To Bootstrap (or not)

The main project that I'm cannibalising to form the bones of Bones (if you'll excuse the pun) uses Bootstrap 3.3.7 for its front end framework, which presents a couple of issues:

  • Bootstrap is now up to version 4.1.3, so it's out of date.
  • Bootstrap is a huge framework

I'm not 100% sure how to proceed from here. I could convert the existing frontend over to version 4.1, and leave it at that, or, I could ditch Bootstrap entirely and write my own (minimalist) CSS framework. Either way, I'll continue to use jQuery, as there's going to be a lot of interactive widgets and AJAX, and coding them all in base JS makes me nervous. At the moment, the UI makes heavy use of the Bootstrap navbar, plus modal popups and progress bars. They look great, and being mobile-first is a must, but the big problem with Bootstrap is that every site that uses it really looks like it uses it. It's very hard to theme sufficiently to the point where it goes away.

What I'll need from a framework, however it's implemented:

  • Mobile friendly, first and foremost
  • Modern browser support for mobile, desktop (and potentially tablet middle ground)
  • Navigation that works and gets out of the way when necessary 
  • Alerts/badges that work across page loads
  • Responsive images: large banner style and smaller icons

Bones of the Lost God has a solid black-and-white aesthetic that's inky and photocopied and a little haphazard; I worry that Bootstrap looks too clean to really do it justice. Deciding to ditch it would be a huge choice with far-reaching implications -- not least on the amount of time I'll have to devote to hand-crafting UI elements in it's stead -- but it's increasingly the direction I'm leaning in.

Welcome to BotLG

Here I am, with BONES of the LOST GOD back in development! I've been working on a few different web toys over the last couple of months, and I'm ready to tie them all together into this main project. I'll be blogging about development here, so I have a record of how it's grown, and hopefully some of you will find it interesting, too. 

BotLG started as a play-by-mail 'zine, using the Labyrinth Lord ruleset. I'm hoping to capture some of the look and feel of those old zines and the old OSR attitude of Labyrinth Lord as I go along. This version of BotLG is going to be a persistent browser-based game, with elements from roguelikes, idle clickers, and OSR pen-and-paper roleplaying games thrown into the mix.

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