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Discussion on: TailwindCSS: Adds complexity, does nothing.

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markgoho profile image
Mark Goho

@brianboyko thank you so much for writing this article -- especially the part where you talk about why you wrote it. Additionally, while most folks won't read through all the comments, it shows an incredible level of dedication when an author takes time to read (not skim) comments and provide thoughtful responses.

Apologies in advance for this very cynical and bleak perspective....

While most of your article focused on technical reasons why Tailwind would not be a wise choice for most projects, I thought it might be helpful to at least call out why Tailwind is so popular in the first case: a lot of developers don't really know CSS, and they don't really care. Tailwind promises to make CSS more accessible for those developers. Unfortunately, I think a lot of your points above (which resonate with me, someone who knows CSS) just don't make sense to developers that have no strong desire to become proficient with CSS.

Why would these folks care that @apply isn't in the CSS standard? They're told to use it by the Tailwind documentation and that's really all that matters.

You make a great point about not being able to use combinators, but (really) who among these developers were ever going to use combinators anyway?

Let's be honest: Tailwind is for developers that don't know and don't care to know CSS. Tailwind is for developers that want to pretend they use CSS.

This is very similar to the extreme dependency on a grid system for layout when CSS Grid exists, is infinitely more powerful, and can be picked up in a weekend of study. Call it laziness, willful ignorance, or mediocrity, but Tailwind is popular and will probably remain so as long as developers don't want to do the work of learning CSS.

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Jeff Sagal

Great take Mark. Had a good chuckle!

Your perspective is neither cynical or bleak, but it is incredibly condescending and presumptuous, even more so than @brianboyko 's very condescending and presumptuous piece, so props on upping the bar! 🎊

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alex_layne_3bbfe310a34ac7 profile image
Alex Layne

I do know CSS and I also absolutely hate reading it. The reason I love Tailwind is that everyone writes CSS differently and with Tailwind you can’t do that. No more reading through an inscrutable CSS file, flipping back and forth from the HTML to figure out what the hell it’s actually doing. People don’t like Tailwind because they’re ignorant of CSS, they like it because in many cases it’s a better experience for both writing and reading it.