Bootstrap is for programmers
I am no programmer.
My work as a web designer consisted of graphic design and HTML / CSS templates. I never used any framework or IDE: I wrote every line using Notepad++. This light setup forced me to be very efficient in my HTML markup and CSS syntax.
In HTML, I used the fewest tags possible, or should I say, necessary. Classes were used with parcimony, but provided enough flexibility for the programmer who would use my code. Names used for classes described the content, not the style applied.
I was committed to follow the golden rule:
- HTML is for content
- CSS is for layout
Frameworks such as Bootstrap fail at keeping this dichotomy clear. Some examples:
.offset4to define column widths and column margins
.navbar-fixed-topto apply an alternate style for the top bar
.table-borderedfor a table with borders
.form-horizontalfor a float left with right-alined labels
All Bootstrap’s classes aren’t weighted with style instead of content description. Buttons are quite well implemented. Variations use function, not color:
Anyway, let’s not overlook the purpose of Bootstrap: quickly build a website, through HTML blocks and classes, without having to write one line of CSS. Everything is defined in the HTML. If you think about it, programmers merely generate HTML code, and never touch the CSS file. So providing full control, from content to style, through HTML only, seems evident.
If I had to launch a website rapidly, I could set it up quite quickly. But I’d still have to take some layout decisions: font, color, positioning, spacing, dimensions… And though I’ve done it more than a hundred times, it wouldn’t be straightforward.
So I’d set aside my wish to keep content apart from layout and use Bootstrap, because it’s incredibly well designed.