Larry Myers

Daily Note

August 16, 2023

Tailwind CSS causes people to have really strong emotional responses. This is just an extension of people having really strong opinions about CSS in general. Over the past 15 years I’ve found there is no easy mode with CSS on non-trivial projects maintained by a reasonably large team. People have tried: SCSS, Less, Stylus, Boostrap, Foundation, BEM, CSS-in-js, and Tailwind.

If you asked me to enumerate the specificity rules for CSS selectors from memory in the correct order I would fail badly. I’m likely not alone here. The “cascasding” part of CSS is what makes it both powerful and full of unexpected surprises.

I think the complexity of specificity rules is what is allowing Tailwind to achieve such rapid uptake. Developers only have so many brain cycles when creating a web UI. The modern frontend stack has a lot of moving pieces, of which css styling is only a small part. Giving developers back some mental capacity is a gift.