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Regular Maintenance for Bootstrap v3 Ends

| by David Iffland Follow 4 Followers on Sep 08, 2016. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

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The maintainers of the popular Bootstrap framework have announced that they are ending maintenance for Bootstrap v3, the current version.

Mark Otto, the creator of Bootstrap, said in a GitHub issue that work on Bootstrap v3 will stop:

Long story short, v4 has taken far too long and I know we're struggling to find enough time to make significant dents across the open issues and PRs. To help get through it all, I'm calling it on v3 and outlining the big steps remaining here so folks know what's in store.

Otto proceeded to close all remaining issues for version 3 and said that "any new changes to v3 will be sporadic and highly irregular."

This is a bit of an unusual situation as version 3 is the current version of the product. Many projects don't stop support for the current version until the next version is out and stable. The first alpha version of Bootstrap 4 was released over a year ago and has not yet reached a beta state. Alpha 4 was released on September 5th, 2016.

Any developer that has a side gig knows how difficult it can be to maintain that project along with a full-time job. Open-source development — on a very popular project, no less — can be especially challenging. Otto echoed this sentiment and provided more context for the decision:

Every one of us working on Bootstrap has a full-time gig. I hate leading with this, but my job at GitHub takes up the majority of my time. Maintaining two versions of a large codebase is incredibly taxing. We tried to do it for over a year and it's just bogged us down further with every issue and PR. Something had to give to push the project forward, and active v3 development was it.

Two communities had different responses on the matter. On Reddit, the response was largely negative. mpasteven commented that "this may cause some to jump ship, especially when it comes to management that require everything be supported."

On GitHub, the discussion swirled around whether or not v3 was stable, project ownership, and potential funding options.

Otto left the door cracked open for future work on v3 but slammed it shut on the topic of charging:

V3 remains 100% usable and stable. To be clear, we've barely maintained v3 for the last year, accepting only critical fixes and docs updates. There are absolutely no plans to charge for Bootstrap. Ever.

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