Twitter Bootstrap CSS framework first impressions



If you’re looking for a quick and easy CSS framework that gives the “Web 2.0” feel, Twitters bootstrap is probably exactly what you’re looking for. While you shouldn’t dismiss other frameworks, Bootstrap takes it to a new level with fluid grid layouts, CSS buttons, tables, and even jQuery plugins. You can find all of the details about classes and more at the bootstrap website.

Although I must warn, one of Bootstraps main failing points is IE6 support. I know I know, IE is dead and it’s time to move on, but several of the websites I work with still receive a sizable amount of IE6 traffic. So it cannot just be ignored.

Bootstrap has a hard time rendering properly in IE6, it’s mostly the scaffolding that’s the problem. The solution I have used in practice is to stick with 960gs or blueprint to take care of the grid layout and use Bootstrap for all the other goodies. You can download a custom copy of bootstrap without the grid CSS. However this solution doesn’t work if you’re looking for a responsive design, so there is another solution:

The Twitter Bootstrap shim for IE6 github project has done a pretty good job with a IE6 fallback style sheet. If you are planning to support IE6 you should check it out.

All in all, Bootstrap does a great job cutting down on development time, even with its IE6 flaws. I would recommend it over the other CSS frameworks.


About Greg Somers

Greg Somers has been working in the web development field for over 10 years. He is currently a MASc candidate at the University of Ottawa in the field of Electrical and Computer Engineering.