Framework7 vs Material-UI: What are the differences?
Framework7 can be classified as a tool in the "Cross-Platform Mobile Development" category, while Material-UI is grouped under "Front-End Frameworks".
"Well designed" is the primary reason why developers consider Framework7 over the competitors, whereas "React" was stated as the key factor in picking Material-UI.
Framework7 and Material-UI are both open source tools. It seems that Material-UI with 48.1K GitHub stars and 10.7K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Framework7 with 14.4K GitHub stars and 3.03K GitHub forks.
What is Framework7?
What is Material-UI?
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What are the cons of using Framework7?
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I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:
For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.
Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.
I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).
I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.
For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.
For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.
For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.
I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.
So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?
I picked up an idea to develop and it was no brainer I had to go with React for the frontend. I was faced with challenges when it came to what component framework to use. I had worked extensively with Material-UI but I needed something different that would offer me wider range of well customized components (I became pretty slow at styling). I brought in Evergreen after several sampling and reads online but again, after several prototype development against Evergreen—since I was using TypeScript and I had to import custom Type, it felt exhaustive. After I validated Evergreen with the designs of the idea I was developing, I also noticed I might have to do a lot of styling. I later stumbled on Material Kit, the one specifically made for React . It was promising with beautifully crafted components, most of which fits into the designs pages I had on ground.
A major problem of Material Kit for me is it isn't written in TypeScript and there isn't any plans to support its TypeScript version. I rolled up my sleeve and started converting their components to TypeScript and if you'll ask me, I am still on it.
In summary, I used the Create React App with TypeScript support and I am spending some time converting Material Kit to TypeScript before I start developing against it. All of these components are going to be hosted on Bit.
If you feel I am crazy or I have gotten something wrong, I'll be willing to listen to your opinion. Also, if you want to have a share of whatever TypeScript version of Material Kit I end up coming up with, let me know.
Material UI provides Cloudcraft.co with a clean, professional looking and very easy to use set of UI components build with React. The few issues we've reported to the developers have been quickly fixed each time. I highly recommend using Material UI for both consumer and enterprise web apps. The styling system in particular is very nice to work with, and allows you to easily add your own brand's look and feel throughout the UI.
We like the pure simplicity of Google's Material UI. It is simply too much overhead today to design custom UI styles.