Bootstrap 4 is coming!

The latest major release of Bootstrap - 4.x is available as an Alpha release. What does bootstrap 4 hold in store for web developers and their clients?

If you have arrived to this article there is a good chance you already know what Bootstrap is. If not, here is the very simple explanation from Wikipedia:

Bootstrap is a free and open-source collection of tools for creating websites and web applications. It contains HTML- and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation and other interface components, as well as optional JavaScript extensions.

The collection of tools is so useful that it has almost become the default starting point for web applications (no, that's not wordpress).

The whole code base has been looked at, new trends and developments have been incorporated, and parts earmarked for deprecation.

In short, here are some of the important changes as of the last alpha version:

  • CSS is now complied using SASS rather than LESS. It's not too much of a learning curve to make the switch. I have found that it compiles faster (using Grunt) and is pretty powerful.
  • The famous grid system has been improved, with a new screen target defined (there are now four)
  • Cards (you werer probably already using them) now covers a range of things that were present before, wells, thumbnails and panels. They are flexible and easy to use, and will feel comfortable in writing the mark up.
  • IE8 is no longer supported. This is tough on people with clients that are stuck with IE8 on intranets, but means that backwards compatability holding back advancement can be dropped. The standard units are now the responsive friendly em and rem.
  • Javascript has been re-written to be more streamlined

Of course there is plenty more, and I am really understaing it here.

It is worth checking out - remember though it is still early release, so expect to find bugs and things that will change on a regular basis. If you are going to start using it, then it is a good idea to send feedback whjere it is relevant.

You can download the latest release version here on github.