One of the most important advances in the way we build software systems is the development of patterns. By giving patterns simple and concise names, it allows programmers and designers to communicate about the necessary components of a system in a very efficient manner. Instead of needing to explain what a reactor is and how it works, we can simply say “this problem needs a reactor”, and skilled engineers can understand what that means.
Assembling a number of related patterns together allows for the formation of a “pattern language”. This is analogous to the way in which visual designers talk about a “design language”, an overarching suite of visual ideas and metaphors that are related and consistent.
Twitter’s Bootstrap is just such a pattern language, and the fact that is has been so successfully taken on in so many web projects so quickly suggests that the creators have managed to very effectively define and name the right abstractions, in a way that resonates with programmers and designers.
Of course, there will always be a place for bespoke, purposeful web design, so I do not think Bootstrap is going to become the *only* web design framework, but I suspect that as it evolves, it will become more and more important as one of the foundational pieces of web application infrastructure.