Wed, May
2 New Articles

TechTip: A Primer to Bootstrap 4, Part 2

Development Tools / Utilities
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

In this second and final part of this short series about mobile app dev, let’s talk about grids and glyphicons.

In a previous article, I covered how the grid system in Bootstrap works, so in order not to bore you I will try not to repeat myself.

The grid system in version 4 is still based on a maximum of 12 columns! But even though the grid system seems the same from version 3 to 4, something has changed under the hood. In Bootstrap 3, the grid system was based on floats, but that changed in Bootstrap 4; it is now based on flexbox.

Flexbox is far more responsive. For example, you can define your grid columns without a specified width and it will automatically spread the layout with equal width and height over the viewpoint. I won’t go into details about flexbox, simply because I’m just happy that it works in Bootstrap and there are people more clever than I who can explain it much better. If you want a good introduction, point your browser here and read all about it.

Let’s jump right into an example.

To create a grid with three columns in version 3, you would write something like this:

   <div class="row">

     <div class="col-md-4" style="background-color:gray;">Column 1</div>

     <div class="col-md-4" style="background-color:red;">Column 2</div>

     <div class="col-md-4" style="background-color:yellow;">Column 3</div>    


You’d get this:

TechTip: A Primer to Bootstrap 4, Part 2 - Figure 1

Figure 1: Grid layout vertical

When resizing the screen, the grid would stack when it came below md-breakpoint and look like this:

TechTip: A Primer to Bootstrap 4, Part 2 - Figure 2

Figure 2: Grid layout stacked below md-breakpoint

In version 4, you can do this:

<div class="row">

     <div class="col" style="background-color:gray;">Column 1</div>

     <div class="col" style="background-color:red;">Column 2</div>

     <div class="col" style="background-color:yellow;">Column 3</div>    


You get the same result as in Figure 1, but flexbox automatically calculates the width to 33.33 percent. When you resize the window, the layout doesn’t break and get stacked, because there are no breakpoints added.

The next example shows the same thing but adds some breakpoints to see stacking in various situations. You can see the code here. Now try to resize the window to see it work.

Well, you ask, is that it? It might not look much, but I can promise that when you start working with it, you will very soon like the newer, simpler way, and your users will really like the improved responsivness that version 4 provides.

One last thing about the grid system before I move on to something else: There’s a new breakpoint in v4 called “xl” that applies to extra-large screens (>1200px), which has long been missing.

At first, the grid system might seem a bit overwhelming, but if you want to work with Bootstrap and make responsive web pages, I really encourage you to embrace it as it will save you a lot of headaches when everybody is screaming for seeing data on mobile phones.

To get more in-depth knowledge of the grid system, I recommend the following websites:



Glyphicons Are Gone!

If you have worked with Bootstrap before, you might have used glyphicons. These small icons that you used to spice up your elements are being dropped in version 4. Bootstrap now points you in other directions. You can see them here.

A long time ago, I started to use Font Awesome. I have been very happy with that option, but of couse the choice is yours. I’ll share a few examples of Font Awesome with you below.

Let’s say you have a three buttoms on your page, something like this:

TechTip: A Primer to Bootstrap 4, Part 2 - Figure 3

Figure 3: Some buttons on a website

Wouldn’t it be nice to spice these up to make them easier to understand and more cool-looking? Font Awesome can help you with that. Look at the example in Figure 4.

TechTip: A Primer to Bootstrap 4, Part 2 - Figure 4

Figure 4: Pumped up buttons on a website

To use Font Awesome, just add some code like the following to your HTML element. This example gives you the “Sign out/Log off” logo.

<i class="fas fa-sign-out-alt"></i>

See the code in action here.

You can also animate and change the size of the icons.

The free version offers 1,264 ready-to-use icons, and the paid version adds 2,000 more, so R.I.P. glyphicons. Welcome to Font Awesome (or something like it).

And finally, a few other things have gone into version 4:

  • Panels, wells, and thumbnails have been replaced by cards. Read about it here and here.
  • Support for IE 8.0 is dropped, so if you still need it, Bootstrap 3 is the one for you.

I hope I’ve covered things that are interesting to you. These are the new features I’ve found most useful so far. But have a look at the Bootstrap website and dig into the documentation. I’m sure you’ll find other things to make your programming life even easier.

This ends the short TechTip series about Bootstrap 4. Till next time, keep thinking mobile and get your data into a browser!

Jan Jorgensen

Jan Jorgensen is one of the owners of www.reeft.dk, which specializes in mobile and i5 solutions. He works with RPG, HTML, JavaScript, Perl, and PHP. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: