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When did browser compatability become unimportant?

LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2018

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This is just a general question, and a just out of interest one.

4-5 years ago many people objected strenuously against the use of flexbox, (don't be shy in saying why ) although at that time 94% of users had a device or browser that supported its use. The main reason given was that IE8/9 did not support it and some browsers devices required prefixes. (easy to implement) Fallback pollyfils did exist at the time, and css auto-prefixers.

The same also applies to css such as transforms and many more specs.

Fast forward to 2018 and css grids are being actively supported by many, including as an alternative, (easy) system to Muse users, even though less than 80% of browsers and devices support its use, ('can i use', does not show older devices that are still in popular use, so I have deducted a few %).

I would not call css grids "easy to learn", and so far I have not seen a visual method of its use that I could recommend to anyone.

What I am wondering is, if it is just those requiring a more visual, (but very limited in my experiance) methods of both css layouts and other css features, (such as animations) that are now leaving the old 'its not compatible with xyz' way of thinking, or are others, (e.g. Coders) thinking the same way, or starting to?

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When did browser compatability become unimportant?

LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2018

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This is just a general question, and a just out of interest one.

4-5 years ago many people objected strenuously against the use of flexbox, (don't be shy in saying why ) although at that time 94% of users had a device or browser that supported its use. The main reason given was that IE8/9 did not support it and some browsers devices required prefixes. (easy to implement) Fallback pollyfils did exist at the time, and css auto-prefixers.

The same also applies to css such as transforms and many more specs.

Fast forward to 2018 and css grids are being actively supported by many, including as an alternative, (easy) system to Muse users, even though less than 80% of browsers and devices support its use, ('can i use', does not show older devices that are still in popular use, so I have deducted a few %).

I would not call css grids "easy to learn", and so far I have not seen a visual method of its use that I could recommend to anyone.

What I am wondering is, if it is just those requiring a more visual, (but very limited in my experiance) methods of both css layouts and other css features, (such as animations) that are now leaving the old 'its not compatible with xyz' way of thinking, or are others, (e.g. Coders) thinking the same way, or starting to?

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Oct 10, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2018

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There seems to be some positive push towards using grid recently but I'm holding off until its a bit more widely supported. I dont get that feeling yet. A lot of developers on youtube are using it in tutorials but to use it in production is a little forward I think at the moment.

webflow are pushing their visual css grid system at the moment I got an email from them today.

Build CSS grid layouts visually | Webflow

I think grid will be much like flexbox - you pick the parts you unsderstand and which you feel makes building a layout simpler than what it is/was.

I dunno about muse users, thems kind of people don't understand anything about development, they generally rely on some bit of kit producing the work for them regardless. If its available those suckers will use it.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2018

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osgood_  wrote

I dunno about muse users, thems kind of people don't understand anything about development, they generally rely on some bit of kit producing the work for them regardless. If its available those suckers will use it.

What I am wondering though, given all the hype about css grids and visual tools for creating css grid layouts, that those requiring a visual aproach to css layouts, (and animations using Animate and googles css designer). Is if none/semi coders are actually starting to forget the old fears and compatability issues that was and maybe still is prevalent among many coders, and is it a good thing, (I think it may be)?

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Oct 10, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2018

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pziecina  wrote

What I am wondering though, given all the hype about css grids and visual tools for creating css grid layouts, that those requiring a visual aproach to css layouts, (and animations using Animate and googles css designer). Is if none/semi coders are actually starting to forget the old fears and compatability issues that was and maybe still is prevalent among many coders, and is it a good thing, (I think it may be)?

I don't even think it crosses their mind - as I said if its available to them in an automated workflow it must be good to go - those kinds of developers are brain dead in terms of thinking about anything beyond clicking buttons and dragging bits of text around the screen. In that respect its amazing what these programs can do for someone who is so oblivious to what they are producing. Does any professional really use Webflow or are these programs aimed at a certain kind of person who has the necessity to put together a couple of websites a year, maybe manage the website for their annual village hall tea party, the retired having a bit of fun at the clients expense, etc - I think they can be excused but for anyone trying to tell me they are using them in a professional capacity thats just a joke.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 10, 2018

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Ask yourself this:  is Webflow (the latest DIY visual design app to offer Grids) going to add fallbacks for older browsers automatically or are they just wowing users with the latest web design trend?   "Oooo oooo look at us, wer'e so progressive 'cuz  we've got Grids now!"

I stopped worrying about IE8 some time ago.  But I still care about IE10 and older mobile device users.  So I'm not using Grids in any big way yet.  Flexbox and floats are doing what I need for now.

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web Design & Publishing

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Oct 10, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2018

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Nancy+OShea  wrote

Ask yourself this:  is Webflow (the latest DIY visual design app to offer Grids) going to add fallbacks for older browsers automatically or are they just wowing users with the latest web design trend?   "Oooo oooo look at us, wer'e so progressive 'cuz  we've got Grids now!"

That's what worrys me Nancy. I do see the good side of the visual apps promoting css grids, as it brings more awareness to the possibilities of css. But I think like yourself and Os, that it is too soon to use, especially by those not knowing what they are doing. Don't get me wrong though, the more people who stop concentrating on old browser compatability, the better, (even if it is by those unaware of what they are doing )

Most of the visual tools start, (or sometimes end) tutorials on css grids with the creation of a designers grid, and for those unaware of the difference, (like designers who refuse to at least learn what they are doing code wise) I can see many problems arising from not knowing. I have also yet to see any tutorial regarding css grids that goes into the topic of 'flowing' one grid layout into another, (e.g. desktop to mobile) or even mentioning media-queries.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2018

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pziecina  wrote

Most of the visual tools start, (or sometimes end) tutorials on css grids with the creation of a designers grid, and for those unaware of the difference, (like designers who refuse to at least learn what they are doing code wise) I can see many problems arising from not knowing. I have also yet to see any tutorial regarding css grids that goes into the topic of 'flowing' one grid layout into another, (e.g. desktop to mobile) or even mentioning media-queries.

At the moment I'm completely ignorant to grid because I've totally forgotten what I learned about it months back, maybe even last year and that's the problem. You stuff your mind too early then instantly forget everything if you dont use it in your everyday workflow.  It wont be that difficult to get back up to speed with the parts that I think can be of use to me (I've got a whole folder full of tests and layouts) but I'll go through the learning process again when I think the time is right and for me its not just yet. I had the same issue with flexbox, learned it too early and couldnt really do anything with it in production so had to learn most of it again at a later stage. Now I use it nearly everyday in my workflow so I don't forget.

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Oct 10, 2018 1
LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2018

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Grids are not that difficult to use or learn, but only if one already has a good understanding of flexbox. The problem at the moment in its use, is that for many devices fallback is a must. Creating a layout with css grids that falls back to flexbox, (and still looks the same) is for me a waste of time.

I can see the point in using css shapes in a media-query, (or via a @support rule) but when it comes to layout I would like to think anyone selling their services or a site knows what they are doing, and not as Nancy says, 'just following the latest web trend'. If a css feature does not work as intended, it is normally no big deal in most cases, but if a layout falls apart, nothing works.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 10, 2018

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True.  I doubt that visual designers fully  test their work in every device & browser.  I think more often than not, they just assume the software takes care of everything for them until someone complains that it's broken in brand X. 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web Design & Publishing

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Oct 10, 2018 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 10, 2018

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I still think that browser compatibility should be factored in when developing our website. I have also noticed that those using Chrome and Firefox have their browsers automatically updated and Microsoft is actively pushing Edge for Windows users. There should be no issues on this level. Mobile devices are usually single column and do not require Grid/Flex functionality when mobile-first-design is used.

Of greater concern is older versions of Windows that only support IE. These could degrade gracefully to a mobile layout when Grid or Flex is not recognised.

Overall, I think that Grid has enough support for generally use.

Having said that, my initial enthusiasm for Grid soon gave way to a more common sense approach to layouts. If we look at the following layout

what should we use Grid for? With the knowledge that Grid is two-dimensional and layout-in while Flex is one-dimensional and content-out (see Relationship of grid layout to other layout methods - CSS: Cascading Style Sheets | MDN ​), which method should we use for the above layout?

Using Flex:

  • the navbar: single dimension, spacing of items using Flex (content-out)
  • the content: side bars can be created left to right (single-dimension) using Flex
  • the footer: columns in a single dimension using Flex.
  • push the footer to the bottom of the page using Flex - top to bottom, single dimension.

Using Grid:

  • create template-areas for navbar, content and footer and push footer to bottom using Grid.
  • the navbar items still need to be spaced using Grid/Flex
  • the footer columns still need to be spaced using Grid/Flex.

IMHO: for simple layouts use Flex, for more complex layouts (see the article), use Grid even when within a Flex container.


Ben

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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Thanks for the reply Ben,

The problem with mobile devices is mainly with tablet devices, for which a single column simply does not work. There are so many Android tablet devices out there now that unlike desktop and smartphone, both of which can use larger and single column layouts respectivly.

The tablet device problem is not new, and is what caused problems with the original flexbox specs for anyone using it. My major concern though is the way css grids is being 'sold' as a simple layout method by many of the visual editors now, without any mention of the way it must be coded in order to 're-flow' from a layout on one viewport size to a larger/smaller viewport size, with no mention of compatability problems, media-queries or fallback.

An experianced coder knows what they must do in order to present a layout that re-flows, and what fallback is required. None of the problems with grid layouts are being mentioned by any of the visual editor tutorials, and are often glossed over by the tutorials aimed at coders.

I suppose one could say, "ignorance is bliss" when it comes to the none coder promoting css grids, but anyone selling their services as a professional web developer, or offering to build websites for money, should know better, and be aware of the limitations of css grid layouts.

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Oct 11, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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pziecina  wrote

I suppose one could say, "ignorance is bliss" when it comes to the none coder promoting css grids, but anyone selling their services as a professional web developer, or offering to build websites for money, should know better, and be aware of the limitations of css grid layouts.

What are these limitations. When I was exploring/testing grid it seemed to work ok for me using media queries to restructure the layout. I'm not sure it was any quicker or easier than just using Flexbox to be honest but then again I wasn't exploring the full extent of grid, just re-working some current layouts built in the conventional way, into a grid workflow.

I get what Ben is saying about 'simple layouts' - there is no need to use grid for what has become the conventional way to layout a website. However I suspect this conventional way, once css grid is adopted by more devlopers, will eventually be superceeded by grid.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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The limitations are simply that unlike flexbox which can 'wrap' depending on the viewport size, and adjust the flex child element size to fit, grid layouts must be told how to do so.

css grids can automatically wrap and adjust sizes, but they require one to think of not just how it should look when doing so, but to be told how they must do so.

The way css grids is being 'sold' to many, and especially by visual editors, is as a designer grid creation tool with no mention of any additional code to go from say an 8column grid to a 1column grid, (and everything inbetween). We all know that smartphones can use a single column in both portrait and landscape, which on tablet devices does not work. A single column in portrait is o/k, but a single column in landscape mode, (which most users prefer) does not work.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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pziecina  wrote

The limitations are simply that unlike flexbox which can 'wrap' depending on the viewport size, and adjust the flex child element size to fit, grid layouts must be told how to do so.

Ok well I guess that suits my workflow because I'm telling Flex what it should do at different break points as I feel I have more control over the layout, so using grid will come naturally to me once/if I have the chance to deploy it at some stage in the future.

What I find crap about Flex is if you use something like justify-content: space between; it positions elements at the extreme ends of the container, even if you only have 2 items, for instance in a gallery set up, which have space to sit next to each other, that just looks plain stupid.

pziecina  wrote

The way css grids is being 'sold' to many, and especially by visual editors, is as a designer grid creation tool with no mention of any additional code to go from say an 8column grid to a 1column grid,

I think in the case of Webflow that's automated from what I could see from the examples shown or you could shift the layout around to accomodate different devices. I havent used one of these visual tools as when I'm watching the videos it all seems extremely tedious to me just to get something simple executed and you can never be sure what is being created under the hood.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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We are getting back into discussing css grids, and not browser compatability.

The simple fact is that only about 80% of browsers and devices in popular use support css grids, yet many visual layout tools and tutorials are pushing it usage on an unsuspecting user, without mentioning the browser support, fallback code, or the extra work required to create different sized layouts.

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Oct 11, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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pziecina  wrote

We are getting back into discussing css grids, and not browser compatability.

Well yeah, that's why I don't use it yet because I'm not confident that its quite ready and I dont want to waste my time.

pziecina  wrote

The simple fact is that only about 80% of browsers and devices in popular use support css grids, yet many visual layout tools and tutorials are pushing it usage on an unsuspecting user, without mentioning the browser support, fallback code, or the extra work required to create different sized layouts.

In that respect DW is perfect then.......thats in no danger of getting ahead of itself.

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Oct 11, 2018 1
LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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osgood_  wrote

What I find crap about Flex is if you use something like justify-content: space between; it positions elements at the extreme ends of the container, even if you only have 2 items, for instance in a gallery set up, which have space to sit next to each other, that just looks plain stupid.

Now we have had no more posts, I will answer this point.

Use, justify-content: space-evenly;

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/justify-content

It has a bug in IE & Edge, that is being fixed, but it does work in grids.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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pziecina  wrote

osgood_   wrote

What I find crap about Flex is if you use something like justify-content: space between; it positions elements at the extreme ends of the container, even if you only have 2 items, for instance in a gallery set up, which have space to sit next to each other, that just looks plain stupid.

Now we have had no more posts, I will answer this point.

Use, justify-content: space-evenly;

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/justify-content

It has a bug in IE & Edge, that is being fixed, but it does work in grids.

Nah, that don't work it just places the 3 boxes which have turned to row 2 centrally below the 4 boxes above them. I want the 3 boxes below the 4 above them to be over to the left, lined up under the first 3 boxes of the first row, like a grid, not some spazy layout which flexbox thinks I want. Unfortunately I have to use the conventional margin technique when building a grid because flexbox cant do a symetrical grid which has an odd number of boxes.

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html lang="en">

<head>

<meta charset="UTF-8">

<title>Flex Evenly</title>

<style>

.wrapper {

display: flex;

justify-content: space-evenly;

flex-wrap: wrap;

}

.box {

width: 22%;

background-color: red;

margin: 0 0 15px 0;

text-align: center;

}

</style>

</head>

<body>

<div class="wrapper">

<div class="box">

<h4>Box 1</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 1 -->

<div class="box">

<h4>Box 2</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 2 -->

<div class="box">

<h4>Box 3</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 3 -->

<div class="box">

<h4>Box 4</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 4 -->

<div class="box">

<h4>Box 5</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 5 -->

<div class="box">

<h4>Box 6</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 6 -->

<div class="box">

<h4>Box 7</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 7 -->

</div>

<!-- end wrapper -->

</body>

</html>

Whereas grid does what I want but it comes at the expense of having to name areas. Im sure there must be a more economical coding approach when use css grid to create a perfect grid. Plus it would'nt be any use for dynamically generated content, I mean I could increment the box coding using php but the css........no

<meta charset="UTF-8">

<title>Flex Evenly</title>

<style>

.wrapper {

display: grid;

grid-template-columns: 23.5% 23.5% 23.5% 23.5%;

grid-template-rows: auto;

grid-column-gap: 2%;

grid-row-gap: 20px;

grid-template-areas:

"box_1 box_2 box_3 box_4"

"box_5 box_6 box_7 .";

width: 90%;

margin: 0 auto;

}

.box {

background-color: red;

margin: 0 0 15px 0;

text-align: center;

}

.box_1 {

grid-area: box_1;

}

.box_2 {

grid-area: box_2;

}

.box_3 {

grid-area: box_3;

}

.box_4 {

grid-area: box_4;

}

.box_5 {

grid-area: box_5;

}

.box_6 {

grid-area: box_6;

}

.box_7 {

grid-area: box_7;

}

</style>

</head>

<body>

<div class="wrapper">

<div class="box box_1">

<h4>Box 1</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 1 -->

<div class="box box_2">

<h4>Box 2</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 2 -->

<div class="box box_3">

<h4>Box 3</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 3 -->

<div class="box box_4">

<h4>Box 4</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 4 -->

<div class="box box_5">

<h4>Box 5</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 5 -->

<div class="box box_6">

<h4>Box 6</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 6 -->

<div class="box box_7">

<h4>Box 7</h4>

</div>

<!-- end box 7 -->

</div>

<!-- end wrapper -->

</body>

</html>

Actually I could just use the 1fr unit - PERFECT. Then no named area rubbish needs to be applied - PERFECT. css grid can do the most simplest of thing which flexbox cant

.wrapper {

display: grid;

grid-template-columns: 1fr, 1fr, 1fr, 1fr;

grid-template-rows: auto;

grid-column-gap: 2%;

grid-row-gap: 20px;

grid-template-areas:

"box_1 box_2 box_3 box_4"

"box_5 box_6 box_7 .";

width: 90%;

margin: 0 auto;

}

Wait its still rubbish. Whilst Ive gotten rid of the extra css named area I still have the below which is no good for producing dynamic content....hummmmmm

grid-template-areas:

"box_1 box_2 box_3 box_4"

"box_5 box_6 box_7 .";

EDITED:

This meanwhile is perfection!!

.wrapper {

display: grid;

grid-template-columns: repeat(auto-fill, minmax(22%, 1fr));

grid-gap: 20px;

}

Codepen comes in pretty handy at times.

Then you can use media queries to restructure the grid - super!

@media screen and (max-width: 768px) {

.wrapper {

grid-template-columns: repeat(auto-fill, minmax(30%, 1fr));

}

}

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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Well, I'll be honest you've lost me in what you are trying to do Os.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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pziecina  wrote

Well, I'll be honest you've lost me in what you are trying to do Os.

I lose myself most of the time........I've nailed it now using grid, when it becomes available. I gave up on flex ages ago trying to create the perfect grid as it only has limited variations on spacing elements - using an uneven numbers of boxes results in them not lining up underneath each other. Think of tic-tac-toe minus the last box.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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Use whatever works.

Have you tried using css tables to do what you want for now?

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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pziecina  wrote

Use whatever works.

Have you tried using css tables to do what you want for now?

No, I can do it using flexbox just not using the optional spacing variants. I just use margin instead, that works. I just thought flex would be savy enough to know if you had 5 boxes where you want 2 of them on row 2 to sit (lined up) under the first 3 on row 1 there would be some flexbox magic which could do that.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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Both flexbox and grids are being updated to support the properties in the css3 box alignment specs, which is introducing better, (or so the discussions in the csswg tell us) and more consistent results for both.

It may be worth checking it out -

https://drafts.csswg.org/css-align-3

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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pziecina  wrote

Both flexbox and grids are being updated to support the properties in the css3 box alignment specs, which is introducing better, (or so the discussions in the csswg tell us) and more consistent results for both.

It may be worth checking it out -

https://drafts.csswg.org/css-align-3

I'll be dead by the time that is stable to use. I'm not looking long-term any longer this is very short-term so I need solutions I can use within the next 2 years. After that I wont be doing this is any serious manner - hopefully by that time Wappler would have improved its code environment so I can join the has-beens

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Oct 11, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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osgood_  wrote

I'm not looking long-term any longer this is very short-term so I need solutions I can use within the next 2 years. After that I wont be doing this is any serious manner - hopefully by that time Wappler would have improved its code environment so I can join the has-beens

They keep offering me retainer fees for consultancy work, (and like an idiot I keep accepting).

I know what you mean though.

Just as a little historical reference -

When Microsoft updated the flexbox specs, (and made it usable for everyone) then created css grids. It was envisioned that grids would be used for the overall UI layout, flexbox for the individual components that in the UI, (such as menus) and whatever the developer wished to use for content, (flexbox, tables, floats, but not grids).

Then the rest of the web development so called 'experts' got hold of the grid specs, and tried to make it into a 'do everything' feature, that designers could understand, (the so called experts interpretated grids, to be design grids).

To me Microsofts original idea for the future of layout and content is still the one to follow.

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Oct 11, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2018

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pziecina  wrote

Just as a little historical reference -

When Microsoft updated the flexbox specs, (and made it usable for everyone) then created css grids. It was envisioned that grids would be used for the overall UI layout, flexbox for the individual components that in the UI, (such as menus) and whatever the developer wished to use for content, (flexbox, tables, floats, but not grids).

Then the rest of the web development so called 'experts' got hold of the grid specs, and tried to make it into a 'do everything' feature, that designers could understand, (the so called experts interpretated grids, to be design grids).

To me Microsofts original idea for the future of layout and content is still the one to follow.

I can't see that I would use grid to replace flex completely. I'll just take the best pieces from each and use what's beneficial to my way of working and thinking.......the 'experts' who talk a lot yet produce nothing can venture where the sun doesnt shine.

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Oct 11, 2018 1
New Here ,
May 21, 2019

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I'm working in a marketing agency (we do branding, webdesign, online / offline marketing and content creation) in Switzerland and we are building Websites for our clients with Webflow. The main two reasons being that our clients need a CMS that is powerful and easy to use and we want to design costumes made websites and not just fill out WP templates. We also can't code websites by hand because our clients don't have the budget for that (usually they have like 10'000$ for a website). Obviously there are limitations to tools like Webflow but for our use cases (landing pages, marketing sites, business sites, blogs and some shops) it's perfect.

So yeah, in my opinion there is definitely a place for Webflow in the professional world. I recommend you check it out, it's really fun to work with.

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May 21, 2019 0
LEGEND ,
May 21, 2019

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I have already checked out Webflow, some time ago. Ùnfortunately l find these kinds of options too slow but thats on account lve always worked directly with code and have become very efficient......so its a case of what you dont know you dont miss for those that use such workflows.

I think they all have their place and can be useful to somebody, somewhere, at some time but l cant say l have seen any big swing in the professional dev world to Webflow.

Marketing companies are usually producing a bit of this and a bit of that and are not fully development centric so l can imagine it might be an option in those circumstances.

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May 21, 2019 0
Mentor ,
Oct 10, 2018

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“Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing.” — Warren Buffett

Maybe he was secretly talking about web development and the lack of actually 'investing' in learning ones profession?

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Oct 10, 2018 1