Following the recent thread about Elementor, I wondered if there are any Blocs 3 users here? I know some RW developers have started to create custom brics and I expect that will increase dramatically when the API receives an update in the next month or so. It would be good to hear their thoughts as well.
Blocs 2 had some limitations and I found it frustrating much of the time. This could partly be explained by the fast rate of new features being added, which introduced some buggy behaviour along the way. Version 3 is a huge jump forward in usability and feels like a pretty capable app now for many purposes.
The framework is based on Bootstrap 4, which opens up a large number of options through custom classes and you have four breakpoints with fast previews. I really like the way so many adjustments can be made visually in real time by dragging borders, which can then be altered at each breakpoint.
For those who have used both, I am curious to hear how you think it compares with RW and which app you feel is going in a better direction?
I was a big fan of Blocs 2, and was hoping for a great version 3. Blocs 2 just wasn’t quite ready for prime time.
Bootstrap 4 has four breakpoints (five screen sizes) Blocs 3 doesn’t support the extra large breakpoint. It only has three of the four breakpoints (four of the five screen sizes).
I asked long ago on the Blocs forum if when Blocs 3 came out if it was going to support all the bootstrap sizes (Blocs 2 also dropped a size from bootstrap 3) and was told yes. Then months later Norm (the one person show running Blocs) said: “I never use a screen that large so I see no need to support the XL size.”
I know lots of people use smaller screens mobile and notebooks, but if you haven’t been in a large U.S. corporate office lately, you might be shocked of the number of large (21 inch, 27 inches and larger) monitors in use. You also might be surprised by how much Web surfing both work and non-work related happen on those monitors.
That attitude from the developer “I never use this or that” so why should I support it, left me cautious and take a wait and see what happens when and if other developers jump in.
BTW: there’s been an API for developers for like a year on version two, and not many jumped in. I looked at the API, and it needed a lot of improvement.
So my take is to wait and see if it goes anywhere with add-on developers, the base product can do a fine website, but with primarily a single person developing everything I don’t know how much “growth” to expect.
I recently picked up a new 32" display and it’s certainly made me think more about this question, especially on points such as header image width. Certain things I did on the old 23" display no longer work as expected. Needless to say I now check things at full width on this larger display as well.
On Blocs 3 you have XS, SM, MD and LG breakpoints, so unless my maths is very fuzzy that is 4 breakpoints. These are based on resolution, rather than device types as before and I initially found that tricky, but on reflection it’s probably a better way of doing things. The LG setting is from 992px to 1200px and obviously there are wider screens than this, but I can’t say it is causing me any major problems. I also use Solis for previews at times.
The point you raise about the developer deciding what is included or not can obviously be a source of frustration, though that would apply to any software app, even with a hundred people working behind the scenes. I believe Norm has made considerable steps to including user requests as features.
I am a big Blocs fan and when Blocs became v3 a couple of months ago it became a serious web creation tool.
AFAIK Norm writes all the code and Blocs is very much his baby but his productivity is breathtaking with many new releases and a proper beta professional release program. Each new version gets significant new features and is not just a bug fix and there is also open discussion about what’s coming up. Also I believe there is another member of the team and I recall some outsourcing for other stuff going on. Bottom line is that the development and output of Blocs3 is impressive and Norm keeps a steady close involvement with forum questions.
With the completion of the 3rd party API, other stuff, and developers getting on board in the next 2-3 months, I believe Blocs3 will move into the big time for brochure type web site creation apps. There are quite a few RW Developers already involved or watching closely how the API is shaping up.
The UI is not only beautiful but once you learn your way about, easy to understand, has true WYSIWYG and fast. If you need multi device instant (as in instant) preview, then Solis is an integrated tool you can also use with any other app.
One of the really powerful concepts of Blocs3 is the ease which classes can be added and edited and when you understand and grasp that, it becomes a very powerful tool. Although, even without this facility iBlocs is still a very capable full set of tools that is self contained within the core app. For those who are not familiar with Blocs3, think of it as Rapidweaver, Stacks and say Foundry all in one App, with a true media browser supporting warehousing with bulk remote folder loading, local web fonts, GDPR ready and even a new icon.
To reply to Ashley’s specific question, I have no idea where RW is going because no information about this is made public but based on the Blocs forums, Blocs is stable as a rock, really going places and maturing at a fast pace.
Screen width (CSS media queries) is what triggers breakpoints. Resolution Is more about viewing quality.
It really depends on your market. If you look at North America less than 40% of web traffic is from mobile and Europe even slightly less. Worldwide it’s the majority at about 50%. Asia at 60% and India at a whopping 76% mobile tips the “worldwide” numbers.
A great tool here if you want to see market share, you can select your market:
I think everyone should be doing mobile first design, but way to many people are forgetting about the desktop version. That might be the largest part of your market. mobile first NOT mobile only.
Besides I was talking about the disappointment of Blocs 3 developer dropping this fundamental part of BS4 because “he never uses it” not comparing RapidWeaver to Blocs.
My feeling on Blocs would be wait and see, it has the potential but unless it builds an ecosystem of other developers I don’t know how far it will grow.
Hopefully when the api improvements come out more developers will jump in. To compare it with RapidWeaver, what makes RapidWeaver great is the addon developers not the base product. Blocs doesn’t much of that have yet.
I am surprised to hear this view based on an old forum comment. Moving on from whatever was commented on before Blocs3 was released, currently there are 4 breakpoints and the largest called LG, is 1200px. There may be some confusion because the standard Bootstrap4 terminology for the 1200px breakpoint is XL.
Jannis’ brilliant blank Bootsnap theme uses the same very latest version of Bootstrap4 that Blocs does, and I would be surprised if Will’s Bootstrap arsenal was not using the latest version too.
However, AFAIK there is no support for all all Bootstrap4 breakpoints in RW or any available RW addon or stack and certainly Foundry (based on an Alpha version of Bootstrap4) uses only 3 breakpoints.
The RW/Stacks world is a bit of a confusing mess with Foundation, Foundry and Stacks all using 3 breakpoints and all use different values.
What is a nice Blocs3 is that when you select a breakpoint in Edit mode, the breakpoint range is displayed in the bottom left corner so no need to go asking what the breakpoint values are.
I’m using both RW and Blocs 3 now, with an eye on moving mostly over to Blocs. One major reason for this is CMS integration - I am a Pulse user, and my Pulse license works in Blocs as well (which has a “Pulse 5 exporter” built in) This is actually one of the major reasons I chose Pulse as my RW CMS, I could use it anywhere, not just in RW… In fact I have used the “Just Forms” that comes with Pulse in a few Wordpress websites even.
My biggest disappointment with RW 8 is the very limited abilities of any of the CMS’s (including Pulse) in a few key areas.
Yes, all the RW CMS’s allow editing capabilities of predefined areas on the completed website by the end user/client
but none of the RW CMS’s allow the end user/client to add new pages, or “change around” the editing areas on the pages
The Pulse/Blocs integration (which has a few bugs that are being sorted out right now in the latest Blocs 3 betas) actually produces Pulse “templates” upon export from Blocs 3. These templates can then be manipulated with Pulse 5 anyway the client wants! They can add pages, add “Pulse tags” move content around. The RW/Pulse integration is good, but it falls very short of what the Blocs/Pulse integration can do, and it has to do with the way RW itself works… RW just isn’t designed to allow really good CMS integration, just look at the “built-in” RW blogging capabilities, which are useless if you are actually building websites for clients…
Slightly off topic but that is a big advantage of using a CMS/Blog such as Pulse in that you can switch web creation apps and maintain the CMS/blog and avoid the need to import the CMS and blog content which may not even be possible, and then also rebuild the whole system.
Pulse has been tightly integrated in Blocs for a long time as well as 3 other CMS solution and I believe there are more being developed or integrated.