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There is a debate going on the the comments here about support of certain JavaScript features in legacy browsers.

Do we have to give an answer that adheres to all legacy browsers?

Because if that is so, I know many many answers that do not give a solution for Internet Explorer 1.0...

Internet Explorer 1.0 (right off Google)

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closed as off-topic by Fish Below the Ice, James, Al E., Patrick Hofman, ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Aug 11 '15 at 15:13

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JScript was added first in IE3.0 though :------) – Esailija May 24 '12 at 17:04
If a question explicitly states the level of browser support required, then I answer accordingly, unless the requirements are extremely contrived (although there have been... exceptions). – BoltClock's a Unicorn May 24 '12 at 17:12
But I want to use LocalStorage in IE 6 :( – Ben Brocka May 24 '12 at 18:20
@BenBrocka step1) Obtain the packaging for IE6 (over sized box with a tiny little paper sleeve cd in it). step2) open the box. step3) place items in the box. step4) bask in your IE6 localStorage. :) – rlemon May 24 '12 at 20:14
Meh, mosiaic is where its at. It even runs on modern copies of linux. Javascript? GET OFF MY LAWN. – Journeyman Geek Apr 3 '14 at 2:36
up vote 23 down vote accepted

Short answer:


Long(er) answer:


but in my personal opinion it is always nice to inform the user if the code does not work in any specific release (worth noting). So if it fails in IE6, who cares... if it does not work in safari or IE7... well I wouldn't go so far as to provide them with those solutions, rather mention "Hey, this fails in IE7. If IE7 is a concern then you will have to do a little research into how to make it work there as well.".

I think this is completely fair, the OP has his answer, and also has a good starting point on what to search for compatibility concerns.

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the huge but!!! in this is; if the question specifically outlines browser support. then you should answer accordingly. – rlemon May 24 '12 at 17:08
+1. As I now comment (because I feel unsecure, probably), "As Google halted the support of IE9 in GMail, I can halt the support of IE8 in SO". – Denys Séguret Nov 8 '13 at 20:44

Do we have to give an answer that adheres to all legacy browsers?

I don't think that "all" but try to do it (in my opinion). We don't know the situation of the OP , maybe he/she is dealing with a not common situation (I won't imagine all possible situations because there are a lot).

If you read this:

Well, I can't trust at all about w3schools but until today there are users that still using old browsers and, if we all are developers, some customers want things that work with old and modern things too.

I heard that some people say:

"Tell them that the project will work only for modern browsers"

"We are in the 2012, you don't need to care about it".

And someone said in the comments discussion:

"We need to make a stand, as developers we are only hindering our own trade by allowing our users and clients to run on out dated legacy software. Take some responsibility for your field and only support the current, and maybe previous (x2) versions of any major browser. We need to move the industry forward... not just raise the bar, but let people silently walk around it."


I agree with that, but that is in the "ideal world". Customers not always are like that, you can tell them and maybe the answer for telling that will work with modern browsers only will be positive and sometimes not. This doesn't mean that we must fit old browsers as a requirement but as I said, trying to reach browsers as we can will be good (maybe 2 prior versions or more, it depends).

By the other hand, there are few uncommon cases. An experience from myself was that one day I was working on a project for a bank and the sales area floor uses (until today) IE6.

I think that customers or stakeholders have to tell developers which browsers they want (to work according to that and don't suppose or just work with modern things).

So my answer is:


but try to unless you know the context situation or requirements.

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lol, now i'm just being a jerk... But I cannot validate any information coming from w3schools. – rlemon May 24 '12 at 17:59
how can IE have 19% on a web developer website ... :< – Esailija May 24 '12 at 18:03
@rlemon lol, I am not just writing from what I read in w3schools. I know that using old browsers (still happens) and I also shared an experience from myself. – Oscar Jara May 24 '12 at 18:07
@Esailija don't trust w3schools at all but I shared all what I experienced. – Oscar Jara May 24 '12 at 18:10
W3Schools uses the information gathered from their own website, which is highly biased by the fact that it is only visited by a small part of the population: web developers that don't know anything better. I don't know if StatCounter GlobalStats is more reliable, but I certainly can't picture that the opposite is true. – Dennis May 24 '12 at 18:20

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