Today is certainly a cool day for web designers and developers. Twitters extraordinarily popular Bootstrap framework has just released its awaited 3rd major release.
At first glance, it seems that BS3 is mostly the same. In fact, anyone using Bootstrap currently should be able to update with few headaches to the newest version. There are a few exceptions, and a few new things too.
First, and most importantly is that Bootstrap 3 is Mobile First.
In layman’s terms, that means that they want developers to begin projects by thinking of how they want the site to look on mobile, and then re-think for larger screens. This is very opposite to how people have traditionally thought, but now that mobile devices are outselling PCs, this is a better time than ever to make the paradigm shift.
In technical terms, the media quires in the CSS start small, and work out. So by default, things are in “mobile” terms, unless specified otherwise. Check out the new grid system here.
Internet Explorer 7 will no longer be supported by Bootstrap. For me, I could care less. I have not released a product in the last 12 months that I have ever claimed to work in IE7. This means alot less bloat to the CSS and JS that had to handle weird IE7 bugs, though.
Bootstrap 3 now incorporates many aspects of Flat Design into the main CSS. The buttons are a great example of this. This is all in a trend to get away from the skeuomorphic designs of the past, and get to a simpler, more readable design. Personally, I am indifferent to flat design. I think it has its purposes, but it does not work for every case. However, I think it makes a lot of sense for bootstrap, which has always been your most simplistic, boilerplate CSS package.
So far, I think its a great start. Some people are up in arms about certain features, but you have to remember that this is just the first release. There will be tons of Pull Requests coming in this week, and Bootstrap will definitely be releasing an RC-2 sometime later this month.