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Discussion on: Tailwind. My experience using it for a month now.

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gsarig profile image
Giorgos Sarigiannidis • Edited on

Long ago I've decided that CSS frameworks arent for me, and the main reasons for that are:

  • I don't like the messy markup they force you to write.
  • If you need to implement a rather complicated design from an XD, PSD or whatever, a framework can even become an obstacle.
  • Too much unused styles that you have to load anyway.
  • If I return to an old project and in the meantime I've switched frameworks, remembering the old framework's conventions can be annoyingly hard. The same goes if I have to pass my work to somebody else, and that somebody uses a different framework. Using vanilla CSS seems much more future-proof and flexible.
  • When I used to use Bootstrap, something felt wrong to me. Instead of learning CSS, I tried to learn the logic of a framework, often forgetting what is under the hood and how to write actual CSS.
  • CSS has so many exciting developments (variables, grid, flexbox etc) and IE use is fading, so using a framework doesn't save me from as much trouble as before. To me, spending time learning a framework simply doesn't seem to worth it anymore.
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patriscus profile image
Patrick Ahmetovic Author • Edited on

Valid points, thanks for sharing them. I can certainly understand why you would rather omit the usage of a framework. However, as of now I'm still enjoying the process of experimenting with it but I am curious to see how my opinions & views will change in the future.

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Nicolas Hervé

The third point is not a problem with purgecss that strip unused CSS.

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Dillon Headley • Edited on

But there is the problem of adding more tools to your tools. More setup, more reading docs, more breaking points with version changes etc

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hnicolas profile image
Nicolas Hervé

Si I suppose that you don't use autoprefixer for the same reason. Sure vanilla CSS is great but have a good time remembering all vendor specific prefixes. This will also reduce your CSS readability a lot...

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Dillon Headley

It depends on the target browsers and project size, so no not always. For modern browsers it does little and vendor prefixes are being phased out of modern specs like grid. I’m not against tools. But there is a cost to each tool you add to a project. Adding blindly will bite you later

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Ben Sinclair

I've never understood how these tools are supposed to work. Even if you brute-force it by scraping the entire site you're going to miss a lot of dynamic classes added by ajax or rich text editors and such.

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Srđan Međo

I came to same conclusion some time ago.

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Rahul

I can relate to these points. I agree with the original post that CSS can be hard to manage and organize as a project grows. However, as a UI designer, I like to design what I want to make before I make it. Once I am done, I always struggle to stick to my original design when using a CSS framework. Using CSS frameworks in my opinion is nice when I don't have a design in mind and I just want to cram together whatever I can find, but when I am following a design, I am trying to get the finer details accurate. When I am trying to get the details right, it's just a headache for me to figure out how to do that with the CSS framework I am using. As you said, it's more like learning the logic of a framework, and it becomes an obstacle.

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gsarig profile image
Giorgos Sarigiannidis • Edited on

I fully understand what you are saying about the usefulness of a framework when you don't have a design in mind or when you are prototyping. That's a scenario where I might consider using some framework too, as long as it didn't have a steep learning curve.

With my original post, I didn't mean to say that frameworks are inherently bad, but that they simply don't meet my personal requirements. Writing vanilla CSS has a few challenges of its own, but to me dedicating some time for it is worth it, as it is a knowledge that stays. On the other hand, if you dedicate time learning a framework and then move to the next framework, the hours that you spend learning the old one seem like wasted time, as they are of no use anymore.

Some time ago I had written a post of my own explaining those views of mine in more detail, for anyone interested.

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Furkan Kartal

Your 5th point was actually the opposite for me. I hated css and never really grasped it fully. But css frameworks (tailwind in this case) taught me the logic behind css without all that bloated codes. And that at the end helped me learn css. I agree with all the other points you've made, but I would suggest tailwind to everyone just because of this one reason that it may help them understand the logic behind css easier.

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Jordan Brennan • Edited on

I share some similar feelings about it all. I've gone back and forth over the years and now I think large, bloated UI frameworks have had their day and it's time to get back to small, simple, balanced. I'm building my own out of desperation for something genuinely small and easy.