Reason for Chatly Modal design?

I’m puzzled by the design of the Chatly app (in Blueprints). While I see a small amount of page switching (e.g. Go To Page logic for ‘Log Out’), most of the ‘page changing’ is through Modal design (on the dashboard page), which seems to manipulate Theme css script. The dashboard extension has over 1300 lines of css ‘code’, mediating the presentation of some of the major functions: Profile, Chats, Group Chats, Contacts, and Settings.

This makes the app virtually impossible to troubleshoot/modify for those who don’t know css (like me). For Backendless this design seems to violate the ‘no-code’ promise/premise philosophy the company is based on. I would have expected the functions (above) to be on separate pages, with simple page switching logic.

Is there a technical reason for this modal design over the simple Go To page design? What am I missing here?

One of the reasons is to demonstrate an option for building apps. While it is certainly possible to take an alternative approach and use separate pages for various screens, in that specific blueprint we decided to use popups as we believe it yields a better user experience.

Personally, I do not view CSS as “code”, but at the same time, I do not want this to turn into an academic discussion of what is “no code”. With UI Builder, the styling of the UI is done with CSS/Less, so it is an inherent part of developing apps with Backendless (I should note that CSS is an industry standard adopted by all major browsers and manifested in countless apps).


My only concern (about ‘what to call things’) is to communicate intelligibly … seems CSS is commonly called a ‘stylesheet language’, a useful term. My interest is in

  1. seeing (discovering) the various pieces needed for development in the Backendless environment, to get an overall view of what I need to learn.
  2. learning how to work with those pieces to produce useful Backendless/Codeless apps.

I now understand that CSS is an integral part of the Backendless environment; likely UI Builder is a graphical front-end to produce the CSS needed to render a UI. What’s murky is how to work with CSS in (what amounts to) the Backendless IDE.

Working with Sergey Karavashkin’s blog post (‘Create a Modal in UI Builder’), digging through the Chatly code, and support here has helped with 2). Any other resources you can point me to would be appreciated.