My views on all things regarding the online industry
I see the Twiiter Bootstrap framework being used more and more by developers and I am still struggling to understand how it can be accepted as a full and robust solution that can be released as production ready.
From a general overview, it is a framework for developers who don’t know how to build a modular, re-usable and scalable front end solution, and use it as an easy way out. It seems to be a good way for back end developers with limited front end knowledge to create a reasonable looking UI. There are some useful elements, but from my view point are only really acceptable for MVP (minimal viable product) work as a certain degree of hacking at the frame work is required to customize it for a required purpose.
Below are some of the benefits that developers find useful:
Lets have a look at some of the pitfalls in a bit more detail.
One of the major issues I have with Twitter Bootstrap is that you end up with a lot of DOM elements full of needless classes. This usually means that the presentation is no longer separate from the content. Many front end developers will find this irritating, as it makes scalability, reusability and maintenance more of a challenge than it should be. Twitter Bootstrap also creates problems with progressive enhancement, as presentation and interaction are no longer independent of content.
Another point of contention, and definitely an issue that puts me off using Bootstrap is the that it’s built with Less and provides no native support for Compass and SASS. Less is okay and it certainly has it’s advantages. But SASS is just better!, and with a framework like Compass on top, it is a complete no-brainer to use it. The are some solutions out there, but straight out of the box, you’ll have to make do with Less.
Twitter Bootstrap is growing in popularity all the time, and this means that the world and his wife will be using it. While it is possible to customise your design further, you may find time constraints force you to stick to a lot of the out of the box Bootstrap style. This can lead to the creation of a lot of similar, generic and unmemorable websites. While Twitter Bootstrap is fast and easy to implement, creativity is often compromised as a result. Creative designs, which defy conventions, can be difficult to implement in Bootstrap’s structured environment.
A lot of users have complained about bootstrap.js and how it does not use semi-colons. This can cause issues when using aggregation and compression tools such as JSMin and RequireJS. Using semi-colons is not part of JS standards but in my view it is better practice to use them mainly due to the inconvenience it can cause and can make modifying the source code a more difficult task than it should be.
Some of the more sceptical and cautious users of the Internet may question the legitimacy of a site using the default Bootstrap style. By not taking the time to customise styles, some users may start to perceive Bootstrap sites as untrustworthy.
Overall, Twitter Bootstrap is good to get something up and running quickly, with minimal front end development knowledge and is acceptable for MVP work that is not released as production quality. However, it can become very easy to shoot yourself in the foot, by thinking you are getting something for nothing, only to find out later down the line that it causes more work or hacks are required to customise it to your needs.