Hello to everyone! I’ve got several ideas of things that I want to work on that have been percolating in my brain for a while now. I’d like to try to gauge the community’s interest in some of these various projects / general areas of development for my products, and want to get your feedback to help me out in my planning. This will give me an idea of what you all are excited about. Hopefully it lines up with things I’m excited about, but if not it’ll give me a little added direction.
Below is a quick poll. If you could take just a minute to check the item you’re most interested in from this list I’d greatly appreciate it.
Foundry Starter Kits. This includes pre-made site designs and modular templated items for the Foundry 3 framework. I’ve got some ideas for some specific designs, as well as some catchall templates, too.
Tools that provide visual elements for your sites. This would be more akin to animation tools like Whimsy, Gravitate or Alchemy as well as other visual tools like Mask, Card or old retired favorites like Shelf or Drawer. These would be more universal use and not specifically connected to Foundry, but useable in all themes and frameworks, including Foundry.
Themes. This one is pretty straightforward — theme based designs like those where Elixir originally started. These are great for new users and experienced users alike.
Tools that provide more technical expertise. This would include tools for managing meta tags, structured data, etc. More like the kind of tool you get with Sidekick as an example.
Outside utilities for web design. Tools like the Palette Laboratory for Foundry 3 that could be used for multiple purposes / platforms.
More updates for Foundry itself. Outside of the free, normal point updates, like the one I shipped yesterday, where I add features and bug fixes, I’d like to possibly add more new tools that connect with Foundry’s underlying structure. Whether in the form of annual upgrades or individual addons.
I have really liked using Foundry 2 with the other add-on packages. The most important thing for me would be for that functionality to get carried over to Foundry 3 and therefore Elements when it gets released.
I don’t see use for pre-made sites as the experimenting with the different tools leads to uses that I would not have likely stumbled on if a site was already made for me. That experimentation stage is important.
The Foundry 2 add-on packs were awesome! Building on Foundry with new features would be great, and you don’t have to do that for free of course.
I’d also love a form system that expands beyond what the Form stack in Foundry can do. For instance, I’d love to be able to populate dropdowns with a user manageable CSV and have it do calculations from within the form.
I’m with the above, add on packs would be fantastic. Regular optional bundles or single advanced tools that can be purchased would be great that work within the F3 framework existing theme/framework code. In my very brief 2 weeks with F2 just before F3 was released there was a tool I think it was Media Group or Media Card something like that. I really liked that and used on my test site when getting to grips with F2. When F3 came out obviously it wasn’t a component, but can see that it can be receated using using the modular approach of F3. I started recreating it but found it had a whole load of modular pieces in order to get icon in, icon inline and above and below at six different breakpoints, headers etc and ended up being quite messy. To have a tool that is using the underlying code/structure of F3 but isn’t so messy to implement without lots of modular elements then has its own bespoke settings relevant to its own specific function would be a great optional add on. So in a way using F3 you are not limited with functionality for core customers as you can create what you want in modular sense with standard F3, but if folk what to buy additional premade combinations that are less cluttered in build and offer some inventive ideas or design aspects not thought of that would be a winner for me. Plus it keeps it all in the F3 Bootstrap theme so lighthouse speed etc remains high. Sorry bit of a ramble hopefully it makes sense.
@Kip – I would argue you can learn as much or more from Starter kits as well as their modular templates and Blacksmith stylesheets. You might experiment with a tool for ages and not ever come at it from an angle that someone else will. I’d encourage you to look at Starters and their included templates as a tool instead of a pre-made website.
@Erwin-Leerentveld – Addon packs are not likely to return. I’d like to keep everything self-contained in Foundry itself when possible. Thus an annual paid update. If doing something very complex that is quite big in scope I would likely sell it as a one-off item, but through the Foundry site.
@Erwin-Leerentveld – This falls more into the “Tools that provide more technical expertise” category to be honest. I’m not a big form person though. I think tools like this are a bit more niche than you’d think, and would need to be packaged and sold separately and priced as such, unfortunately. To be completely honest, as I don’t like to get people’s hopes up for something and then possibly disappoint, this particular sort of tool would be farther down on my list of things I would want to work on.
As I mentioned above, addon packs probably aren’t in the cards. I’d much rather keep it all contained in one package where possible.
Honestly, the Columns tool really does this same layout really well since Columns / Grids now offers vertical alignment of content within columns. That is all the Media Group tool was in Foundry 2 for the most part.
This for me is what Starter Kits and their included templates are all about. Premade elements, created with the Foundry 3 tools, that are ready to go. If anyone here hasn’t looked at the included free Starter Kits and their various pages of templates I’d definitely encourage you to do so to see what I mean.
I can see cause for creating one-off tools to do certain things. Foundry already does this in many cases. I can see areas where people want to have a quick and easy solution, but at the cost of less customization because they don’t want to create the layouts themselves. I’ve got a couple tools in mind like this for Foundry in a future update. But I do want to encourage everyone to have a look at the Starters. I think they provide a lot more than you’d expect. And if you like those you might look at something like the Hoth or Documentation Starter Kits that offer more specific types of templates and layouts.
Alloy is in a good place right now overall. I’m not currently working on a major update for Alloy at this time. Trying to wait until after we see where Elements and Stacks Pro land so I can figure out what will need to happen with those updates before I plan something as massive as Alloy would be.
Hard to dive deep into something complex and then have to set it aside to make updates to existing products to get them running in new environments. Thankfully Alloy is chugging along and doing its thing.
My preference would be tools that provide more technical expertise. On a basic level something that allows pages to be set as ‘canonical’ so users can avoid the dreaded ‘duplicate pages’ warnings Google Search Console can give out.
Something SEO based would be cool. I can’t read or write code so a SEO tool made by Elixir would be my preference.
My wish list would be for Foundry 3: a Gallery like in Foundry 2, a Img. Compare like in Foundry2, Navigation Bar Foundry 3 better SVG support of the Logo-Image (code on the page not an external svg-image).
By the way a simple shop like RapidCart Pro would be awesome.
I really like your Foundry 2 and 3 and I am enjoying working with it.
@Mike1 – I have a tool like this that I built for myself. It would however create a deluge of support. Not so much support for how the tool itself works, as it is pretty straight-forward, IMO. But more support for SEO itself. I am not SEO expert, and have no desire to be one either. And I don’t have the bandwidth as just one person to offer the support people would invariably expect with such a tool, while also supporting everything else I sell.
@tofi – I’ve not used RapidCart myself so I don’t know what it offers. But if you have a payment processor, like PayPal or Stripe, or something like CartLoom, you can already build out a nice shop using Foundry. I mean, I use Foundry for my sites and along with CartLoom offer a really nice shop, IMHO.
I would like a more simple and easy workflow using Flexbox and Grid and maybe a dropdown class multi-choice list making it easier to work with. All in all, is Foundry a very powerful framework as is. I like to work in it
The F2 and F3 products are really very pleasant to use and are of very very good quality. I prefer to work with F3 and Blacksmith which allow you to do a lot of things at this stage. The adaptations of F3 are great and really allow you to optimize the display of your site on different devices (S, M, L, XL…). Besides, I see two possibilities of improvements to allow very evolving functions, concerning:
Alloy: use the same adaptation grid as F3 depending on the devices, and allow us to display the elements according to the same criteria as F3 (S, M, L, XL)
Macro Alloy: use a Macro system to recover all blog elements in Macro form to insert them wherever we want in our site and be able to create custom blog designs without having to go through Alloy designs.
CMS Alloy: Develop Alloy as a real CMS with the possibility of managing files, galleries
F3: Create elements in the form of Addons such as Flux, Shutter… as elements integrated into F3.
Congratulations again for this magnificent work on all your products that I use.