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Should we let go of the columns widget?


Would it be wiser to promote creation of columns by floats instead of the columns widget?

I am not completely convinced in this, but I have a number of points to support it:
- the columns widget does not support all possible numbers of columns;
- as a consequence of the above novices would need to realize that they could achieve the same by floats, which is a waste of time - if one knew that columns were possible with floats, from the very beginning, s/he wouldn't have wasted time learning how to use the columns widget;
- responsive layouts need to be adjusted via Settings, that is, they are not automatically rendered to all instances of the css class;
- the widget comes with some pre-defined margins and paddings which is annoying, as you'd need to change them every time to fit your own design (but then, this is not a project with the widget itself, but with the policy of pre-defined margins and paddings).

What do you think?

All default elements should be zeroed out?
Less features more quality

Please don't. Floats were never intended to be used to structure content, it was just a hack before support for inline-block was adopted. Use floats for content flow and nothing else to remain semantic and embrace modern properties to create layouts (inline-block, Flexbox and soon CSS Grid).


Hm, I've been building all my column layouts with floats since I was disappointed with the columns widget. I have not had any problems so far.

And as I mentioned above, some layouts are currently impossible with the columns widget.

What would be the disadvantage of floats?

I take your semantics argument but what would be the actual repercussions of not remaining semantic?


The columns widget definitely needs some improvements.

Creating a column grid need some hacks that not everyone knows and of course sometimes floats works.

You should try bootstrap to see how helpful are the widget settings.

They have pre-defined margins and paddings so they can fit on the grid.


You should try bootstrap to see how helpful are the widget settings.

I did not get this one. If I have columns on ten different places around the site and I have created them with floats, all I need in adjusting the responsive settings is doing the adjustments to the css class. In the case of the columns widget I'd need to go over all ten instances and manually do the adjustments in the Settings panel. This is just horrible.

Maybe you mean that the adjustments which could be done via the Settings panel are superior to the ones possible via the css class?

They have pre-defined margins and paddings so they can fit on the grid.

Alas, this does not make them less annoying and time-wasting.


Make a section and then set that sections settings to flexbox.
Put a div in that section. Make this also to flexbox.
Put 3 divs inside that div in the section.
Those 3 divs in the middle now work like your columns with more flexibility. Set each of the 3 divs in the middle to stretch setting for flexbox and they will fill in the space. I make them each 33% and the stretch just in case.
IF you need to make them vertical at tablet or below. Or just mobile you simply go to the above flex box and you can change it to vertical.

You should never need columns or float. Proper use of flexbox will save you tons of time.


Sadly thats the way all the frameworks work, you need to add a class to your row to set when the columns star collapsing and what you tell me it's what sass do.

For the pre-defined margins and paddings you should learn about grids to understand the reason to be.


Now something else came up to me - when creating vertical tabs you have to use floats and what you are doing is exactly a column layot structure. Threfore the skill of setting columns with floats would be immediately applicable to tabs. Again, time in learning would be saved.

Flexbox vs grid for page layout

i think the columns widget is practically redundant - divs allow for much more flexibility and responsiveness especially with flexbox. i think users can sometimes feel trapped with the limitations of columns instead of using divs to explore and discover how to achieve the same thing but better.

however, i do think a table option is needed in the rich text block. i feel this needs to be addressed soner rather than later.

Is semantic code really semantic?

The column widget isn't always useful but it has it's place for quick or standard type of layouts. It's convenient to use in prototyping a layout. Out-of-the box it's certainly nice to have it available to use.


Columns have been a lifesaver for me. Please don't drop this feature.


I dig them, but have found myself using the flex display option more lately because it has more controls. I'd prob use columns over flex if they were more configurable though.


We wouldn't remove this feature unless we have something better to replace it. That's always our team's MO. Actually we have been working on a new and improved grid system component but can't give an ETA on that since it's still in the Design phase.


Well, aren't floats or flex better enough?