Bootstrap 3.2 highlights mobile features, adds browser bug tracking

Twitter's front-end Web framework adds responsive functionality for mobile presentation, tracking for browser bugs

Bootstrap 3.2, the latest version of the popular front-end Web framework originally developed by engineers at Twitter, has just been released.

It may only be a revision to the right of the decimal point, but the official Bootstrap blog bills it as a "monster of a release." Widely used by developers for both mobile apps and websites, Bootstrap made InfoWorld's Technology of the Year Award list for 2014, and its latest revision compiles more than 1,000 changes that address bugs and performance issues.

Nothing like the major shift from Bootstrap 2.0 to 3.0 is present this time, which might be good news for developers caught up in the last wave of changes. Rather, the big new features this time around are useful extensions or enhancements to existing behaviors. Responsive embeds, for instance, allows YouTube videos or other third-party embeds to be scaled automatically to fit while preserving the aspect ratio of the original clip.

Another feature change gives the developer more precise control over how elements can be hidden or revealed depending on how the browser is scaled or the device being used. Originally this worked only for major elements like sidebars, but it's now been extended to cover smaller details like inline items.

A new feature based on Flash may raise eyebrows. ZeroClipboard, a third-party add-on, is included with Bootstrap. This option allows developers to create buttons for rapid copying of code samples or other text without forcing the user to swipe and copy. (The Web-based project management app Trello uses this trick as well.) Despite a W3C proposal in the works, HTML5 and JavaScript don't yet support manipulating the clipboard for security reasons, so this is one of the few corner cases where falling back to Flash may be inevitable.

Inconsistencies between the different browsers are one of the reasons developers use a framework like Bootstrap, but even Bootstrap struggles with them. To allow developers to better understand if a given issue is Bootstrap-related or an actual browser bug, the Bootstrap folks have inaugurated the "wall of browser bugs," a curated list of known bugs in browsers that cause Bootstrap to behave strangely. This way, frustrated developers can focus on getting word out to the browser makers about their problems, instead of trying to hack Bootstrap into compliance.

This article, "Bootstrap 3.2 highlights mobile features, adds browser bug tracking," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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