Skip to main content

On choosing Material Design for Angular over UI Bootstrap

There are many UI frameworks out there - Bootstrap, Foundation, Semantic UI etc. I have used Bootstrap in the past, however I'm very much inclined towards using Material Design for Angular. There are many good reasons to use Material Design over Bootstrap or any other framework that you might consider.

When I say Material Design, I'm referring to Material Design for Angular - https://material.angularjs.org/. I have been using Angular in my applications and I've made that as a defacto framework to use for any front-end work I get. I don't consider any library to use in my project unless it also has an Angular implementation. Material Design for Angular and UI bootstrap, both are such libraries. So why choose Material Design over Bootstrap? I did search for this and couldn't see the comparison in terms of pros and cons or why one framework is more suited over the other. Thus, I'm jotting down my thoughts on why Material Design wins over Bootstrap.

User Experience:

Material Design delivers the wow effect; the click of a button, or selecting a checkbox, entering form details and everything else in the specification delivers great user experience. Bootstrap on the other hand is good if you are building very simple applications that look like they are made only to deliver the functionality and great user experience is not of high priority.

FlexBox:

CSS3 introduced FlexBox, which allows you to create layouts with ease. Even if I'm not inclined towards great user experience, I would chose Material Design for this feature only. Bootstrap uses floats for its grid system. I hate floats; floats were designed to wrap text around images. Floats come with a clear fix and adding more mark up or CSS for clear fix is like carrying extra luggage. Using display: inline-block is another alternative, but it expects you to write the markup in a certain way or add margin-left: -4px.

FlexBox should be used instead of floats or inline-blocks. I can't imagine writing my applications using anything other than FlexBox.

Syntax:

Material design provides several directives for managing layout, creating drop downs, form fields etc. The syntax used here is more semantic. Consider this code snippet:


<div layout="row"
     layout-align="center center">

   <div flex>
   <div flex>
   <div flex>
 
</div>

The above code snippet declares that you are creating a row and it has three elements with attribute 'flex' added to it. This will create a three column equal width layout. Please note, there's no extra CSS or class added to this. The markup is clean and who doesn't like clean markup.

In case of Bootstrap one will have to add classes to build the layout, I wouldn't like to copy the code and paste it, you can see it for yourself here - http://getbootstrap.com/css/#grid

Responsive:

Whilst both Material Design and Bootstrap provide you the ways to create responsive layouts, I prefer using Material Design. You only have to add certain attributes to the markup to change how it looks on different devices. For instance the above row based layout can be converted to a column based layout for a mobile device by adding layout-sm attribute:

<div layout="row"
     layout-align="center center"
     layout-sm="column">
 
</div>

Bootstrap uses classes instead.

Many would rather complain saying that Bootstrap is widely used and Material Design is not. That's true, because Material Design is new and you can't expect every Bootstrap website to be converted to Material Design in no time. The other reason that I've heard on not using Material Design is that one will have to learn it before becoming productive and it involves a big learning curve. I'm of the opinion that this is not true, it didn't even take me a day to get started with Material Design. Also, if you take a look at the syntax it's almost the same except that you would use directives instead of classes in Material Design.

When choosing a technology or a framework, there's no right or wrong. There are opinions and perspectives. As a developer you should have the freedom to chose what you like. However, I would advise that don't be afraid to try out something new. Don't constraint yourself to one library; it's always fun and a good learning experience when trying out different libraries.

Comments

  1. I agree :) Its also pretty quick to get up to speed with.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Custom validation messages for HTML5 Input elements using the constraint validation API

HTML5 has introduced several input types such as EMAIL, URL, RANGE, SEARCH, DATE, TIME, etc,. Most of the modern browsers have implemented them and are ready to be used in a HTML document. Another exciting feature introduced in HTML5 is the form validation. Instead of writing JavaScript to validate users input, browsers can now validate it and show an appropriate message if the validation fails. The validation message is shown in line with the field for which the validation has failed. The default error message is shown when the validation fails. In this post I'll explain how these error messages can be changed.

Adding beforeRender and afterRender functions to a Backbone View

I was working on a Backbone application that updated the DOM when a response was received from the server. In a Backbone View, the initialize method would perform some operations and then call the render method to update the view. This worked fine, however there was scenario where in I wanted to perform some tasks before and after rendering the view. This can be considered as firing an event before and after the function had completed its execution. I found a very simple way to do this with Underscore's wrap method.

A cheat sheet of keyboard shortcuts in ColdFusion Builder

In my last post I have explained about keyboard shortcuts in ColdFusion Builder 2.0. This blog post contains a list of all shortcut keys and I have listed these keyboard shortcuts based on the categories that it falls into. Well, this post was not planned since users can easily get to know the keyboard shortcuts by navigating to the preferences (ColdFusion -> Profiles -> Keys). However, I met Joshua at Scotch on the rocks in Edinburgh and he suggested that it would be nice to have the list of keyboard shortcuts handy. So this post is for those who would like to have the list with them and refer it whenever required.


Keyboard shortcuts for inserting text:

These are the keyboard shortcuts which are used to insert some text into the editor:

CommandKeyboard shortcuts on WindowsKeyboard shortcuts on MacInsert anchor tagCTRL + T, LCMD + T, LInsert bold tagCTRL + T, BCMD + T, BInsert br tagCTRL + T, RCMD + T, RInsert cfabortCTRL + T, ACMD + T, AInsert cfdumpCTRL + T, DCMD + T, DInsert cfs…