What exactly does "bootstrap X with Y" mean?

I was reading this article The Advantages and Disadvantages of JavaScript (freecodecamp.org) and somewhere it reads:

There are many ways to use JavaScript through Node.js servers. If you were to bootstrap Node.js with Express, use a document database like MongoDB, and use JavaScript on the frontend for clients, it is possible to develop an entire JavaScript app from front to back using only JavaScript.

I tried to look up what “bootstrap” means in this context but it’s such a pain because pretty much all search results talk about Bootstrap the library.

The Wikipedia article Bootstrapping - Wikipedia seems to be answering my question but I’m just not certain.

Would anyone be able to explain what “bootstrap” and "bootstrap X with Y " mean in plain language? Thanks!

Anyone??? :worried:

I’m not an expert, but I’d guess the idea in the Wikipedia article is what’s meant here. Bootstrapping is weird stuff.

1 Like

Well I get what the Wikipedia article is talking about but I’m having difficulty bringing the concept into context :worried:
It’s so frustrating that a lot of places have the word throwing around like its the daily bread and butter but no where bothers to explain it a bit more.

Part of the problem is that not a lot of people know how to bootstrap. It’s a pretty advanced topic.

1 Like

I think the author is simply suggesting that if one wants to use the Express framework for Node.js app, then use the MongoDB for backend database (components of MEAN web app development stack). I don’t think there’s any specific technical meaning to ‘bootstrap’ here. I interpreted it as “strap Express on top of Node.js”.


:thinking: It does seem to make sense…

I’m coming across the word again literally right now: Introduction - React Boilerplate CRA Template (gitbook.io)

CRA handles the bootstrapping


CRA provides the necessary bootstrapping to start your projects…

Bootstrap does not mean ‘strap on top of’.

It’s possible that the article is using the word in a strange way, but bootstrapping, roughly speaking, means using the tool to build itself, such as writing a C compiler in C, or writing a JS engine in JS, or PyPy.

1 Like

I just googled the word’s dictionary meaning and seem to have found the answer (and I’m feeling stupid right now :joy:)

define bootstrap - Google Search


a technique of loading a program into a computer by means of a few initial instructions which enable the introduction of the rest of the program from an input device.

3 . the technique of starting with existing resources to create something more complex and effective.


fuller form of boot1 (sense 2 of the verb).

define boot - Google Search


4 . the process of starting a computer and putting it into a state of readiness for operation.


2 . start (a computer) and put it into a state of readiness for operation.

It seems like they are just referring to the process of getting the development environment ready like configuration etc…

I understand that “bootstrapping” is not equal to “strap on top of.” Bootstrap loader is the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word. I don’t think the author is using the term “bootstrapping” in a traditional common usage of the term in computer science. I interpreted that the author used the term in a non-technical casual way.

This topic was automatically closed 182 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.