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Twitter launches Bootstrap, open-source tools for making web apps

August 19, 2011 |  1:34 pm

Twitter Bootstrap

Twitter on Friday released Bootstrap, an online toolkit for developers looking to build new web apps, or even clean up some of the code they already have.

Bootstrap is an open source set of files written in CSS (or Cascading Style Sheets, a programming language used to dictate how a website or web app looks and works) that covers some of the building blocks of most web apps, such as buttons, tables and forms, page templates, app navigation and even stylistic matters such as typography and color gradients.

The simple and small tools (at about only six kilobytes in size) released by Twitter, on the popular code sharing site GitHub, are the same basic tools used by Twitter developers for the social network's own webpages and apps, Mark Otto, a designer at Twitter, said in a blog post.

Earlier on at Twitter, programmers were more focused on building the social network to meet users' needs than building it with coding consistency, Otto said.

"Inconsistencies among the individual applications made it difficult to scale and maintain them," he said. "Bootstrap began as an answer to these challenges."

Now, the same tools Twitter users are open to the Web and anyone who wants to use them or make them better, or "fork" the tools and modify them to build something else, Otto said.

"Bootstrap works by providing a clean and uniform solution to the most common, everyday interface tasks developers come across," he said. "We want to keep working on slimming down Bootstrap's already tiny footprint while also increasing the breadth of what it covers. As always, we'd love your feedback and hope you find it useful. If you'd like to help make Bootstrap better, feel free to fork it, file issues and watch its progress over on GitHub."

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Twitter, launched five years ago, delivers 350 billion tweets a day

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screenshot of Twitter Bootstrap's default page on GitHub. Credit: Twitter / GitHub

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