In 2017, we posted a roadmap that provided an overview of our vision for the next major version of PatternFly. Since that post, we’ve made big strides towards delivering a more maintainable system that’s easier to use and consume.
As with any project, we’ve had to adapt and refine our strategy in some places, but we’re feeling positive about the shape the system is taking and we’re excited to update you on our progress. Are you ready? I’m ready.
Design systems need to enable both design and implementation to help teams create consistent (and awesome) user experiences. To build a system that better supports both designers and developers, we’re taking our cue from Brad Frost’s Atomic Design and focusing on modularity. That means working to develop self-contained components that can be arranged in any number of ways to build a variety of applications and interfaces.
Implementing CSS in this modular fashion involves a total rewrite, and after careful consideration, the team made the decision to decouple from Bootstrap to more easily maintain the code. Decoupling improves modularity, helps to simplify development and implementation, and gives us complete control over our code, which means we aren’t tied to the Bootstrap release cycles and our codebase can last longer. Overall, we feel like this is the right direction for PatternFly moving forward.
Building applications that work for everyone, regardless of ability, is just the right thing to do. We’re working to bake accessibility into the foundation of our design practice. Check out this blog to learn more about the work we’re doing in this area.
Right now, not all of our PatternFly patterns are responsive. Long story short, people use applications on mobile devices. A lot. We’re working to implement a standard approach to responsive components to address this issue.
We’ve been wearing the same outfit since 2012-ish and it’s time for a change. The visual design team has been doing amazing work to evolve the visual language, building something flexible enough to support a variety of personas and adaptable enough to suit multiple design patterns and front-end technologies.
The team is also planning to deliver a system of reusable assets in the form of a design kit to make it super simple for almost anyone to design beautiful and usable interfaces.
What about JS framework implementations?
We’re glad you asked. This is an area we’ve been talking about a lot. We’re currently investigating ways to bring the PF-React and PF-NG repos over to PatternFly-Next. It’s important to us that we don’t fragment those communities, and our hope is for those repos to be used as a way to simplify migration for teams once PatternFly-Next is ready. More to come in this area in the coming weeks.
We’re still in the early stages, and these things take time. You can stay on top of everything that’s happening, from issues to milestones, in our GitHub. We have our first three alphas planned with more to come soon, so please stay tuned!