Frameworks (CSS & JS)

These past 2 days, I've been diving deep into CSS frameworks and how CSS works. Why? Well it ironically started with JavaScript frameworks. To be honest, I never really learned JavaScript. I learned Java, I already knew HTML and CSS, so I just started building JS apps and using tools like GitHub and StackOverflow to help me along the way, and so far it's worked out fine. It's helped me with building simple stuff like I'm Crushing It and smaller stuff within the app like animating text, getting twitter sharing to import stuff from the DOM, etc. It even helped me build out the PDF Magazine Reader on the Rabelais website and a lot of other small stuff in the various websites I have built over the years.

However, as I was reading through the documentation for Vue.js (as I was considering it for future projects), I realised I didn't really know much about JavaScript basics. Therefore I spent the majority of last week (including most of christmas day) learning JS fundamentals (which to me feels a lot like Java) and getting the hang of that. However, as I was doing practice stuff on codecademy and watching Lynda.com videos, I stumbled across DevTips, a pretty cool youtube channel. Through that, I ended up watching some CSS videos and found some fascinating stuff about CSS that I never really had thought of before. This is gave me some inspiration to try and fix my website up a bit. I was getting pretty bored of the aesthetic and had known for a while that the CSS could do with some cleaning up. I was supposed to just spend an hour or two on it, move the about section from an individual html page to a section within the main website to make it a one-pager and change up the pictures and link colors a bit. Without realising, I had been sitting on the desk for about 5 hours and probably broken as much as I had fixed. On the plus side, the website looks a lot prettier now, has some nice colours, and I even figured out how to do the hyperlink text decoration style that Wired does that I love so much. Unfortunately, the website runs like junk on mobile, with scroll issues and page stutters. I've also realised that although parallax may look cool, it really isn't functional.

Today, I've come away with an even greater appreciation for simpler and less overbearing, immutable CSS frameworks such as Bass CSS and Solid. I'm still going to continue working with Bootstrap, especially when working on projects for bigger clients. I don't think I'm ever going to work with Materialize ever again. It's fine if you want to just stick to a pre-made template but building something out from scratch while trying to make everything feel cohesive is just a pain. Building a website out from scratch with something like Bass would give me a nice base to work on while still giving me the flexibility I need.

In the future, I would want my website to look similar to how I've got my blog set up now. Something clean and simple, where I don't need a fancily designed website to show off my skills, and my work can speak for itself. However, I'm merely in the infancy of my web development career and I still have a long way to go before I can reach that stage.

The week ahead.

I've been reading up on SASS and JADE a lot today, and I'm going to spend the next couple of days doing more research on how they work and what their limitations are. I'm also interested in the Toast grid framework. Once my CSS urges are satisfied, I'd probably go back to the top and learn how to use Vue.js. GAH. TOO. MANY. TOOLS. Who am I kidding, I love tools.

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