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back to article jQuery 2.0 kicks old Internet Explorer versions to the curb

Popular JavaScript library jQuery has reached version 2.0, and as expected, the new release drops support for older versions of Internet Explorer, including IE 6, 7, and 8. Many developers have come to rely on jQuery to ease some of the headaches of developing sophisticated, cross-browser web UIs, particularly where it comes to …

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Angel

Make jQuery browser specific

Can't they just release a different version for each browser and have code that dynamically selects the correct version before downloading it? That way your library only includes the the code for that browser and you can reduce the size of the library file. The XUI library does that with browser specific versions of libraries to get the filesize down.

Food for thought.

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Devil

Re: Make jQuery browser specific

And are you volunteering to support all the 10+ branches of that in production by any chance?

Gues you do not (I would not).

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Anonymous Coward

Kicks to the what now?

I think you mean "kerb". Curb is a verb

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FAIL

Re: Kicks to the what now?

in San Francisco "curb" is also a noun.

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Re: Kicks to the what now?

This is "theregister.co.UK"

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Facepalm

Re: Kicks to the what now?

Don't be a dumbass.

Actually on topic, it would have been nice for jquery 2.0 to support IE8 - then I would have had no qualms about dropping it in and forgetting about 1.0 entirely. I'll probably be sticking to 1.0 for a year or two.

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Re: Kicks to the what now?

IE8 has dropped over a percentage point of market share in the last 3 months but it's still the most used version of IE. Sticking with it for another 6 months seems prudent. Being on the bleeding edge and encouraging users to upgrade their browsers is a noble cause but clients don't often appreciate lower page views, regardless of the reason.

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cd

Re: Kicks to the what now?

Also a congregation...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Curb

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Facepalm

Re: Kicks to the what now?

In San Francisco, and the US at large, isn't everything and anything a noun if its pronouncer so wishes?

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Re: Kicks to the what now?

One suspects one means dumbarse.

Or that one can't tell ones arse from ones donkey.

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Re: Kicks to the what now?

The author is an American.

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Re: Kicks to the what now?

Its been writing for different browsers and not just HTML that has kept the browser in the dark ages for the last 15 years.

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Re: Kicks to the what now?

I guess the legions of XP users need to be using Firefox, Safari, Opera then. (Chrome is Spyware).

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Happy

Re: Kicks to the what now?

"One suspects one means dumbarse.

"Or that one can't tell ones arse from ones donkey."

Actually thats probably one of the few times the yank spelling is correct. Dumb donkey makes a lot more sense than dumb backside. Though they probably think they're talking about their backsides anyway. Or out of them. ;o)

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Necessary?

The question is: do you *want* jquery if you are only going to support modern browsers? The whole reason so many people use it is because it takes away a lot of the pain of working with older browsers (especially the one created by Microsoft).

In newer browsers you have css transitions, which removes the need the .animate() functionality in jquery. Also, things like XMLHttpRequest and websockets work the same, which removes any need for the .ajax() function in jquery. And this goes for most of the jquery functionality.

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Re: Necessary?

It is an odd thing as you point out, the main reason for this framework was supporting that crap that is IE6, 7 and (to a slightly lesser degree) 8.

For home users its less of a problem. Want to stick with XP? Then download and install FireFox or Chrome, etc.

For corporate us the legacy of IE-specific crap will linger for a long time though.

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Re: Necessary?

Part of the reason JQuery is getting smaller is because of the increased use of native browser functions. As to whether it is used purely for cross-browser work I'm not sure if that is entirely the case. I view JQuery as a sort of prototype with an API for functions which are not necessarily natively available yet. As I understand it the 2.x series has a more modular architecture which will allow for more discriminating use.

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Angel

Re: Necessary?

In a word, YES.

The standardizing of some browser-specific stuff is nice, but that's not why jquery is the first thing I dump into my scripts folder - it's because some things that are doable in javascript, but a royal pain in the ass (ajax, scripted events, micro-targeted CSS overrides) are trivial with jquery. It saves SO much time getting a site working.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Necessary?

I'm working on a small HTML5 mobile site. It's awful. HTML5 is a disaster as well as browser support. So yes, you do need all the help you can get.

Bug-atar, if you worked with HTML5, you know why.

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IE8 has the largest worldwide market share, with 23.38% of users as of 1st of March. I can't afford to build web apps which don't support it. Who can?

In fact, many of my corporate customers still run IE6 or IE7. I can gently discourage them - IE has moved on a lot in 10 years - but there are often dependencies (Active X controls, CRM systems etc) which mean I will have to support IE6 for a few more years!

I will use jQuery 1.9, which is a great timesaver for cross-browser web app development. I can't see jQuery 2.0 getting wide adoption any time soon.

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> to support IE6 for a few more years

Released 27th of August, 2001.

CRM systems that demand IE6 in 2013?

I hope not.

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Wrong hope

Many big companies have "apps" that require ie6.

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Where on earth did you get that market share percentage from? I realise measuring browser usage is an incredibly difficult task but most places put IE's (all versions combined) market share at below 30%. The only place I've seen different was a report by Net Applications that put IE market share above 50%. That's so wildly different to what everyone else is saying I have a hard time believing it.

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I got it here:

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/03/01/internet-explorer-continues-growth-past-55-market-share-thanks-to-ie9-and-ie10-as-chrome-hits-17-month-low/

Out of curiosity I had a peek at my own website's Google Analytics and looked at the browser stats for this year. Its a UK site. Stats were as follows:

IE9 - 14.51%

IE8 - 10.71%

IE7 - 1.55%

IE6 - 0.56%

On the OS side:

Windows 7 - 49.77%

Windows XP - 14.34% (which stops at IE8)

These stats don't tell the whole story, though; of the 30 or so major clients my company has, around 7 are dependent on either IE6 or IE7 in their intranet or call-centre environments. Most claim they will move away from them at some point in the future, but I can can see no evidence that it's happening quickly, due to the big corporate investment in application tools that still have a dependency on these old IE versions.

I'm deploying quite taxing cloud-hosted knowledge-base tools and a web-based live chat system. I'd love nothing more than to obsolete IE6 and IE7 and just develop for modern multi-threaded browsers with super-speedy JavaScript engines, but it's a pipe-dream for the moment.

jQuery is a very useful tool because it's cross-browser. That's the whole point. V2 won't replace the current version until IE8 and below are completely obsolete and that, I'm afraid, just can't happen for many years.

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Boffin

Ha, I took a 2008 era computer out of storage to replace an even older one that happily ran the automation on my Dad's model railroad for years, and besides 98 other windows updates, I also had to get rid of IE6. While I was waiting for the installs to finish, I browsed around a bit, and you could almost HEAR the middle fingers going up on websites when I dropped by using that old piece of crap. Jquery or otherwise, not many sites make any real attempt to support IE6 anymore, and who blames them?

Of course, I put firefox on it as soon as the updates finished anyway.

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I have corporate and government users still on IE6, but most have migrated to IE8. Remember a lot of corporate and Govt depts are still using Win XP. I don't think we can move to jQuery 2 for these customers for at least 2 or 3 years.

I'm annoyed that jQuery 2 support for IE8 is being dropped, that's too premature. jQuery's original appeal was being compatible with really old browsers. Originally with IE5 or 5.5 I recall. That was impressive.

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Gimp

The big issue preventing migration is that the existing applications are "done"; there is no more development being done with them. Whether this is right or wrong is moot; the fact is there won't be any more updating to the applications until they're completely replaced.

Business generally doesn't give a hoot about tech. They only care about budgets and planning.

Therefore IE-centric applications will continue for some considerable time yet.

(As evidenced by the number of companies/government departments running IE in "Compatibility" mode for all intranet applications.)

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DMH
FAIL

IE8 / XP

I'm with you on this. I have a customer that is currently transitioning to IE8. That's right - IE8 is new for them.

The reason is that they run XP internally and must run IE as they have internals apps that demand it (which is lame, but common). XP can only go as far as IE8. Upgrading to Windows 7 or beyond is a much bigger deal.

I think this situation is not unusual for large corporations or government bodies. As a developer I'd love to ditch support for old browsers, but it's just not realistic.

It seems odd to me to branch the project for a 12% reduction in code size due to removal of legacy features. In my view with the current market share of IE7 and IE8 that means jQuery 2 is unlikely to be of use in a real-world setting for some time.

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Stop

Re: IE8 / XP

"In my view with the current market share of IE7 and IE8 that means jQuery 2 is unlikely to be of use in a real-world setting for some time."

When you say real-world, what you actually mean is for public web sites. If you RTFRN, that's not what jQuery 2 is intended for as yet. It's largely for apps and other controlled environments.

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just under a year to go, for formal end of IE 6

Microsoft IE6 support is slated to finish with the end of XP SP3 "extended" Support in April 2014 - it only offers commercial support for it in XP.

(http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/products/lifecycle#section_2)

IE7 lives until end of Vista (April 2017.)

(I always figured this is Microsoft's way of preventing the success of web-based tools, by keeping it alive for as long as possible.)

It would be hard, even for the most sluggardly and hard to manoeuvre of large enterprises, to ignore the April 2014 date and keep running XP past then.

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Re: IE8 / XP

"When you say real-world, what you actually mean is for public web sites. If you RTFRN, that's not what jQuery 2 is intended for as yet. It's largely for apps and other controlled environments."

If only older versions of IE were restricted to such environments but I'm currently working for a client that requires support for IE8 and even DUN speeds on a new public site. It's not just corporate environments that lag behind on technology; there are some groups of the general public that by-and-large don't upgrade unless they have a very compelling reason.

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Re: just under a year to go, for formal end of IE 6

Don't forget that IE6 is also supported in Server 2003 until 2015-07-14. Furthermore, XP Embedded doesn't EOL until 2017-01-30, and IE7 will be supported until 2020-01-14 along with Windows Server 2008.

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Happy

I am surprised and pleased by the lack of support for IE8 given that it remains so common. If the goal of the jQuery team was simply to enhance performance and reduce the amount of code, I think its worth noting that the drain of supporting IE8 is nothing like the drain of supporting IE6 and IE7. From this I conclude that a lesson from the past is being learnt. And to that I say bravo!

By not allowing IE9 or IE10 on Windows XP machines, Microsoft risk making IE8 the next IE6. IE6 hung around like a bad fart in part because web developers continued to support it. That could happen again with IE8 but removing support for IE8 from jQuery means a lot of lazy developers will not support IE8.

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I think the main, if not only, reason for MS supporting IE6 even this long was the huge legacy of corporate stuff that was written with only IE6 in mind at a point in time when cross-platform support was ignored and pointy-haired basses believed everything MS told them about IE6 being "the only and final" web browser they ever needed.

We can see how laughably wrong that was now, but the legacy of crap remains and even MS wish they could scrape IE6 from the soles of their shoes but have bottled out so far.

XP's general support death 2014 is looking pretty final though, after then its going to be "interesting" with browser plug-ins or virtulisation possibly being cheaper and less painful options than solving the underlying problems of stupidly designed software that depends on IE6 (or ActiveX in general).

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Windows XP itself is due to be cut off soon. Once that happens, there's apparently no need for the present continuing support for jQuery 1.x and IE 6 and up.

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@Robert Carnegie

I think you are rather naive to assume that IE6 use will simply die when XP is end-of-life'd.

For the web in general, yes, that is pretty much true even now for IE6 but not so true for IE8. But XP use will still continue for a while until home users finally replace older PCs (almost nobody actually replaces their OS outside of El Reg readers) and I sadly suspect a whole lot of corporate intranets will still have a couple of IE-specific crap for which the likely replacement cost is so large that they keep XP/IE use in place. Either with Win7's XP mode, or using XP in a VMware machine, etc, to balance that business need against the appalling risk of having an out of support OS & browser facing the Internet at large.

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It's much more likely that jQuery 2 adoption will suffer due to the lack of support. IE6 support is still a commercial reality for many developers, including me.

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Anonymous Coward

"We can see how laughably wrong that was now, "

And many of us could see how laughably wrong that was back then too.

I can proudly say that at the time I found a loophole in $BIGCOMPANYIWASWORKINGFOR's IT policies so that I could deploy Firefox (I think it was) instead of IE6 to those who needed access to the applications I was in charge of developing. Don't know if they would have thanked me now as I'm no longer in touch with the aforementioned lot, but I like to think they would, plus if anything that kind of forethought is something I like to brag about occasionally (would you guess that?) :o)

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> Windows XP itself is due to be cut off soon. Once that happens,

Where did you get the idea that XP would stop working ?

If it did then MS will face a large class action. You won't get updates, but it could run forever, given no hardware failures.

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Re: @Robert Carnegie

Well, there's always Firefox on XP...

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Paris Hilton

"It's much more likely that jQuery 2 adoption will suffer due to the lack of support."

It could be worse though. Like the botch up that python2 -> python3 was (is). From the news:

"Python 3.0 final was released on December 3rd, 2008."

That was over _FOUR_ years ago. And most of the important software packages I use still only work with python2.

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Undead! Undead!

Upon past precedent, Windows XP end-of-life will coincide with Microsoft revealing a ghastly software vulnerability in the dead product whilst patching it in more recent versions. Anyone who then continues using XP - at least nonvirtually and with access beyond the company intranet - can be presumed to be hacked within about five minutes of connecting. It's a zombie army. So, why would anyone want continuing jQuery development for that platform after that? I want to make sure they -can't- connect to my databases!

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There haven't been updates for XP for years.

And no, it won't run forever. It's far to vulnerable to virus and hacks.

If that isn't enough, software is moving past it. Much like you can no longer use Win 98, the same is happening with XP.

Evolve or die.

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KB2813347 is a Microsoft security update released this month that comes in a Windows XP version. These updates stop coming at end-of-life, but newly discovered ways to break into your computer do not stop coming.

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At least they're keeping both branches. By having 2.0 available now, they're getting a jump-start on a future state of the web, and they can develop with that in mind. Of course, I have to support the older IE versions in my work projects, so I'm hoping they keep that branch for at least three years yet.

In my personal projects, though...

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Any large business that lets IE6 out on the internet at large needs to fire their IT staff, sure if you need IE for some legacy app then fine use IE6 for those apps only and for general browsing they should be using a modern browser, although they won't be able to use IE9 or 10 since MS won't back port it to anything older than Windows 7 so they are just handing these customers to Google chrome or firefox

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Boffin

I'm inclined to agree that if your enterprise STILL relies on IE6-hosted apps, your I/T staff needs to be put against the wall PRONTO. That may have even been true in 2006!

IE8 though- we're going to still see that long after XP goes off of official support. As someone up comments thread said, it will be the new IE6. Microsoft really should have bit the bullet and back-ported IE9 to XP - it would have cut off the long tail.

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Anonymous Coward

Not really fair to blame the IT staff in most cases, certainly in our case it's management resistance to the cost of migration which is preventing money being spent on upgrading the custom products. Bare in mind it was management who bought most of these bespoke products in the first place and IT just has to deal with no say. A complete security nightmare created by people who think they 'know' IT.

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if your business is still relying on those come next year, it's your management that need to be put against the wall - no IT staff will have been supporting that kind of decision: it'll only have been bean counters...

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