I was on the WebKit.org site the other day, and it struck me that it was a fairly ugly site for the home page of such a well-known browser engine. Lime green to white background transition, drop-shadow headers. It doesn’t even respond; what? I don’t want to take anything away from its functionality – it works perfectly well – but it did bring to mind the argument about frontend frameworks and the beautification of the Internet.
When the Internet started to become a staple of our daily compute, it was an ugly place. Let’s not delude ourselves in thinking every site looked awesome. The BBC, my home page since I was about 14, looked like crap until about 2008.
Bootstrap, and tools like it, abstract away a lot of the pain that goes into web development (really, who cares if your button is the same as someone else’s?) for people who just want to add their voice to the sphere and be heard. Having a million sites that look similar but nice, to me is a better scenario than having a million sites that are different and look like the love child of a chalkboard and MS Paint.
What’s clear is that it has home-brew developers contributing to the conversation of presentation of content; layout, typography, iconography. Anyone who wants to moan can spend some time on the wayback machine.