It’s a shame! The newest version of Github’s most popular project is not backward compatible

Yes, i’m talking about Twitter’s Bootstrap. Release Candidate 2 of version 3 of Bootstrap 3 has been released today. And we will find at least class name changes again, see: What is wrong with Bootstrap 3 RC2. Is there a reason to be not backward compatible? No. Or maybe…. you will need some extra CSS code which could slow down your site. Unless you didn’t use the responsive features of version 2.x. Twitter’s Bootstrap 3 can’t be used without the responsive code any more.
The real reason to be not backwards compatible will be the new mobile first approach, i think. To adopt this approach you will have to change the structure of your CSS loading. You will have to work from small to big. I wonder what the benefits of the mobile first approach are nowadays. I understand some older smart phones don’t handle all css3 features or not even Javascript. Of course it would be nice when all this old phone users will see a nice looking and well functioning website.
But who has such old phone and why? Most people buy the newest phone every week. Maybe not every week but certainly often.
I also bet most web designers never check their site on a ‘old’ phone. They will load the site on their newest i-Phone via broadband wifi and say: Wooh that looks cool.
Maybe this the problem with Twitter’s Bootstrap too. It’s cool.
Should we rename everything? Why not? Everybody will happy with this new stuff, they don’t care.

If the mobile first approach really reduce load time / data traffic mobile users will profit a little. But Mobile Internet will become faster and faster and this happens sooner and sooner.

Should you migrate your website from Twitter’s Bootstrap 2.x to 3?

I don’t think so. With Twitter’s Bootstrap you already have chosen a progressive technology. Your website will be responsive and fit mobile users needs too. New browsers and techniques won’t work with 2.x in future. But also consider the mean life time of a / your web design. Twitter’s Bootstrap drops support for IE7 and FF3 (check the facts here: IE10 blows past IE7 and IE6′s combined market share, Firefox gains too, but Chrome hits 21-month low ). Beside browser support the typehead plugin is also dropped.

Should you build your new website with Twitter’s Bootstrap 3?

You could consider it at least (after the final release). Read also: Writing Twitter’s Bootstrap with upgrading to v3 in mind. If you used 2.x before you should learn some new things.
Except from the backwards compatible their seems nothing wrong with the new 3 version. The new small grid will make happy the modern phone users. The grid is fluid by default now, so you will have to study the profits and disadvantages of this when you used to the fixed layout.

What are the alternatives? Personal i love the idea behind (css) frameworks with a grid. I should never consider to write all the media queries, browser compatible css. etc. myself again. Zurb’s Foundation can be an alternative. (Is Bootstrap 3 RC 1 ready for production?).

New techniques / insights decouple CSS from HTML. This will make future migrations less painful maybe. So also read this post: Migrating from Zurb Foundation / Twitter Bootstrap to Bourbon & Neat. It refers to Bourdon and Neat. As they say: “it relies entirely on Sass mixins and does not pollute your HTML”. This combination looks promising too.

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