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|Original author(s)||Mark Otto, Jacob Thornton|
|Developer(s)||Bootstrap Core Team|
|Initial release||August 19, 2011|
3.3.7 / July 25, 2016
4.0.0-beta.3 / December 28, 2017
|License||MIT License (Apache License 2.0 prior to 3.1.0)|
Bootstrap, originally named Twitter Blueprint, 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."
After a few months of development by a small group, many developers at Twitter began to contribute to the project as a part of Hack Week, a hackathon-style week for the Twitter development team. It was renamed from Twitter Blueprint to Bootstrap, and released as an open source project on August 19, 2011. It has continued to be maintained by Mark Otto, Jacob Thornton, and a small group of core developers, as well as a large community of contributors.
On January 31, 2012, Bootstrap 2 was released, which added a twelve-column responsive grid layout system, inbuilt support for Glyphicons, several new components, as well as changes to many of the existing components.
On October 29, 2014, Mark Otto announced that Bootstrap 4 was in development. The first alpha version of Bootstrap 4 was released on August 19, 2015. The first beta version was released on 10 August 2017.
Bootstrap 3 supports the latest versions of the Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari (except on Windows). It additionally supports back to IE8 and the latest Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR).
Since 2.0, Bootstrap 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.
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Bootstrap is modular and consists of a series of Less stylesheets that implement the various components of the toolkit. These stylesheets are generally compiled into a bundle and included in web pages, but individual components can be included or removed. Bootstrap provides a number of configuration variables that control things such as color and padding of various components.
Since Bootstrap 2, the Bootstrap documentation has included a customization wizard which generates a customized version of Bootstrap based on the requested components and various settings.
Grid system and responsive design comes standard with an 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.
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. The components are implemented as CSS classes, which must be applied to certain HTML elements in a page.
On October 29, 2014, Mark Otto announced that Bootstrap 4 was in development. On September 6, 2016, Mark suspended work on Bootstrap 3 in order to free up time to work on Bootstrap 4. Over 4,000 commits have been made to the Bootstrap 4 codebase so far.
Bootstrap 4 is almost a complete rewrite from Bootstrap 3. Significant changes include:
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