Book review: Getting Started with Zurb Foundation 4

A short while ago I was contacted by Packt Publishing whether I'd like to review a book they have published back in November 2013. This is where the book is:

During my $dayjob, I work at a WordPress agency as their senior developer, and we've been using Foundation for the past year, year and a half now, so if it can be done with Foundation, we've probably done it.

Obviously, I said yes. So here's what I think about it.

tl;dr; version

If you're considering checking out Foundation, and need to support IE8*, this is definitely a good read, and worth getting. The docs of Foundation are pretty good as is, but the book adds a lot of explanation as to what might happen when you combine things.

The long version

I don't actually know how many pages the book is. I was reading it on Kindle on my phone, so I can tell you how many positions there are, but that won't help. It's a rather short judging by the time it took to read through everything.

The author (Andrew D. Patterson) knows the industry well. This comes more from the language he's using in the book rather than the profile on the publisher's website, so there's a wealth of experience contained within the pages.

Pace of the book isn't too slow, nor is it too fast. There are a few technical things that are left out intentionally towards the end, but those aren't part of Foundation, so excusable. References to where to look are provided, which is a huge bonus. Anyone with basic googling capabilities should be able to deal with anything that's missing.

The book covers every basic aspect of the framework: grids, built in styles, reusable code, reusable javascript modules and a bit of advanced usage with sass. All the explanations are clear, understandable. Code snippets are provided, so if you follow along with your code editor, you can get stuff done. Andrew also encourages us to experiment, mix and match all the possible options that are available. If all else fails, Zurb's own documentation of version 4 (keeping in mind that as of this moment, 5.2 is out, and has major changes to 4) are the definite go-to when it comes to how to use this, but that might be a bit over the top for people only starting out.

What I missed

*A list of potential issues with regards to responsive design. Foundation 4 no longer supports IE7, and there are a few bits that you need to include for it to fully work in IE8. While not strictly part of Foundation, this is something that might confuse less technical people. There was a mention in the book that older browsers might struggle with media queries though. In any case, respond.js and html5shiv.js might come in handy. Your milage may vary.

All in all, it covers all the basic usage, and has links to where to advance to next.

(Disclosure: I got a copy of this book to read, and will get two free e-book copies of my choice after publishing the review, parts of this review will appear on the Packt website. I was not asked to be in favour of the book, all words are totally mine.)