In one word it means Bootstrap.

Initially I wasn't particularly fussed about adding bootstrap to the Joomla front end but after looking through the work done in the strapped Joomla 3.0 branch I've been sold.

I could see the case for adding bootstrap to the admin - It makes sense to keep a uniform admin experience and to make css and javascript available for developers within the Joomla framework to avoid any extra overhead to the admin. However, I couldn't quite see how adding bootstrap to the Joomla front end made much sense if we wanted to maintain the diverse design focussed eco system that currently exists for Joomla.

After looking through the Strapped front end template I finally got the point.

While there are some intelligent and informed discussions regarding Bootstrap and there are good points on both sides, I do think this is the best way to move forward for Joomla front end development. In essence implementing bootstrap for the front end means that designers can get back to designing, easily being able to draw upon the flexibility of the underlying bootstrap framework.

Joomla 3.0 Bootstrap dashboard


Sure we can do this with any framework and there are likely to be a few frameworks that would fit that purpose nicely, but Bootstrap is incredibly thorough in it's implementation and supported by a solid team of developers.

But don't all bootstrap sites look the same?

One of the complaints levelled at Bootstrap is that all Bootstrap sites look the same and at the moment I think that to a certain degree this is true.

There are some great resources out there that cater to implementing different themes for Bootstrap however I think that most of those themes available still look very "Bootstrappy". It's certainly early days when it comes to making the most of Bootstrap from a design point of view but I'm confident that that will change as Joomla template developers embrace the new framework.

The Joomla 3.0 login screen


Doesn't bootstrap contain a lot of bloat?

This was one of my main concerns regarding Bootstrap. There is a tonne of stuff that is in the framework that I don't think that I would ever use, but the framework is modular so it's possible that the whole framework won't need to be loaded if it isn't needed.

It also means that the assets required for templates and components will be significantly lighter given that the Bootstrap files will already be available. This also means that there is a much higher chance that there will be fewer http requests and those assets will already be cached in the browser which will improve the page load speed.

The Joomla 3.0 template manager


I know that it's early days and alot of what you see in the Alpha is likely to be refined but we are certainly living in interesting times when it comes to Joomla development. Joomla 3.0 promises to significantly improve the Joomla user experience and make creating a website with Joomla that relies on multiple 3rd party extensions a much more cohesive and enjoyable experience.

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