Technology Reviews

This page has an assortment of thoughts on technologies, frameworks and libraries I've played around with.

CSS Frameworks

Spectre.css (2023-07-05)

Homepage | Test Code

This framework is actually pretty easy to use and nice to work with. At the start of my experiments I thought this framework was pretty bad (compared to my experiences with Bootstrap and Tailwind) but I ended up quite liking it after comparing it to some of the other frameworks I've tried.

All in all, it gives you a good amount of utilities and everything works together nicely. I only had to add a small number of additional utility classes to implement my test layout.

Picnic CSS (2023-07-05)

Homepage | Test Code

This framework is a failure, in my opinion. It has some nice-looking components and the classes are pretty easy to use, but it has no utility classes so I had to write a dark background class myself (which is not that big a deal, admittedly).

The bad thing, though, is that nav elements are styled to have a fixed position. That is way too specific for a basic HTML element. Frameworks styling basic element is actually a running theme of why I think frameworks are bad, because it makes you unable to use the proper elements in the right places.

Mini.css (2023-07-05)

Homepage | Test Code

I actually liked Mini.css a lot when I first learned about it, and it's pretty nice for very simple layouts. However, it actually falls into the same trap as the previous framework. In the case of Mini.css, the framework styles any header element as a navbar complete with overflow-y: hidden. This makes it so you can't ever use header elements without first unstyling everything, and then adding your own styles on top.

It's a shame, because the framework seems to be otherwise really well-made.

Pure.css (2023-07-05)

Homepage | Test Code

I've actually know about Pure for a very long time. It's been one of the first frameworks recommended back in the day for people looking for a Bootstrap alternative. Because of its age, I actually didn't have high hopes because it felt like I was going to use 960gs.

Despite that, however, Pure worked really well. I was able to implement my test case by only adding a minimal amount of extra utility classes, and Pure makes you add classes to use its component which actually allows you to use whatever elements you want.

Cirrus (2023-07-06)

Homepage | Test Code

Cirrus is a pretty pure utility library so it's mostly like using Tailwind, which makes it pretty simple to create most layouts. One thing it has over Tailwind is that it does style some default elements so you don't have to install a typography plugin. All in all, a pretty great CSS framework.

Chota (2023-09-07)


After playing around with Chota for a bit, it's become one of my favorite CSS frameworks. It's very minimalistic but does just enough that it's just right for me. It also uses modern features including CSS variables which means I can configure everything to use my colors, and the minimalism means you can pretty safely override things and add custom styles.

I don't currently have any test code linked for this entry, but it's powering this site so feel free to look at the code to see how it works.

Turretcss (2024-01-16)

Homepage | Test Code

Another nice CSS framework with both default styles and utility classes. One thing to keep in mind is that turretcss explicitly doesn't include any layout classes, so you have to write the layout from scratch. Layout is basically a solved problem though, so it's not a big deal.

Tachyons (2024-01-16)

Homepage | Test Code

I keep going back and forth between liking and disliking utility CSS frameworks. While they make your HTML incredibly messy, they are just such a joy to work with. They make prototyping easy, and tachyons actually has a leg up on Tailwind because it doesn't have a build step. Tailwind is probably more performant and definitely the more popular choice, but Tachyons is also pretty nice.