Feeds

jQuery 2.0 kicks old Internet Explorer versions to the curb

Leaner, faster code base for 'the modern web'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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 supporting the quirks of older browsers – IE being the worst of the lot.

By some counts, jQuery is now used on more than 50 per cent of all websites, making it much more popular than competing frameworks such as Dojo, MooTools, Prototype, or the YUI Library.

Beginning with jQuery 2.0, however, developers who want to support the oldest versions of IE will also need to use an older version of the jQuery library.

"jQuery 2.0 is intended for the modern web; we've got jQuery 1.x to handle older browsers and fully expect to support it for several more years," the project's Dave Methvin said in release notes posted to the jQuery Foundation website on Thursday.

By removing the code required to support these legacy browsers, Methvin said, the project's developers have managed to reduce the size of the library's code base by 12 per cent while improving its performance at the same time.

Methvin said the library is also now more suitable for applications where compatibility with older browsers isn't necessary, and where the code needed for old-IE compatibility can often cause problems of its own.

Examples of such applications include Chrome extensions and apps, Windows Store apps for Windows 8, node.js applications, and web standards–based mobile apps created using tools like PhoneGap/Cordova.

In fact, Methvin said, the jQuery developers might have liked to have removed more code that would have improved performance further, but doing so would have broken compatibility with browsers on mobile devices running Android 2.x "Gingerbread."

"Android/WebKit 2.x browsers are now the weakest link," Methvin wrote. "We're carefully watching Android 2.x market share to determine when we can cross it off the support list, and don't expect it to take very long."

Web developers who still need to support IE 6, 7, or 8 should continue to use the 1.x branch of jQuery, which is still being maintained. That branch is currently on version 1.9 and will be upgraded to 1.10 within a few months.

The jQuery 2.0 library is API-compatible with jQuery 1.9, and the project's developers say they plan to maintain feature parity between the two branches – so 1.10 will correspond to 2.0, 1.11 will correspond to 2.1, and so on.

Because of this, it's probably a good idea to start upgrading existing jQuery sites to version 1.9 now, to avoid additional pain later. The project's maintainers have posted an upgrade guide to help developers complete the transition, in addition to a jQuery Migrate plugin that can identify code that uses deprecated APIs and features.

Developers can download any of jQuery 1.x, jQuery 2.x, or the jQuery Migrate plugin from the project's official website. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip
Look at the shiny Windows 8.1, why can't you people talk about 8.1, sobs an exec somewhere
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?