A few days ago I pushed the button on the 1.0 release of Fractal, the open-source tool we use to build and document component libraries at Clearleft.
In my previous post about building component libraries I detailed some of the challenges that we have encountered when creating deliverables in this format over the years. Those challenges, and the insights that have come from working through them, have been instrumental in shaping the design and development principles that Fractal is based on.
Fractal aims to provide a powerful, flexible, un-opinionated tool to help build component libraries for web projects. But it also gives teams the ability to create integrated, living documentation for both the components themselves and for the wider systems that components are often just one part of, as well as a full-featured API to help development teams integrate component libraries into their tools and production builds.
This 1.0 release is just a start; it hopefully provides a solid foundation on which we (and anyone else who wants to contribute) can build and expand on in the future. There is plenty more to do, but now it is ‘properly’ out in the wild we are keen to start gathering feedback from as wide a range of users as possible to help guide it’s future development.
We’d love to know what you think of Fractal, so go ahead and check it out and let us know if you have any comments or run into any issues. The documentation (especially around the API and integration techniques) is still a work in progress, but there should be plenty to get started with.