It has finally arrived: JQuery 2.0 has been released to much fanfare and has brought with it a big decision…
The JQuery team has chosen not to support what they term as “old browsers”. The list is short and as any web developer would guess, its all Internet Explorer. Support for 6,7 and even 8 has been removed, and this is an incredibly bold move for JQuery to make. Internet Explorer’s share in the browser use charts has dipped to 13%, with Chrome and Firefox taking the lion’s share.
Cant we all just get along?
Its admirable that they are taking this step to try to advance web design and development and not waiting for the world to catch up, but it does leave most web designers and developers in a difficult position. They will still have clients that use the “old browsers”, and those clients will have customers that do the same. So, what is the solution? As always it will be a combination of progressive enhancement and graceful degradation, using JQuery 2.0 to add some flare to your website or web app, but not using it for key features. The one hope we have is that despite IE’s slow but steady move to comply with web standards and fully support HTML 5 and CSS3, IE10 will have full support for the latest web standards, something which its competitors have been implementing for quite some time.
In summary it may go unnoticed by the wider world, but JQuery has made a bold statement with this release. I think its about time other web technologies made the same pledge – to leave behind the old days of fixes, hacks and IE specific code, and set a baseline now of standards with CSS3 and HTML 5, making this the new beginning the web needs.