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.

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

  1. Razmig on said:

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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”.

  4. Just call them 2.0 and 2.0-legacy.

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

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

  6. @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.


  7. 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.

  8. @Perry
    You gotta be kidding that this:
    is better to use than this:
    And this is the most simple example ever, jQuery is so much more than that.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.