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JCU Web Framework

The living style guide for University web applications.

Coding Guide

Heads up! You probably don’t need this if you’re an application owner or developer and not part of the Web or Marketing teams. However, you might like to try and keep your application (especially if it’s a custom or in-house one) up to the standards set by this framework.



New technologies

  • Use Can I use to determine if a browser feature is widely available across user agents and what, if any, workarounds are available or caveats should be noted.


All templates must be accessible and pass standards Section 508 and WCAG2AA. In order to test accessibility, we use a number of different tools:

  • pa11y: command-line and server driven testing of rendered pages using a local browser instance. This uses the HTML5 CodeSniffer and is capable of Section508 and WCAG2 testing.

  • tota11y: in-browser testing of elements within actual pages. Follow the instructions on the project page to use tota11y on live application or any other pages. tota11y is also included on all documentation pages for additional testing—look for the glasses in the bottom-left corner!

    Use tota11y to determine contrast ratios for absolutely positioned elements where pa11y reports warnings.

For how to use these tools in practice, see Accessibility testing.

Coding guide

  • Follow the Code Guide HTML and CSS standards; these guidelines are what Bootstrap strives to abide by. In terms of specific class names, follow BEM (Block, Element, Modifier) semantic syntax, where possible.

    • Note that BEM only applies if styling is DOM-dependent, for instance a heading or list that is styled because it is within another class.
  • Use only CSS classes for selectors in styling; do not use IDs. Note that this only applies to styling and does not apply JavaScript-based components that require IDs for operation.

  • All components are given names that describe their purpose, rather than being arbitrary or specifically dictating their position. This also has the added benefit of making components easily identifiable and discussable. For example, the Exposition component sets the theme for the page with a background image and the Explorer component consists of the way in which users can navigate and explore a content-rich site.

  • All custom variables and classes in code should follow Bootstrap’s lead and use American English (for example, color over colour). This decision is for consistency when mixing stock and custom variables. Comments and content in documentation pages should follow standard Australian English spelling and grammar (colour).

  • Avoid all use of inline styles within the framework; reusable classes should be provided instead.

  • Consistently name files: [suggestion coming]

  • Internet Explorer’s print layouts for A4 adhere to sm (small) sized media queries. In order to combat this, ensure print layouts are not affected or are specifically excluded in @include media-breakpoint-down styles.