Foundation for Sites: Sadly, I Fear the Project May Be Dead

Everyone here knows that I love using Foundation for Sites. I got into it a few years ago and immediately fell in love with it. So much in fact, that I decided to create a WordPress theme with it. That them was WP-Forge. WP-Forge, along with JointsWP, turned out to be considered by many the two best WordPress themes built with Foundation.

A few months ago, I was inspired to create another WordPress theme using Foundation for Sites. That theme is TotalPress. After a lot of effort I am happy to say that she is almost ready to be reviewed by the WordPress Theme Review team (as of this writing she is eighth in line). This has me ecstatic. However, I believe it is going to be short lived. Why? Well I am afraid that the Foundation for Sites project may be dead.

This past year Zurb laid off a ton of its employees. Many of those employees worked on the Foundation for Sites project and since that happened…Crickets! Nothing! Nada! Zip! Zero! Zilch! I did come across this issue on their GH repo: Is this project dead? If you read everything you will see that people have been worried for a while. And rightly so.

Just like WP-Forge and TotalPress, I am sure there are a lot of projects that were built with Foundation for Sites. If the project goes dark or basically dies, it stands to reason those projects themselves will die as well. Not in the sense that they will have to be taken down. But they will have to move to something that is maintained.

Which brings me to my question that I have for all of you. Now keep in mind, I said “I fear the project may be dead”. I didn’t say it was. To myself and apparently a large group of others, the project does seem to be slowly fading. So if it’s in the final death throes, what should I do with WP-Forge and TotalPress?

Should I switch to another framework? If so, which one? Please let me know your thoughts.

14 thoughts on “Foundation for Sites: Sadly, I Fear the Project May Be Dead

  1. I think the link cited above “Is this project dead?” was for Foundation for Apps (which likely *is* dead), not Foundation for Sites. The Foundation for Sites repo has commit as of just last week it seems –

    I’d keep going with Foundation – it’s all Open Source right, so someone could fork it. To me it’s nice to see a lighter wieght framework like F6 as compared to something like what Bootstrap had been. To be fair, I’m not sure what the release version of BS4 is like as compared to F6.

    • Yes you are correct as always Kel, but even though they had a commit just last week the commits have been few and far between since that last major update.

      Just has me thinking is all. You never know what’s going to happen.

  2. That comment was for apps

    The project has slowed down but it’s not dead
    We will be soon kicking with foundation 7 hopefully soon
    (Though will take some time0

    Harry Manchanda
    Core Team Member, Zurb Foundation!

  3. Sorry to hear that after your generous, great hard work Thomas!
    It sounds like it’s not super clear yet?… So maybe wait a few weeks to see how things develop and take a breather before diving in again?

    Fwiw, it appears to me that the rage these days in the WP mass market is to use a super lean theme (I know, that’s what you made!) with a super feature rich ‘page-builder’. Which framework is best I don’t know but the theme seems to be taking a slight backseat to the page-builder.

    All the best man!!

  4. Dear Thomas,

    I am the current maintainer of ZURB Foundation. I contributed to the projects for the last 2 years, and it takes a large part of my time from end of December. However, what I am saying here does not engage the rest of the Core team (even if they had a look on this message before it was send), or even the position of ZURB.

    The activity of the Core team slowed down in the last quarter of 2017. Issues and feature requests kept coming while our members were not as able to work on it as before. So I agree Foundation had some difficulties. Beside that, Foundation is a jQuery framework, without a lot of abstraction in the way it is implemented, and because of that cannot provide some features that web developers like today in modern framework (like templates or highly customizable components throught inheritance).

    We are aware of that. We want Foundation to evolve, to be adapted to the new mastodons of the web (Vue, Angular, React…) and drop the need (and architecture) of jQuery. The good thing is that, beside the difficulties I mentioned above, we have some ideas. We see some ways to find our place alongside the modern frameworks, and better than that, to resolve some big issues in the component libraries community, and we would be the first to address them.

    However, all of that is still in discussion. The core team is motivated around these ideas, but we’re still working. We’ll make a public announcement as soon as possible. So about the status of Foundation I would say: we started hibernating, and the spring is coming 😉

    Nicolas Coden – Foundation Core Team

    • Hi there,

      First off I’d like to apologize for ever creating a post like this, however I did feel it necessary as I was getting nothing from Zurb or Foundation.

      I am very happy you stopped by and at least gave us all a glimpse of what is going on over there and I am sure everyone else who was thinking the same thing is greatly appreciative as well.

      I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with after “The Big Sleep” 😉

  5. To answer the question you posed. Which Framework to switch to (if you were to do that)?

    I think the obvious answer is bootstrap. I was using Gumby which was great but that project died. I switched up to one of the top two so that the foundations (excuse the pun) of my work would continue to remain supported. So, for me, I feel that the community support is the most important thing. I don’t think you’d get this anywhere other than the Bootstrap community, purely because of the size and popularity.

    Anyway, I love Foundation and ZURB do a great job, so hopefully, this never needs to happen. 🙂

    • Yeah BootStrap is the obvious choice hands down. If that time comes then I will def make that move.

      Until then based on what Nicolas Coden stated below, I’ll hang on until I can’t hang no more…lol! Like you I love Zurb and Foundation 😉

  6. Am I missing something?

    That whole discussion happened in 2016. And , as pointed out, was for foundation-apps.

    Wasn’t 6.4, a significant release, after that? Also, the roadmap on the github wiki seems to indicate ongoing work –

    Regarding your questions “Should I switch to another framework? If so, which one? Please let me know your thoughts.”

    1) No
    2) If you did and *additional* theme or version, bootstrap would be the obvious choice.

    • Yes, like I said previously, i made the mistake of posting the wrong link.

      However, 6.4.3 is the latest release and there hasn’t been much done to it since.

      This is what had me worried and one of the reasons I wrote this post asking the question.

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