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April 29, 2007

jQuery and crossbrowser compatibility

Filed under: Javascript,Web — see @ 7:30 pm

Sadly jQuery has dropped full support for IE lower version 6. Until now I thought that was the edge that jQuery had compared to other libs like Prototype and the like (of course not the only one as I still do like the general API and easyness of jQuery). I do understand the reasons for this step though so this is only a minor complaint ;)

I myself tripped into at least two issues of newer versions of jQuery with IE 5.5, the first is really nasty, the second (which I reported myself) is rather unimportant as it will trip in certain special cases only I guess.

The consequence will probably be that I change my attitude regarding which browsers to support of at least the sites I am able to decide for and the ones I am able to be consulted for. IE 6 is quite a hassle (CSS etc.) already, so support for even lower IEs – also compared to their current usage (which of course gets only lower ;) – is really not a very important issue anymore.

Only problem will be major corporate sites or specific customers who need to support e.g. IE 5.5. There is hardly any major JS lib around with support for these old browsers and working without one these days does not really make sense. Writing your own lib is also kind of out of the question (in most cases “out of budget”).

Or is there a decent JS lib with support for old browsers? (I do not really expect lots of votes here though).

BTW, a strange thing I noticed in the stats for my own sites (e.g. this one). Since there is a bit more traffic on the site (due to the mention of my own cssutils on the W3C site) IE 5.5 is actually the browser most visitors have (or pretend to use ;) . With about 28% it is used much more often than the 2nd (IE 6[!] with about 13,5%) and 3rd (finally Mozilla 5.0 with about 12,5%). Maybe some robots or “feed fishers” set their UA to IE 5.5 and so the stats is not in sync with actual reality… Still I do wonder what the real reason is, before (with lower traffic) the stats were showing Mozilla leading with almost 30% and IE 5.5 with a meager 0.5% usage, very strange…

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