Originally on CodePen
Welp, no one has ever talked about this, right? Just kidding…
That being said, I want to talk about the “how to choose” rather than diving into the “choosing” itself. If that wasn’t clear enough, I totally get you, even I am struggling with the idea of what I want to express here, but let me rephrase that and explain it in a different way: most of the articles I’ve read so far focus on telling the reader that they should choose X or Y because of Z. Telling the reader that they should choose a certain framework falls back on absolutism, which is inherently bad given the vast and diverse world that web development is, thus creating many different needs and wants. I believe that an article of this sort should give the reader the tools so that we, humble crafters of these small spaces of the internet, can make a conscius decision accordingly to what we are going to work on, and the level of complexity it has.
Over the last couple of years that I’ve worked as a web dev/front-end dev/[evolving job title here] I found that following a series of questions helped me when having to make a decision and cut extra features I didn’t need. In my case, for example, it usually goes like this:
- Is extensive browser support needed?
- Are grids needed?
- Will highly customizable or easily achievable elements (i.e.: accordions, dropdowns, responsive navbars, etcetera) be used?
- Are default styles needed in order to put up quick prototypes or MVPs?
- Are presentational classes going to be an issue down the road?
Some of these questions can go hand in hand, others may not. Take the first and second items as an example: if I need extensive browser support AND I also need grids, Bootstrap or Foundation may be great candidates for the job; but if browser support wasn’t an issue, flexbox or the grid layout module can do the job in a jiffy.
The list will definitely vary from developer to developer, but as I said earlier, this isn’t so much about the questions as it is about the process. If you interrogate yourself before you promptly choose a framework, that decision will reflect on your job in the end.