It seems like it overwrites anything else and does not play well with others.
Bootstrap was developed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton at Twitter as a framework to encourage consistency across internal tools. Before Bootstrap, various libraries were used for interface development, which led to inconsistencies and a high maintenance burden. According to Twitter developer Mark Otto:
- “A super small group of developers and I got together to design and build a new internal tool and saw an opportunity to do something more. Through that process, we saw ourselves build something much more substantial than another internal tool. Months later, we ended up with an early version of Bootstrap as a way to document and share common design patterns and assets within the company.”
The first deployment under real conditions happened during Twitter’s first Hackweek. Mark Otto showed some colleagues how to accelerate their project’s development with the help of the toolkit. As a result, dozens of teams have moved to the framework.
In August 2011, Twitter released Bootstrap as open source. In February 2012, it was the most starred GitHub development project, a position it still holds in June 2014.
Bootstrap is compatible with the latest versions of all major browsers. It gracefully degrades when used on older browsers such as Internet Explorer 8.
Since version 2.0 it also supports responsive web design. This means the layout of web pages adjusts dynamically, taking into account the characteristics of the device used (desktop, tablet, mobile phone).
Starting with version 3.0, Bootstrap adopted a mobile first design philosophy, emphasizing responsive design by default.
Bootstrap is open source and available on GitHub. Developers are encouraged to participate in the project and make their own contributions to the platform.
Structure and function
Bootstrap is modular and consists essentially of a series of LESS stylesheets that implement the various components of the toolkit. A stylesheet called bootstrap.less includes the components stylesheets. Developers can adapt the Bootstrap file itself, selecting the components they wish to use in their project.
Adjustments are possible to a limited extent through a central configuration stylesheet. More profound changes are possible by the LESS declarations.
The use of LESS stylesheet language allows the use of variables, functions and operators, nested selectors, as well as so-called mixins.
Since version 2.0, the configuration of Bootstrap also has a special “Customize” option in the documentation. Moreover, the developer chooses on a form the desired components and adjusts, if necessary, the values of various options to their needs. The subsequently generated package already includes the pre-built CSS style sheet.
Grid system and responsive design comes standard with a 1170 pixel wide, grid layout. Alternatively, the developer can use a variable-width layout. For both cases, the toolkit has four variations to make use of different resolutions and types of devices: mobile phones, portrait and landscape, tablets and PCs with low and high resolution. Each variation adjusts the width of the columns.
The CSS stylesheet
Bootstrap provides a set of stylesheets that provide basic style definitions for all key HTML components. These provide a uniform, modern appearance for formatting text, tables and form elements.
In addition to the regular HTML elements, Bootstrap contains other commonly used interface elements. These include buttons with advanced features (e.g. grouping of buttons or buttons with drop-down option, make and navigation lists, horizontal and vertical tabs, navigation, breadcrumb navigation, pagination, etc.), labels, advanced typographic capabilities, thumbnails, warning messages and a progress bar.
An implementation of Twitter Bootstrap using the Dojo Toolkit is also available. It is called Dojo Bootstrap and is a port of the Twitter Bootstrap plugins. It uses 100% Dojo code and has support for AMD (Asynchronous Module Definition).
Likewise, Bootstrap controls for AngularJS are also available; they are called UI Bootstrap. This port reuses some Bootstrap markup.
The following example illustrates how this works. The HTML code defines a simple search form and a list of results in tabular form. The page consists of HTML 5 elements and CSS information according to the Bootstrap documentation. The figure shows the representation of the document in Mozilla Firefox 10.