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Discussion on: 33 GitHub projects I have bookmarked and you should

darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

Flex box isn't hard: you just set display: flex on the container and two or three attributes describing how to align content, almost like one would do with bootstrap. Same goes for CSS grid: you just set display: grid on the container and follow one of the countless guides to set up how the elements position themselves in the grid. Float is super easy too, if you're using it for what it's actually meant for instead of the weird hacks it was abused for before flex was a thing.

Yes it takes some effort, but not much more than learning bootstrap.

And it's also not like bootstrap only gets used for pet projects of backend programmers who don't want to spend too much time building a generic interface; even people calling themselves web developers use it or similar frameworks.

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sinjai profile image
Sinjai

@darkwiiplayer the criticism seems valid, but the biggest hangup for me is knowing where to start. With Bootstrap it's very easy to start with something basic and add on components or adjust things with simple CSS classes. Do you know of a good resource as a starting point for making a stylish and easy-to-use website using pure CSS?
I have a feeling the hacky stuff comes in when you want to customize the default bootstrap behavior -- so maybe it's something someone ought to "grow out of", but that's not a thing someone can do simply with a site they've already worked on using Bootstrap for a long time.

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darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

I think getting started is pretty much the one thing where frameworks like bootstrap might have a bit of an advantage over vanilla CSS; but I see it more as a form of early-on scaffolding that should be gradually replaced, not built upon. As you've said, the hacky stuff comes in when you start customizing, and that's precisely why I don't think it's ultimately easier than vanilla CSS.

As for how to get started with a website, the approach that always works best for me is to find something I want to copy (I'm more of a programmer than a designer) and then just start with the layout. Once the website more or less has the right shape, it's really just adding elements like buttons, text boxes, etc.

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sinjai profile image
Sinjai

@darkwiiplayer so you can see why Bootstrap is so enticing -- getting started is the hardest part. That said, I feel like there MUST be a collection of starters somewhere that aren't Bootstrap. I definitely don't blame people who are primarily backend, desktop, etc. developers for making the deal with the devil. For my part, I was introduced to it because the starter ASP.NET MVC application used it, so I definitely didn't see a good reason to change that.

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darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

there MUST be a collection of starters somewhere that aren't Bootstrap

My best guess is that most people just end up having a bunch of snippets that they copy around, maybe some go through the effort of compiling them all into a sort of personal mini-framework. Personally I have a bunch of things on codepen and github that I find myself copying into projects every now and then.

The "deal with the devil" part is a surprisingly good analogy: It makes building the website easier for a while, at the cost of eternal suffering as features need to get added and maintained and the hacks start creeping in :D