I remember the first time I sat down and decided to learn the Bootstrap framework. It took about one day to go through the information on getbootstrap.com and at the end of the day I could not believe that this was available! At the time I designed only static websites and had created my own sort of framework using the very popular CSS reset by Eric Meyer and my own set of CSS classes to handle semi-responsive design. Once I discovered Bootstrap, that old custom framework of mine went out the window and everything static has been Bootstrap since.

Robot coder. I was somewhat disappointed when I started working dynamically with Joomla! and realized that it is still using Bootstrap 2. With Bootstrap 3 as the current standard and Bootstrap 4 on the way, I couldn’t believe that this was the case. After a little bit of exploration though, I found that it is very easy to override Bootstrap 2 in Joomla! and then use either some or all of Bootstrap 3 in existing templates and very easy to create custom templates using Bootstrap 3. I say that it is very easy, but is that because I was designing before Bootstrap was the norm? I wonder if designers who have always had the luxury of Bootstrap even really understand what it is doing. The Bootstrap grid system makes perfect sense, but understanding how it actually works could be a little more complex for a designer that has never had to struggle through making their own customized framework.

This is the struggle we face in any computer field, the easier we make it for ourselves by allowing the code to do things for us, the more likely we are to slowly over time lose the skills and knowledge on how to write the code in the first place. It is a real issue and one that seems to come up again and again in apocalyptic movies. There always seems to be some computer program that runs amuck and no one knows how to stop it because the code has learned to rewrite itself. While artificial intelligence may be really good fodder for Sci-Fi, the idea that we can code ourselves dumb is something to realistically consider. So next time you have some down time (like that ever happens), build a responsive, static website without using Bootstrap or some other framework and see how you do. Let’s stay smarter than the machines, okay?