23 March 2014

Simply Bootstrap

Bootstrap is a pretty amazing framework or perhaps a frontend toolkit. It does everything desired of a fast moving agile development team and facilitates an immense amount of standard approaches. It also makes web design for a developer fun as they do not have to spend hours and hours tweeking on something while trying also stay functional in their development work. Bootstrap essentially saves time in developing simple and sleek layouts. It is also fully customizable in its approach to web design using standard HTML, Less, and CSS. Using standard grid layouts also helps but is not mandatory. It even adds a sense of consistency and a regular process for updates. One core aspect of the approach is that it is future proof using HTML5 and CSS3 and very well documented. Third-party assisted customizations are also possible for typography, layouts, javascript enabled interactions. The framework makes design approachable by anyone and a lot less frustrating for the developer as well. It is also becoming the framework of choice for many in development of visualization, portfolios, and dashboards. Although, there are a few drawbacks to using it that one needs to keep in mind. It may not provide for best practices of separating content from presentation. And, at times it may require modifications when it collides with existing setups. Also, it has quite a  memory size as a result of heavy functionality that is baked into the framework. Customization is also a major requirement that becomes necessary with bootstrap. Otherwise, the layout will end up looking similar to everyone else and does not allow for much differential for uniqueness. Bootstrap is also being used quite heavily for single page websites. Alternatively, one can always go back to hand-coding everything from scratch, if that makes one more productive and efficient. The framework may not be the best choice for a web designer focused individual at times who may be more driven by standards and require more flexibility for handcrafting everything. All in all, even if bootstrap does have certain limitations, it does provide a good alternative for developers that are more inclined towards building frontends quickly while spending more time doing backend work. Furthermore, it has a nice integration with Bower which is a package manager for the web or perhaps more of a web component installer. One could use Yeoman for code generation and Grunt as a builder and utility tool which can be installed via node package manager