing solely email development. Email development has always been very 1999 in regards to the html, however I was encouraged that email development could be simplified and potentially just as robust as websites when I found Zurb Foundation for Emails. Thanks to Zurb's Foundation for Email repo, I found the fun which NPM, Gulp, and other fantastic packages can bring towards email development.

Disclaimer: I'm a power-user, I do email every day and all my clients are email focused. I'm also huge about continuous  improvement in code, workflows, skill, and everything else in life. Please keep this disclaimer in mind if you find yourself frustrated with my opinions towards the code, license, and community.

It seems as though to me that Zurb Foundation for Emails code has become stale. For many months I anticipated that a code update would be made, however based upon the documentation site - v2.2.0 - is the latest and no other official release announcement has been made. v2.2.0 was released in June 2016 (>12mths) and email client quirks and issues have changed drastically since then.

It appears Zurb has officially relied solely on community for updates, like all open source packages that come from organizations (i.e., Google). Zurb seems to now completely rely on community members to make patches and pull requests. It's great to see project maintainers encourage the community to write patches and make a pull request. However I began to question (+worry) how do maintainers verify and test the pull request? The pull request might fix one template, one email, however the use can vary greatly. I began to realize that merges were breaking previously resolved issues and commits were not well tested.

This leads into my first pet peeve about the project, I found the following quote is now a false statement.

Quickly create responsive HTML emails that work on any device and client. Even Outlook.

I realized in the past few months many device/client issues within the code of v2.2.0 and began to manually apply patches (which I found in the pull requests or issue queue), and they seemingly resolved the device/client issues in relation to my developed emails.

I realized that Foundation for Emails was putting together some very useful npm packages and built a robust development processor however the project lacked assistance with actual coding.  I'm constantly finding issues with email clients getting updates however seemingly blocked by the Zurb mindset of doing "Responsive/Media Query". Attempting to debug issues with tables within tables (within tables), the lack of microsoft office conditional statements produced (i.e., ghost tables), td vs. th, and the unnecessary amount of inline styles inserted. I finally realized that all these coding practices by Zurb Foundation for Emails were seemingly making my emails less responsive (and more time intensive).

I've began to develop my own private fork of Foundation for Emails and have been hesitant in wanting to learn or rewrite templates into another framework (i.e., MJML), concerned that I'll just find similar issues. Having a wide range of experience in email development and seeing many working templates (Foundation or not), I've come to believe that many email developers (Zurb included) do not share openly their innovative templates and knowledge of quirks.

 

Ant James almost 2 years ago

An important post that makes some pertinent points.

In fact I'd really like to see those points answered by somebody from Zurb as soon as possible. I've been an advocate of FfE since the release of v2.0 - in my eyes, it has been the market leader ever since. But the key part of that sentence is 'has been'.

Having started a new job, I need to decide whether to recommend FfE as part of the marketing workflow. Right now I don't have the confidence to wholeheartedly do that; the stakes are high, and it's on my head if we end up having to complete revise the way we work in 2, 4, 6... (etc.) months.

We (the community) could do with reassurance and, more than that, to start to see signs of life again. If this project is to survive it requires active maintenance.

All Media Lab almost 2 years ago

Hi Steven,

The same feelings here! I pointed this out a year ago, but nobody seems to be responsible. No matter if you place a issue on Github or on this forum. 

I think the businessmodel they had in mind doesn't pay off (payed video tutorials) and there is no backup plan!

To keep a application like Stack up to date you need a team of developers (paid or not) that respond to all issues.

Regards,

David

 

Sameer vashistha 12 months ago

  Anyone can know how to print screen in windows 10 in short commands.

Rutledge 12 months ago

nice

All Media Lab 12 months ago

Hi Steven,

Stopped using Zurb for mail and Stack for 2 years now, because it's useless.

Moved to https://github.com/ThemeMountain/pine and never looked back.The Pine Email Framework is a excellent framework to create emails that indeed work on most email-clients.You can download the files with the boilerplate and components and start creating mails without NPM and a buggy application!

Made the boilerplate and components snippets in Sublime Text and added my own components to it. Works 5 times faster then Stack. I always make the boilerplate HTML first (for easy viewing in the browser) and after completely finishing the email (you can then remove unnecessary unused CSS with an online application) I add my PHP codes to it and convert the HTML page in PHP.    

Regards,

David

 

Jordan Belfort 12 months ago

Foundation emails is very useful..