Boilerplates > Frameworks
A good boilerplate will provide you with a grid, a reset, and not much else.
Can you recommend some boilerplates? Aside from Susy, I think most people already know that one.
I'm a big fan of Skeleton.
You don't ever need one. Just use SASS (maybe Susy), pull in components from different frameworks that you need or just write your own SASS. We have to respect users bandwidths and pulling in an entire framework unnecessarily (95% average unused CSS in bootstrap) is not providing the best user experience.
Finally some sanity.
The times to use a CSS framework is when you understand CSS very well, or understand CSS poorly.
Frameworks are a godsend for people who do not have time or experience to understand all he quirks of rendering engines. Thus also lend a better user experience as things are less likely to break. This should be an ephemeral state of affairs though as the developer grows in understanding.
The other case where a developer understands CSS very well and can therefore use the framework, and also understand what they do not need to use.
Of course for me, as a UX consultant, CSS frameworks are fantastic as I only build prototypes, not really production code. As long as I don't abuse the tools of course
This feels a lot like the "you don't need jQuery anymore!" posts.
The core bits of most frameworks are there to help bring sanity to the differences in browsers rendering engines. Same goes for a grid that's been tested against many browsers and versions.
I think the comment about "just use flexbox" kinda illustrates the point. Yes, we could use it, and I think some frameworks even do use it under the covers, but if you look at browser support http://caniuse.com/#feat=flexbox you need a fallback plan for IE. That leads to shims that you need to be aware of, which if you used a framework, you probably don't have to care about.
Another reason to use a framework is working with multiple developers. If you've built the project around a popular framework, or even one with documentation, then you give anyone joining the project later on a head start.
So yeah, maybe investigate alternatives and don't use frameworks to solve all your problems, but understand when they are useful and don't be scare to use one because some might call it easy mode.
that link says 94.1% global browser coverage which is very good. Yes IE 8 and 9 have render issues, but the fallbacks are very easy to do and work well.
You might want to check the known issues tab in http://caniuse.com/#feat=flexbox. There seems to be a ton of issues, even for IE10, IE11 and Chrome
yea, I created a bunch of UI elements in Flexbox and found a number of those bugs during browser testing. I will say they are a nuisance, but weren't deal breakers. I just had to add some temporary CSS hacks and everything worked fine.
Depends on the framework I guess. One of the reasons why I like UI Kit is that the styling is basic and every class starts with 'uk-' , so it almost never messes up your own custom CSS. You can also load most components separately. Not using a framework is sometimes easier, but most frameworks 'fix' a bunch of common specific device issues. (like reset button stylings on iPad or select boxes in IE etc.). And seperate jquery plugins might not play well together. It also takes a while to test your own CSS across all devices and browsers.