You Need to Look at Bootstrap!

It's been a while since I found anything that excited me out there in developer land. Then, yesterday, I stumbled upon Bootstrap via Anil Dash's blog entry on it and I was instantly intrigued. So much so that, within an hour or two, I had this working classic Domino app up and running.


I've been looking for something like Bootstrap for years!

What is Bootstrap?

At it's most simple it's just a CSS file. But it's more than that. It's a "framework" that lets you quickly and simply produce web layouts without the tedious task of writing your own CSS and worrying too much about how layout your HTML elements.

I know there are other frameworks out there that do a similar thing, such as Dojo, but Bootstrap is different - to me at least - as it's small and simple. The idea of using something like Dojo just doesn't sit well with me! If you too are like me and like things simple then you really, really want to look at Bootstrap!

Taking it further than it's CSS framework, you can slot in some other tiny little helper JavaScript files to do things like alert boxes and tabs. It's all just brilliant. I don't know how I managed this long without something like it.

I'll try and keep building on the demo but wanted to bring it to your attention for now...


  1. I looked at bootstrap and Preboot.less recently, and I liked it a lot. It will surely be the basis of my next web site I do :-)

  2. Jake,

    Is it based on Jquery?

    1. Yes and no. To use the Bootstrap JS plugins, such as alerts and popovers etc you need jQuery for them to work.

      But you can do away with that fancy stuff and use it as a standalone CSS "framework".

    • avatar
    • Chris Bellamy
    • Thu 22 Dec 2011 10:58 AM

    I used the 960.gs grid system for a couple of Domino websites in the past. This one is much more extensive. I can't wait to use it!

  3. Thanks for showcasing it. I plan to check it out over the holidays. Merry Christmas!

  4. I've used Blueprint as a css framework. Dojo is more than an CSS Framework, I would argue, though.

    1. Agreed. Dojo is so much more than just CSS. So much more in fact that it's *too* much. IMHO. I find the idea of ever having to use Dojo quite daunting. I've tried in the past and given up in frustration.

      Show the rest of this thread

    • avatar
    • Ed Lee
    • Fri 23 Dec 2011 04:32 AM

    Thanks for the post on this Jake.

    • avatar
    • Rohit
    • Tue 3 Jan 2012 12:41 AM

    Thanks Jake,

    Just a quick question - Does it make sense to use this framework in Xpages where we already have dojo support?

    1. Hi Rohit,

      Not sure there's a quick answer to that other than "it depends". I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer either as I know very little about XPages and/or how simple it is to *not* use Dojo with them.

    • avatar
    • Anura
    • Tue 3 Jan 2012 04:37 AM

    I've looked at Bootstrap recently. It looks great for building new sites from the ground up, but I'm trying to work up the courage to completely re-engineer an existing site based on it. The main problem is that I have my own (highly unique and eccentric) paradigm for putting CSS together; Bootstrap is clearly better, but now I need to rethink how some of my content and widgets are served up.

    • avatar
    • Jon
    • Wed 4 Jan 2012 01:24 PM

    I've looked at this briefly before, thanks for reminding me about it. So when are you gonna have a downloadable demo so we can all steal your work? lol jk!

    This does however look very promising and a perfect fit for Domino. I also agree that xPages and Dojo is just too much. Its more than it needs to be. In my opinion I'd love to use Domino much more like Drupal, or Joomla or WordPress.

    Now if we could only get SharePoint to buy into a less complicated masterpage...

    • avatar
    • shailesh
    • Thu 12 Jan 2012 06:42 AM

    Simplicity at its best, awesome stuff.

    thanks for sharing Jake.

    • avatar
    • PeGe
    • Mon 16 Jan 2012 10:11 AM

    Interesting, but I can for the life of me not get it to work. All elements stack underneath each other vertically instead of next to each other. I've even copied just the source HTML of one of the Demo pages and STILL get the same erroneous result. Don't get what I'm doing wrong. Any chance you could put your db in your download section so we could have a look?


      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Mon 16 Jan 2012 11:50 AM

      Have you compared doctypes between mine and yours? It's the most likely cause.

      Download to come soon...

    • avatar
    • Jocelyn Smith
    • Fri 20 Jan 2012 02:20 PM

    Great stuff. Could we get a copy of your demo ?


      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Sat 21 Jan 2012 12:26 AM

      I'm in the process of bootstrapping the Dext database. Should be ready for download some time next week.

    • avatar
    • Alex
    • Mon 13 Feb 2012 03:58 AM

    Hi Jack, I must admit that this is not the first time that I would take advantage of your great work to look like a genius ... it is therefore equally "opportunistic way" that I looked forward to this "download version"...

    Yes, I feel guilty, but "impatience" is stronger :o)


    • avatar
    • Dennis Ellison
    • Thu 1 Mar 2012 12:31 PM

    Beware the DOCTYPE. Looked great everywhere but in IE9...turned out to be compat view trashing the layout. Added <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">

  5. Ô Mister Jake!

    I had a dream last night: this demo was available for download...


    Kind regards,


    • avatar
    • Henry
    • Thu 14 Mar 2013 10:39 AM

    Hi Jake, how do i get rid of:

    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd"> (Notes.INI settings)

    and use

    <!DOCTYPE html> instead. Is this still set on notes.ini?


    Thank You

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 14 Mar 2013 03:33 PM

      Use a field called $$HTMLFrontMatter and add it in there. http://www.codestore.net/store.nsf/unid/BLOG-20070124

      Show the rest of this thread

    • avatar
    • Sean McKendall
    • Fri 22 Mar 2013 12:17 PM


    I was able to determine what I was doing wrong. If I simply highlight the field and mark it as Pass-Thru HTML, the font and paragraph tags are no longer rendered.

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