The Bootstrap team has released an alpha of Bootstrap 5. Two significant changes in Bootstrap 5 are that it no longer depends on jQuery and support for Internet Explorer is gone. Other improvements intended for the 5.0 release include a new API, changes to the grid system, and improved documentation. 

According to the team, removing jQuery is one of the biggest changes to the framework for years. For over a decade, jQuery has allowed access to complex JavaScript behavior, but as a result of new advancements over time to front-end development tools and browser support, it’s no longer necessary. Removing jQuery dependency will result in smaller file sizes and improved page loading speeds. 

In this release the team is also dropping support for Internet Explorer, which will allow Bootstrap to use custom CSS properties. Previous versions of Bootstrap only had CSS options for colors and fonts, and now support will be added for additional components and layout options. 

Bootstrap 4
Bootstrap 5 expected to completely replace jQuery

Bootstrap 5 also introduces a new Utility API that can be used to create utilities and modify or remove ones created by Bootstrap. “We think this will be a game-changer for those who build on Bootstrap via our source files, and if you haven’t built a Bootstrap-powered project that way yet, your mind will be blown,” the Bootstrap team wrote in a post

There are also some changes to the grid system, such as a new grid tier and vertical spacing classes. Columns are also no longer position: relative by default In addition, gutter classes have been replaced with .g* utilities, and form layout options have been replaced with the new grid system. 

The documentation for Bootstrap has also gone through major changes. The team even switched its documentation static site generator from Jekyll to Hugo, making the docs much faster to load. “We’ve hunkered down and improved our documentation in several places, giving more explanation, removing ambiguity, and providing much more support for extending Bootstrap,” the team wrote.

Other areas the Bootstrap team is exploring that didn’t make it into this alpha are RTL, an offcanvas menu, a Sass module system, increased usage of CSS custom properties, and embedding SVGs in HTML instead of CSS.