made a big move this morning to provide independent developers a fast, lightweight, attractive and consistent tool-kit that can be used to implement the front end of web applications.Twitter has had a complicated relationship with its sprawling developer ecosystem but
It's called Bootstrap and the company said today that it "uses some of the latest browser techniques to provide you with stylish typography, forms, buttons, tables, grids, navigation and everything else you need in a super tiny (only 6k with gzip) resource." Initial developer reaction appears generally positive.
One of the key issues that Twitter has had with its developer ecosystem is that the company has called on developers to stop developing Twitter clients, the services through which Tweets are read and written. The company said this Spring that it wants to provide new users with consistent experiences and thus that they ought to be using official Twitter clients only.
The edge might be taken off of that by the introduction of this front-end framework. It seems likely that a large number of independent Twitter-related apps will take on a more consistent look and feel now. At launch Bootstrap works best in Chrome and Firefox; it's said to perform poorly right now in IE.
Bootstrap is the 46th code repository Twitter staff has created on Github.
These new tools don't have to be used in developing anything related to Twitter, exclusively, but everything Twitter can do to win back the love of developers is another point in its favor in the coming battle for developers that Twitter will fight with Google Plus when its developer platform is launched.