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Yeah, But is Tailwind a Cult Tho?

People like to throw around the term "cult" as a pejorative whenever folks get unreasonably excited about a particular technology. But that does beg the question: when does a technology actually become a cult?

By Jared White

I’ve been a part of “cults” before, whether that’s being a total Apple fanboy or a total Ruby fanboy or—perhaps more recently—a total web components fanboy.

So as the seemingly never-ending debate over Tailwind CSS continues to rage on, some haters of Tailwind hurl accusations that Tailwind is a “cult” and überfans are responsible for perpetuating it. Even pro-Tailwind promoters are getting in on the act, as a recent blog author states: “I’m in a cult, but hey, I’m happy, and this Kool-Aid tastes delicious.”

Now I’ve made a name for myself I suppose as a frequent critic of Tailwind, so you might think I’d point to this and say “Haha, you said it, you’re in a cult! Pwned!” But I think we need to be careful here. Lots of people get excited about all sorts of technologies and tools. If we actually believe that a fan community has crossed a line, we need to be careful to point it out in a reasonable manner and back that up with hard evidence.

So here you go. I will now endeavor to present hard evidence in the form of YouTube comments on Adam Wathan’s keynote at the recent Tailwind Connect conference. I simply scrolled through the list of comments and pulled out anything that seemed, er, rather in the direction of sounding cult-like. Does this prove Tailwind is a cult? Well, you be the judge!*

(* Actually, I will also be the judge but I will hide my commentary behind disclosures. Feel free to ignore! 😉)

Shoutouts from the Fans Cult Members? #

Everyone that can afford buying Tailwind UI should do it. These people deserve that and more.

Hmm… 🤔

Always a little concerning when folks encourage “everyone” to funnel money into the mothership…

nothing but love for the tailwind team and the extended community - you both revolutionised styling and allowed me to go from struggling with maintanance to getting creative with ease. I salute you, and am excited for what else is in store! Thank you from the bottom of my heart

Hmm… 🤔

“Bottom of my heart” sort of feels like it should be reserved for “you saved my puppy” or “my grandmother can now walk again thanks to your therapy treatments” rather than, er, utility classes, but that’s just me.

Steve is so smart when it comes to design. Dude is literally a genius. By far one of the best designers on the web right now.

Hmm… 🤔

Nice use of the word literally. 🤡

The greatest thing about Tailwind for me as a beginner was I didn’t have to discover what were the best ways to achieve some things, Tailwind had already done the hard task of figuring out browser compatibility issues and on top the most amazing tech documentation I have seen anywhere. Also not to forget that I haven’t had to deal with any bugs whatsoever. You guys are amazing.

Hmm… 🤔

Perhaps chalk this one up to framework honeymoon glow, but it’s perhaps unwise to cast any software tool as having “the best documentation ever” and “no bugs ever” and “figured out all compatibility issues”. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment…

Tailwind is hands down the best thing that ever happened to css. Thank you 👏

Hmm… 🤔

Let’s see, some additions to CSS in recent years:

  • Grid
  • CSS Variables
  • Logical Properties
  • Light/Dark Mode
  • Container Queries
  • :has
  • Shadow DOM
  • Comparison functions like clamp
  • HDR Color
  • Nesting (!!)
  • Cascade Layers
  • Future SPA-like behavior in MPAs with ViewTransition API

Eh, but nope, Tailwind is the best thing that ever happened to CSS. 😝 (Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that Tailwind would do absolutely ZERO of these things without actual CSS functioning?! After all, Tailwind is essentially just a bespoke DSL… 😃)

Adam Watham is turning into Gigachad with all the self-improvement and I’m all for it!

Hmm… 🤔

Any discussion of any programmer’s personal appearance (especially women and queer/non-binary folks, but cishet men too) makes me extremely uncomfortable. Adam lost weight and grew muscles, awesome. Remind me again how that’s in any way relevant to a CSS framework??

Tailwind team is the definition of the perfection

Hmm… 🤔

Hmm… 🤔

Glad to see they’re striving for the ultimate DX.

Hmm… 🤔

Doesn’t that describe, like, every software library tho? 😅 “Naw, I’m striving for the most mid DX. Download today and experience the mediocre!”

Just wanna start using Tailwind CSS. Can’t wait to get into it.
Just love it already 🥰💯

Hmm… 🤔

This technology is so good, I’m 100% in love and I haven’t even used it yet!

“My vision for what I want to help people with Tailwind which is build CUSTOM stuff” -Adam
that’s why I use tailwind since his first release, I never use css frameworks, no bootstrap, no anything, until I discover tailwind! because I’d always want CUSTOM stuff, thank you Adam!

Hmm… 🤔

Huh? 🤔

Always a joy to listen to Adam

Hmm… 🤔

Always a joy!

After i tried tailwind i couldnt stop using it, i use it for everything to the point where I feel like im forgetting vanilla css syntax 😂

Hmm… 🤔

Whoa, this one needs a warning label! I haven’t see anything this scary in a long time! 😱

after an year of raw CSS i switched to tailwind css and felt like heaven

Hmm… 🤔


Adam and the team, you’re all just awesome. Thank you.. Adam and the team, you’re all just awesome. Thank you..

Hmm… 🤔 Adam and the team, you're all just awesome. Thank you..

I think Tailwind should just become the new css standard, like even when am in vanilla css, I check tailwind for documentation on the css property!

Hmm… 🤔

Duuude, wait until I show you MDN. 🤯

Great product glad to be alive and see the revolution of css hahah 😂 to tailwind

Hmm… 🤔

I’m just so thankful to have lived to see the day…the day when…Tailwind.

The single most revolutionising architecture ever created …

Hmm… 🤔

Single! Most! Revolutionising! (sic) Architecture! Ever! Created!

OK, I’m calling it.*

👉 Tailwind is a cult. 👈

(* Also I’m sick of scrolling through all those creepy YouTube comments. Yeeesh!)

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