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Thread: The look and feel of ExtJS

  1. #1
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    Default The look and feel of ExtJS

    I have to decide what framework I'm going to use for creating web applications: Will it be ExtJS (Which I already know for quite a bit), or something else. I'd like to share my thoughts, hoping to get feedback.

    The good
    I'm really excited the way how to write code in an ExtJS application. It's a very, very good base to create and maintain code, it's easy scalable in scope without getting a mess. That's worth a lot, no doubt about that!

    The look and feel

    I'm really disappointed about the look and feel. All the ExtJS apps I've seen feel like Windows 95 / XP applications - but in fancy colors. Tiny menu buttons with floating submenu's and tree: That stuff was exiting about 10 years ago but not anymore. Right now a modern user interface has large and clear elements, is simple, scrolls a lot (horizontally) and is responsive (so it consumes all space on an 27" iMac, and still looks good on an 13" Macbook or on smartphone). I haven't seen many (or any) really good looking applications in ExtJS yet.

    I think a creating a good looking app in ExtJS requires jQuery to enable -for example- image lazy loading.

    Can anyone post examples of modern looking ExtJS applications?

    The scope of ExtJS
    Frameworks do need a scope, that's a good thing. The scope of ExtJS is "Rich web applications, only for desktop computers - preferably in an intranet environment". So:
    - Not for smartphones (Build separately for Sencha Touch and reuse business logic);
    - Not for tablets (even in when screen is large enough, ExtJS 4 doesn't work great on iPad);
    - Not for website's (the footprint of the framework, the UI doesn't allow it, no SEO. http://dexygen.com/ is a website build in ExtJS, I don't think it looks good)

    Having a scope is a good thing. I think this scope was great about 10 years ago, but I think this scope is too narrow now since everyone is mobile. The good thing is that ExtJS 5 is enabled for touch devices, but... don't you think that's a bit late by now?


    The alternative
    When browsing online, everyone seems to be excited about AngularJS. I don't know that framework, but I've got the say that the demo pages look way better then anything I've seen with ExtJS, examples:

    http://contactpath.liberlabs.com/#/
    http://builtwith.angularjs.org


    I'm really interested about the opinion of others about this. Am I seeing things like they are, or am I wrong in some aspects? Thank you

  2. #2
    Sencha - Support Team scottmartin's Avatar
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    Default

    Few quick notes:

    Addressing with Ext5 since you mentioned Tablets, etc.

    Look Feel: Have a look at the other themes instead of Classic. (Ext4 has several as well)
    http://dev.sencha.com/ext/5.0.0/exam.../#basic-panels

    Additional Themes:
    http://dev.sencha.com/ext/5.0.0/exam...mes/index.html

    Our fiddle uses Neptune Charcoal:
    https://fiddle.sencha.com/#home

    There are other 3rd party available, or create your own.
    http://docs.sencha.com/extjs/4.2.2/#!/guide/theming

    Scope:
    - Not for smartphones: Correct, you should use Touch
    - Tablets: Ext5 support for tablets: http://www.sencha.com/blog/announcin...a-of-ext-js-5/
    - Websites: Plenty of CMS's out there for websites, Ext is for Applications, not websites .. not event a consideration.

    As for Angular, I have not used it, so it would be unfair to comment.

  3. #3
    Sencha User pcr's Avatar
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    Default Look at Bootstrap, Ionic and Angular

    I used to develop desktop applications with ExtJS and mobile applications with Sencha Touch. Till one of my customers did not like the 'look-and-feel' of ExtJS. I decided to look for other frameworks for desktop apps and mobile devices as well. After looking after a couple of recent solutions there was one piece of code that catched my eye for its modularity and for all the performance. I'm talking about Angular. I know it' made by Google. Angular is very vibrant. There is a lot of content about it in internet. Because Angular is poking around in HTML you need some framework for develop the gui. My choice is Bootstrap. Using Bootstrap means a lot of freedom about the look-and-feel. And Bootstrap has many resources on the internet as well. But Bootstrap is not made for mobile devices. A very new kid on the block for mobile gui is Ionic. Ionic has a lot of fantastisch good looking widgets. Most importent Ionics has Angular integrated. I was amazed about the performance of apps build with Ionic.

    BTW I changed from backend PHP-servertools to nodeJS.

    So now for me its now all about HTML (Bootstrap and Ionic), CSS and Javascript (Angular, ExtJS, Sencha Touch) for front-end. On the backend-Side for me it's Javascript (NodeJS). Another important reason for this is it's all free of charge.

    A good starting point maybe is my Flipboard http://flip.it/GQpQT

  4. #4
    Sencha User
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    Default

    @scottmartinThat Crips theme really looks good. I think because ExtJS puts a layout system on top of HTML it's hard to create a really new look and feel where you don't work with visible panels. Like setting a size or position of an element by CSS is hard, because the position and size is usually put in the Style tag of the element by the framework.

    Thanks for sharing, Pcr and scottmartin.

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