Recently the jQuery team posted on their blog that they are dropping support for Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8 in jQuery 2.0 which is said to be released in 2013 – 2014. The current version of jQuery is at 17.x and in subsequent versions of the framework they intend to lay the foundations to allow this to change to happen.
Now this doesn’t mean that jQuery will completely stop supporting older versions of the IE browser. They have said that they will continue support in version 18 of the framework. This will mean that the jQuery team will have to maintain two branches of the codebase. One for 2.0 and one for 18.x
This is a good thing because:
- Large portions of jQuery source code handles backwards compatibility for legacy browsers. This is no longer required in jQuery 2.0 so the size of the framework should be smaller.
- The 2.0 team can concentrate on building new features whilst not having to worry about legacy browser support. This should mean we see a ramp up of new features.
- As the framework will be lighter it will load faster. Which is great new for mobile development.
- This will encourage sites and companies to drop support for older browsers. jQuery has a big following with big sites. I hope that when the question ‘Do we support IE6 – 7’ comes up in a dev room the answer will be along the lines of ‘Well the latest jQuery version doesn’t so we should follow suit’.