Discussion on: Is the Tailwind approach a big step forward for CSS or just-yet-another-thing?

mikaelgramont profile image
Mikael Gramont

I'll play bad cop here because everyone seems to be playing good cop :)

  • "as a backend dev, I can do CSS!"
    So you can't write plain CSS but Tailwind works for you. Great news, more productivity is a good thing!
    But you still had to read Tailwind's doc and learn it, right? I'm guessing you chose that route because it felt less daunting than learning CSS from scratch. Could it be that a good part of the value you're getting is rooted in Tailwind's high quality docs that make it easy to learn? Compare that to CSS which does not really have a central place to learn? (check out every layout if you're learning layout).
    So to sum up: great if it helps you, but please learn CSS. Tailwind can be a great path to learning it in a "safe" way.

  • "naming is hard".
    I am both sad and angry that this is a thing that people bring up. I would argue that if you can't come up with a class name for an element, maybe it's not clear to you why it exists? Maybe it's an extra div you don't need? Usually when you write lean markup, names just spring at you. And... the author does not even bring this up! Let's forget about this one, it's more of a footnote than an argument.

  • "atomic CSS is the future"
    I agree that 5 years from now, atomic CSS will still exist and will still be going strong. But I guarantee you most people won't be using it. This is opinion of course, but so is the other argument.

  • I don't quite see why we can't move the utility approach to SASS mixins and keep the composition in *.scss files. This would be a good compromise IMHO. Yes this will lead to a little bit more code duplication in the CSS sent down the pipes, but Gzip is your friend, and...

  • I don't buy the "huge reduction in CSS" (see Facebook's recent post) argument. I think it won't lead to the same huge reduction in most teams with fewer devs and a lot less CSS. The total sum of my CSS bundles is in the 60KB range. That's not enough to cause me to question how I write CSS. It is for Facebook, but how many people are playing at their level?


moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I would argue that if you can't come up with a class name for an element, maybe it's not clear to you why it exists?