My First Few Hours with Tailwind (2023)

I am late to Tailwind, which is how I like it, but Matt Rickard’s post convinced me that Tailwind has “won”, and specifically that it is the heir-apparent to Bootstrap. I’ve been looking to get App-o-Mat off of Bootstrap for a while, so I’m in. Ultimately, I might want to move to Tailwind for all of my projects, but App-o-mat is the simplest, so I’ll start there.

App-o-Mat is a Django site with almost no client-side javascript and a fairly simple design using Bootstrap (not flexbox) for layout. It was made in 2014, and it’s very much of its era.

My first impression was despair and I almost almost gave up right at setup because it needed npm. This made me think that Tailwind was not going to be compatible with a simple, HTML-dominant site.

I googled a bit and found some Django plugins, but they didn’t seem simpler or widely used. I googled a bit harder and eventually found the Tailwind Standalone CLI. This is more like it. It’s easy to adopt and to see exactly what it does, so I still end up with a project and deployment I understand.

The next issue I had is that App-o-Mat does have some forms and navigation where I need some UI Components. So, I ended up at TailwindUI, which I guess I need to buy, because there is no way I want to implement any of these components. I think Tailwind is going to wind up in more of my projects, so this price isn’t that bad.

I started planning out the project and decided that this was also a good time to bring the project into VSCode (from PyCharm). I love PyCharm, but GitHub CoPilot is too important to give up, and I’m so behind in my PyCharm updates, that going to VSCode seems about as easy. All of my other python projects are in VSCode now anyway.