Reassessing Bootstrap For Dolphin Pro

Andrew Boon posted 1st of April 2015 in News. 16 comments.

We had a brief talk about Bootstrap today, again. Every now and then the lure of pre-cooked CSS elements takes our attention, and yet we keep resisting. I've mentioned Bootstrap before and that it doesn't work for us because of UI inconsistencies, but I thought maybe we could use the lego-pieces without necessarily doing an "all-bootstrap" cookie-cutter site. And so we looked again, and talked again.


Only to find that there're still plenty of reasons why we should stick to our own classes, own designs, fix out own bugs and update in our own time...


First, Bootstrap-ed sites are becoming ubiquitous and people are picking up the "look-alike" feel. As this picture from Zingdesign demonstrates uniqueness of design is often pushed away in favour of quick delivery. It's often hard enough to persuade Dolphin webmaster to use custom templates, and if we add BS to the mix - we'd end up with an army of clones. 



Second, in our own subjective testing Bootstrap-based templates still seem to be rather heavy. There is no snappy feel of seamless interaction, especially when it comes to older devices like iPhone 5, iPad 2, etc. So, effectively utilising all those fancy BS-packages is out of question, while bare Bootstrap doesn't offer nearly enough to justify dependency on yet another 3rd-party technology. 


And third, even at v3, and even with Twitter backing Bootstrap is still buggy. Icons often show weird ghost lines, navigation menus do not scale down graciously at very small screens (iPhone portrait) and have ugly overlaps, select boxes still can't override browser design, etc, etc. We may as well just spend time debugging our own code, instead of waiting for BS guys to fix things. 


Thus, Dolphin Pro responsive design shall be a home-brew, specifically geared towards the needs of Dolphin, Boonex Market and our clients. Later this week or early next week we should have a clearer roadmap for upcoming Dolphin Pro releases, so stay tuned!


You're very welcome to share your Bootstrap-related thoughts. This post would be a great reference post for anyone asking about Bootstrapped Dolphin.    

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To abandon the BS will need to be commercially adaptive patterns of normal quality and at the normal price. From experience: after buying a template curve, buying anything there is no desire, and developers seem to no longer wait for the necessary functions that are already available on all platforms.
I hear you loud and clear on Bootstrap lol.
Like any new technology that comes out, it's never the way we want it to be but it's the potential that it has for down the road.
Buggy, for sure, i've seen lines or little squares using the glyph-icons.
It's very intimidating when you first look at it because of all the CSS so to make the most out of it, the designer would need to know how Bootstrap works or frustration will take over.
I don't think it would be a bad idea keeping up with where they're see more headed in the future and how much complication will be eliminated.

If so many Bootstrap Powered websites would be cloned like, it's because the designer/developer wont look outside the box (eg. i want gradient instead of solid colors, i want rounded corners instead of squared, i want to over ride the width to stretch all the way across etc.)
I personally like Bootstrap in some cases because the elements we use are already styled and if i want to change just the color but leave everything else, i can do that.
Like everything else though, there's pros & cons to it.
Andrew Boon
Quite right. That's why we don't burn the bridge and keep coming back to evaluating it. For now, thought, it seems to work for us only as a source of issue-reference. Say, when we plan an element that is somewhat similar, we can test behaviour of BS counterpart and work out what are the potential culprits.
That's true.
Well especially now because all the elements have been created and referenced in the structure it is.
I guess another way of looking at it is if there's only a few things that Bootstrap has that would be nice to include into Dolphin, it would be pointless implementing it.
You would have to be 100% dedicated to making it pretty well all Bootstrapped.
There's always a culprit to work out so why should there be a need to work out more than there really needs to be?

Debugging and see more comparing results is really good cause it gives you a chance to say "How can we make this better or different than the rest" and that's what Boonex is about...Being different.
If you are not sure, then just make a dolphin default template that uses bootstrap and make sure all of the modules, etc are responsive with the template. And have the Boonex responsive software code underneath it. Will that work?
"and if we add BS to the mix"

Mmm, now what could BS stand for? LOL ^_^

Thanks Boonex for realising that jumping on yet another bandwagon; no matter who supports it, is a bad idea.
Drupal and Joomla which supports bootstrap is free and works very well.
For a professional product as I like to think that is dolphin, I think it is necessary.

I honestly would abandon the platform, and I migrate to something else, I think drupal, if you will not provide support for botstrap in future.

Today over 50% of users use mobile phones, tablets, or other gaget.

I think it is essential to be able to project a design for each one, without the need of using an app especially for unregistered see more users, that generate the most traffic

With bootstrap support can create and design that it wants each the site owner.

I think if BoonEx abandon initiative bootstrap support, news that pleased me very much when you started, dolphin will be one step behind.

I just now working on a template with bootsrap, if you step back, definitely I will migrate to another platform and the same thing will others.

I believe and support initiatives bootsrap support for dolphin, are convinced it is not easy but necessary.
Andrew Boon
We are 100% committed to responsive design and we welcome Bootstrap-based templates. It's just that we can make our own elements for deafault Dolphin templates and make them as good or better than Bootstrap.
"To be as good or better than Bootstrap"
To be honest I do not care how it is done but it should be done long time ago. It is good to go with mainstream or we will be forgotten.
I can monitor our users and they mostly complain about the site look and feel. Not to mention that it is almost unusable on mobile devices.
Andrew Boon
Update is coming in a matter of weeks. Stay tuned.
Andrew you can also give it a try on UiKit
Google Algorithm Update: Starting April 21, Google will give preference to mobile-friendly websites in search results.
It always amuses me how folks around here latch onto a concept like "bootstrap" just because it's the current fad. Andrew, thanks for not blindly jumping onto the pile of BS as some folk around here would have you do.

With the proper template infrastructure, Dolphin templates can be designed to adapt to whatever you throw at them, and using some external css platform will do nothing to facilitate development of unique looks for Dolphin sites... in fact, that would most likely colossally see more screw things up. There are a few things in the existing versions of Dolphin that make templates for mobile sites difficult, namely hard coded css, and css that is dynamically calculated in JS that is located in core files other than templates. I'm sure by now you are aware of all the code/template changes that need to be made so that custom template designers have an easier time building templates that work well on all devices.

Again, thanks for not listening to the BS BS.
Andrew Boon
Well, we have learn A LOT while working on Trident, and finally we are on Dolphin again. Anton has started work with the new template already and we're using what we've learnt. Clearly, adding extra libraries would only add to a mess.
Below is the legacy version of the Boonex site, maintained for Dolphin.Pro 7.x support.
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