Freetile is a plugin for jQuery that enables the organization of webpage content in an efficient, dynamic and responsive layout. It can be applied to a container element and it will attempt to arrange it’s children in a layout that makes optimal use of screen space, by “packing” them in a tight arrangement.
Freetile is inspired by similar, existing efforts such as Masonry, vGrid and Wookmark. However, it differs from these solutions in some aspects:
- It allows for any size of elements to be packed without using a fixed-size column grid, so you don’t have to worry about specifying a column width appropriate to the size of your elements.
- The algorithm that evaluates each possible insertion position is easily customizable, allowing for different preferences to be expressed, e.g. a preference to left- or right-alignment of elements, or proximity between certain elements.
Additionally, Freetile has the following key features:
- A smart animation routine allows distinguishing between elements that is meaningful to be animated and ones that are not (e.g. elements that have been just added to the arrangement, or those that are not visible). Special classes allow for explicitly limiting animation to select elements.
- It has been battle-tested through it’s use in the many hundreds sites that make use of the Assemblage and Assemblage Plus templates. Furthermore, it has been used for layout in projects such as Properietary Polymers and Reffffound.