Bootstrap 4 reaches beta release

Published: 3 years ago web dev

A few days ago, the Bootstrap 4 beta was announced. Bootstrap 4 alpha was released 2 years ago so what happened? Well as the author admits, there were copious rewrites, including going from optionally supporting flexbox to requiring flexbox along with dropping IE9 support in the process. Is that release cycle way too long? Yes. A lot has changed in 2 years and in some ways BS4 feels outdated already. CSS grid support is getting better rapidly and Bootstrap makes no use of this, as are features like native CSS variables. I understand they want to continue IE10 support but as usual the cost of doing so holds so much else back. It remains to be seen where Bootstrap will continue to remain popular or whether other lighter frameworks like Bulma might take over.

Anyway now Bootstrap 4 is in beta I feel a lot more confident using it knowing there should be no breaking changes to existing functionality, just bug fixes and additional functionality. From the way they position the beta, it actually feels more like a stable release. Aside from the big move from LESS to SASS and the use of Flexbox, the most interesting new component is Cards which replace other components like panels and wells.

I had a play with the Cards component, it's quite cool but I am increasingly of the opinion that the components are almost as easy to build yourself. The only thing I've recently used Bootstrap 3 for is just the grid, and now BS 4 is using flexbox, well why not use flexbox directly for more flexibility?

I feel like Bootstrap has had its day and I can't see it remaining so popular for much longer. Now I've called it, I'm bound to be proven wrong.

P.s. more interesting comments on Reddit.