jQuery 1.9 and 2.0 — TL;DR Edition

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It seems that many people had questions and misconceptions about the last post, so let’s try a short Q&A format to answer some of the comments left there.

Why is the jQuery core team dropping support for oldIE (IE 6/7/8)? We’re not! jQuery 1.9 will support oldIE when it’s released next year. The jQuery team will continue to support and maintain version 1.9 even after jQuery 2.0 is released.

Why are you making me use conditional comments to include jQuery? We’re not! You can use jQuery 1.9 for all the browsers we support, from IE6 all the way up to the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Opera, or Internet Explorer.

What happens when jQuery 2.1 is released and adds APIs, will jQuery 1.9 support them? Can we borrow your crystal ball? jQuery 2.1 isn’t likely to arrive until 2014, so it’s hard to say what jQuery 2.1 will look like as we sit here in the middle of 2012. Our general goal is to keep the 1.x and 2.x lines in sync and add functionality via plugins; see the keynote from last week’s conference.

How long will you support jQuery 1.9? As long as oldIE is a significant factor on the web. It’s even possible that there will be further releases in the 1.x line, but we haven’t yet received the crystal ball requested in the previous question. When Microsoft drops Windows XP support in April 2014, however, it will put a hurt on the oldIE installed base.

I still have a lot of IE8 users, can’t you just drop IE6 and IE7? The oldIE browsers share many of the same flaws, so it doesn’t help to do anything less than remove all three in jQuery 2.0. If you need oldIE support of any kind, a supported jQuery 1.9 will be right there for you.

My website is in China and 22 percent of our users are still using IE6! Seems like some sort of human rights violation. Oh, and that wasn’t a question.

81 thoughts on “jQuery 1.9 and 2.0 — TL;DR Edition

  1. Stuart Ellis on said:

    The main thing that I would ask is that the jQuery core team provide as much support and guidance as they can for third-party plugin authors. The 1.9/2x split means that it’s likely that plugin authors and users will sometimes be on different versions, and that this will sometimes matter (because bugs happen).

  2. I think someone should take a brave action and just drop the IE6-8. Step by step doesn’t work, we need to push people to update their browsers. This is just delaying the development of the web.

    Imagen the time we are wasting to support the old fashion, if we spend it in finding new things will help a lot.

    I think having a jQuery which only supporting the modern browsers will be great and having another version for whoever has to support the older browsers still.

  3. Chooks on said:

    Am I the only one who believes that IE6 users are used to the Internet looking horrible and not working properly?

    Maybe I’m only looking at this from the point of view of a designer, but they won’t ever notice anything different if you only support modern browsers.

  4. Joel on said:

    For all the people who say, “and having another version for whoever has to support the older browsers still” is 99% of corporate developers, which is the majority of developers.

    Sure, you’re going to get startups who don’t care, smalltime shops and design groups that will use 2.0, but the majority of web development that actually makes the world turn is going to be on 1.9 for a looong time. Just because Microsoft finally sunsets Windows XP doesn’t mean people won’t be using it, and the clients of OUR clients are going to be very angry when they can’t use something that has “worked fine all this time”.

  5. Just call them 2.0 and 2.0-legacy.

    There, problem solved. No more pointless bitchin’ about leaving people on 1.9.

  6. @CAFxX Wouldn’t 2.0 and 2.0-browsers-deliberately-crippled-for-corporate-profit be a better naming convention?

  7. IE6 doesn’t live just in China! Most parts of the federal government’s internal network in Canada are still stuck with IE6… and it has nothing to do with “human rights violation”. And as I write this there’s still no date set for a global upgrade or something so…

  8. @dmethvin. Perhaps I have misunderstood, but it actually feels like you’ve misunderstood my point.

    I understand that 1.9 will be supported for possibly as long as IE8 holds a market share. I also understand that 1.9 may get incremental releases even after a v2 release. Incredibly I also appreciate you don’t have a crystal ball.

    In addition I’ve previously mentioned that indeed understand that without legacy IE support jQuery is smaller.

    My point remains the same though. If you have legacy IE support on a different versioning system, sooner or later functionality between 1.9.x and 2.x will go off in different directions. If we want to make use of the new cool stuff in jQuery for modern browsers, we’ll end up browser sniffing and feature detecting our way between two versions in one site, like a badly written Word Press theme. Or we keep it simple and linger around 1.9 until IE8 finally disappears, something that would upset me greatly.

    Love jQuery, not got a bad thing to say about it, been using it for years. I don’t feel it is bloated as I believe this decision indicates others do. I would like to believe in a world where can just cater for the latest and greatest, but until that happens jQuery makes it easy to cater for everyone. I don’t want to have to choose between staying current and backwards compatibility.

    If I have misunderstood then I’m glad. If not, then I hope I’m wrong about IE8s staying power.

    Rich

  9. Michelle on said:

    Well, if Google Apps can drop support for IE6/7/8…

    I can see my company using both cores. We’re trying to develop a complete mobile version of our site and the current core supports more browsers than necessary. On desktops it doesn’t matter as much, but mobile devices really take a performance hit.

  10. Perry on said:

    I don’t buy the argument that the JQuery team has to drop support for IE < 9 in version 2.0 in order to move forward and cater to JavaScript development in modern browsers.

    It's because JQuery 2.0 is not needed at all for these modern browsers. Developers can just use the browsers' built-in JavaScript engine directly and avoid all the bloat. Want to script selected document elements using CSS selectors? Then they can just use document.querySelectorAll() and also document.getElementsByClassName(). Attaching events can now be done uniformly across modern browsers by using addEventListener() (yes, you can use that even in IE9). Same with the XMLHttpRequest object for AJAX (also native in IE9).

    Many developers are using JQuery primarily for cross-browser JavaScript development that covers legacy IE6 browsers. If you really want to develop solely for modern browsers, then there is really no need for JQuery. Unless you also use JQuery plugins, but they will just add bloat to the web pages in modern browsers because of their dependency in JQuery 2.0.

  11. @Perry
    You gotta be kidding that this:
    document.getElementByClassName(‘class’)
    is better to use than this:
    $(‘class’)
    And this is the most simple example ever, jQuery is so much more than that.

  12. Speaking to ie6 in China, I must say why Microsoft is so lazy, why do Chrome and Firefox and update themselves? Why IE can’t? What’s the hell!
    Many people in China are doing this thing – buy a legal Vista or Win7 and then replace it with fake XP, it’s heart-broken.

    And, a question to jQuery-
    The html code of this site is utf-8, but why it can’t stand Chinese characters – ‘hanzi’?
    ???.

  13. I find myself dumbfounded as to how people have so much trouble understanding even this concise, TL;DR version of the upcoming update. The simple fact is that the jQuery team is NOT dropping support for old versions of IE, they’re simply giving a smaller, faster alternative for those of us webdevs fortunate enough to be able to do just that.

    And while we’re discussing the lack of support, why not bring IE5 into the conversation? There must be a secluded corner somewhere far away where it’s still used. Another fact is that it simply isn’t used enough for supporting it to be sensible, and it is when IE versions 6 to 8 reach the same level of usage (which I hope will be sooner rather than later) that the jQuery team will drop support for them.

    It is true that not all developers will benefit from this update, but those that do will be overjoyed.

  14. Aaron Hamilton on said:

    A lot of my use cases for jQuery rule out IE anyway, IE still sucks, well into IE10, so I don’t develop for it.

    It’ll be great to have jQuery free of as much of that IE cruft as possible, it’ll certainly make it much nicer to maintain and work with.

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  16. Is it possible that the only ie 6/7 users left are coders trying out their own webpages in old browsers?

  17. Once and for all, 22% OF CHINESE PEOPLE DO NOT USE IE6.

    This is a damn everlasting legend that I’m fighting against.

    I’ve been to China, I have LIVED in China for 13 months, alone among people, I’ve met a lot of them, I’ve seen and checked many of their computers.
    Most of Chinese people, even peasants, have a modern laptop. They do not have whatever Pentium II with Windows 98 and IE6.

    They’re using a Chinese browser, Maxthon, which was originally based on IE6’s engine and named MyIE2.
    It became Maxthon when it came to version 2, still based on IE’s engine but greatly improved.
    So, the user agent says “IE6″ eventhough Maxthon is nothing to compare with IE6. It supports all modern features, CSS3 and HTML5, and is as fast as Chrome as the version 3 uses the javascript V8 engine.
    Maxthon V4 has just dropped IE engine and is now based on Chrome.

    What I’ve seen was in 2008/2009, now it’s even more unlikely that they keep using IE6.

    So, please everyone DROP the support for IE6 as only a handful of ignorants still use them in the world. STOP believing that thousands of millions of Chinese people still use it.

  18. James Malkin on said:

    ‘So, please everyone DROP the support for IE6 as only a handful of ignorants still use them in the world.’

    Or it’s the default browser in a restricted corporate environment? Shipped with the most popular OS? No automated updating?

    People aren’t ignorant for using IE, Microsoft are hurtful in the way they control it. I don’t think anyone *ENJOYS* having to support it, and you are infact ignorant yourself for thinking that… But the fact still remains that if you want to support all users(why wouldn’t you?) you need to support IE.

  19. OH MY F*CKIN GOODNESSSSS… 1.9 sounds so old and 2.0 should definitely support IE678…
    [/sarcasm]

    What the hell is wrong with you guys? I use jQuery for several years now and I am glad that they drop IE678 support in one of their branches. At work I’m goind to use 1.9 and for private projects 2+. So what? Be grateful that they continue their awesome work and don’t flame about different versioning numbers.

  20. aikeru on said:

    I think this is fantastic. Well done, jQuery team! I can’t wait to see the improvements a shiny new jQuery can make when you don’t have to support all that legacy stuff.

  21. Thanks for this information. By my side I’ll probably call jQuery 1.9 and 2 depending on the browser. I already use head.js to load jQuery asynchronously, so I’ll just have to do something like :

    var jq_version = (head.browser.ie && (head.browser.version <=8)) ? '1.9.0' : '2.0.0';
    head.js("http://code.jquery.com/jquery-"+jq_version+&quot;.min.js");

    I just hope, like other people, that the 2 versions will allow to do the same thing…

  22. Clarkey on said:

    Hello,

    So we have quite a lot of websites – well over 1000. Many of these linked to http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js when in development with the intention of hosting this locally and linking to a local version, however a few made it through without this being changed.

    Please tell me what will happen to this link when jQuery 2 is out – will it remain on jQuery 1, disappear (with ‘…com/1/jquery-latest.min.js’ and ‘…com/2/jquery-latest.min.js’ emerging) or will it be the latest out of the 2 versions?

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,
    Clarkey