Rotala is a flat-design based css framework that offers a great customizibility with which we can create our own theme quickly and easily. The framework is made available by modern css with some very handy & popular tools PostCSS and Tailwindcss.

"Blank" components#

In the Rotala core styles sets, all the components hold the very minimal and rudimentrary styles that are await for being extended. Which means, you can start theming with extending/overriding these default components.

<button class="button">buttton</button>

<a class="link" href="#">link</a>

<ul class="menu">
  <li class="menu-item">
    <a href="#menu-item-1">menu item 1</a>
  <li class="menu-item">
    <a href="#menu-item-2">menu item 2</a>

<ul class="pagination">
  <li class="pagination-item">
    <a href="/page-1">page 1</a>
  <li class="pagination-item">
    <a href="/page-2">page 2</a>

Why made it this way?#

Not long ago, an elegant CSS tool Tailwindcss was created for building up CSS frameworks and themes. It hopes us to make the most of the provided "fragmented utils" to create component templates. This is a very good approach for theming purposes. Besides, with another sets of configurations (tailwind.config.js) we could easily control the dimensions of the "fragmented utils".

<div class="bg-white rounded-lg p-6">
  <img class="h-16 w-16 rounded-full mx-auto" src="avatar.jpg">
  <div class="text-center">
    <h2 class="text-lg">Some One</h2>
    <div class="text-purple-500">Customer Support</div>
    <div class="text-gray-600"></div>
    <div class="text-gray-600">(555) 765-4321</div>

However when the project gets larger, we will encounter something that looks like this. One component with a lot of "modifiers" within the class attribute. This loses readibility and makes the template chunky.

<a href="/" class="transition-all ease-in-out duration-150 no-underline rounded-lg px-4 md:px-5 xl:px-4 py-3 md:py-4 xl:py-3 bg-teal-500 hover:bg-teal-600 md:text-lg xl:text-base text-white font-semibold leading-tight shadow-md">Home</a>

To recover the readibility and maintainability, it's better to compose these utils into a class with Tailwindcss  @apply function. And what's more, you could even create a parent class with very minimal and trimmed styles to let its descendents to inherit the atrributes. This is how Rotala gained the inspiration.

.link {
  @apply transition-all;
  @apply ease-in-out;
  @apply duration-150;
  @apply no-underline;
} {
  @apply rounded-lg;
  @apply px-4 md:px-5 xl:px-4;
  @apply py-3 md:py-4 xl:py-3;
  @apply bg-teal-500 hover:bg-teal-600;
  @apply md:text-lg xl:text-base;
  @apply text-white;
  @apply font-semibold;
  @apply leading-tight;
  @apply shadow-md;
<a href="/" class="link link-home">Home</a>

In a manner of speaking, Rotala is rather a normal practice of Tailwindcss theming by trimming the components to the minimum viable styles. Yet, it utilizes the best tools in hand to make the framework as customizable as possible.


Since Rotala core only provides the "trimmed" components, we need more tools to enhence the framework utility. Relying on communities and 3rd parties seems a pretty good idea. So, in the end, the inspiration of "extensions" came right out after imitating Gatsbyjs and Gridsome about how they built their beautiful plugin pages.

Source files#


The style files are ended with .pcss extension. We use @apply functions everywhere in the source file. Some of the stylings are not yet part of Tailwindcss, so they are kept pure CSS format.

/* style/base/typography.pcss */

abbr[title] {
  @apply border-b border-dotted;
  @apply no-underline;

  cursor: help;

entry files#

Like any other preprocessor based CSS project, we compile the source into pure CSS with entry files that gather all related sources.

  • style/base.pcss // typography etc.
  • style/components.pcss // button menu avatar etc.
  • style/main.pcss // base + components
  • style/prefix.pcss // class name prefix: my-button
/* For instance */
/* style/base.pcss */

@import "./base/general.pcss";
@import "./base/typography.pcss";

Browser support#

The following browsers are what Rotala is targeting on. It's quite difficult to allow CSS on various environments. To make things easier, Rotala supports very modern browsers.

Chrome Last 4
Firefox ESR
Safari Last 4
Edge 12+
IE 11+
Opera Last 4
# .browserslistrc

> 1%
last 4 Chrome versions
Edge >= 12
Firefox ESR
last 4 Safari versions
last 4 Opera versions
Explorer >= 11