The popular opensource HTML, CSS and JS framework Bootstrap recently released an alpha version of their latest version, version 4. Some interesting choices were announced last year and i’m glad Bootstrap stuck to them.
No more support for Internet Explorer 8
Bootstrap has the courage to drop support for IE8 (and lower). The biggest shortcoming of IE8 – for a mobile first framework – is its lack of support for media queries. Furthermore a lot of other CSS hacks will be removed. Moving away from IE8 also makes way to use other “cutting edge” technologies (some even older than IE8 (2008)).
Flexbox support (optional)
The best thing for the web since Espresso, flexbox is here! Flexbox solves a lot of the challenges with fluid and dynamic layouts (without silly hacks!). Making it possible to make use of a lot of the features of tables (like vertical centering, fluid width and equal heights for “cells”) and adding a lot of new possiblities. For instance changing the order of static html with css. Bootstrap adding support means Browser vendors have to continue supporting this super flex technology and iron out the last wrinckles and bugs.
Support for flexbox at this moment is still “opt in“, as they call it at Bootstrap. That means you will have to switch a SASS boolean variable (set $enable-flex in _variables.scss to true) and recompile the CSS yourself, or swap the compiled CSS for the already compiled flexbox one (not yet availbale for download, but coming soon. Let me know if you need an alpha version and can’t compile it yourself).
Pixels to be replaced by rems and ems
Being a mobile first, responsive framework, bootstrap 3 uses a lot of pixel values for fonts and components.
Pixels are so 1998… I really love rems, they are relative to the document root, not to their parent element like ems.
Support for Bootstrap version 3
Bootstrap promises to continue support for version 3, unlike version 2, where they pissed off a lot of users by immediately dropping support when version 3 was released. Bootstrap 3 will be maintained with “critical bug fixes and documentation improvements”.