10

For the most part, SE officially supports the last two versions of browsers. IE11's a bit of an evolutionary dead end, with even its successor's engine moving over to Blink.

While it gets security updates, in essence it's a 6-year-old browser, primarily kept in modern PCs for the odd legacy site.

Currently official SE policy — as per the supported browser post says

This browser is mostly supported on a "because it works" basis. Support may be dropped in the future, without notice, if new functionality is implemented that cannot be made to work in Internet Explorer 11.

Now, this doesn't explicitly say any minor bugs won't be fixed, but "because it works" is pretty much the same level of usability one gets off a less common browser.

There's a laundry list of thing that is known to be broken on IE anyway - PNG, SVG and even JS works... differently.

So rather than leaving it on the supported OS list, it seems like a good idea to drop IE11 support formally. A good chunk of bugs feel like 'minor' rendering bugs in any case, so it wouldn't really hurt that much.

  • 5
    Posting an IE 11-related bug report in 2019 is likely to get you a few downvotes for your efforts anyway. Probably due to the whole "is this some kind of joke?" factor. – n8te Jan 20 at 7:35
  • There's a few. And well, it is vaguely officially still supported. – Journeyman Geek Jan 20 at 7:47
  • 1
    I occasionally use Windows RT, on which the latest browser is IE11 and there's no way to install any other browser on it. – Sonic the Bracketed Hedgehog Jan 20 at 9:10
  • 4
    WinRT's pretty much a dead platform - and I don't think the IE version on that's actively updated. I think that counts as an evolutionary dead end too. Its also pretty much impossible to test on/for – Journeyman Geek Jan 20 at 9:20
  • @JourneymanGeek It's still actively updated. I recently installed updates on it. – Sonic the Bracketed Hedgehog Jan 20 at 9:31
  • 2
    IE has been my browser since IE2(when I bought my win95). I never changed the browser. I am using IE11. I did try other browsers and also Edge. Never like them You can call me stupid, I don't mind. If SE or MS stops supporting IE, I guess I'll give it up. Until then, I'll continue to use IE. – scaaahu Jan 20 at 9:41
  • I run an unsupported, Blink based browser. It works, and I probably would not be making official bug reports for it. No one's going to break your door down and uninstall IE. The only real change is quite literally removing it from the list of supported browsers. – Journeyman Geek Jan 20 at 11:09
  • 1
    ...which would essentially mean that if a bug like this were to crop up, it wouldn't be fixed. – Sonic the Bracketed Hedgehog Jan 20 at 11:32
  • Assuming it only affected IE 11, that would be the case. – Journeyman Geek Jan 20 at 14:36
  • 3
    Last I heard, IE11 was already on the path to be dropped "very soon." I wouldn't be surprised if it was already unsupported and we just never updated the list. – animuson Jan 20 at 17:32
  • 2
    To me this is an 80/20 problem, unless the proportion of IE11 users as detected by the server is greater than, pick an arbitrary percent (let's say 5) but is taking a significant amount of dev time then it has to be asked if it makes sense to support it fiscally. In my experience in the enterprise space it doesn't in almost all cases. – Mgetz Jan 21 at 14:02
4

I vote to leave Internet Explorer 11 supported in the current form.

The first reason is, I occasionally use Windows RT, on which the latest browser is IE11, and there's no other way to install any other browser on that platform. (I still feel that my purchase of a first-generation Surface in 2012 is a great investment, and it's lighter than even my 2016 laptop and much more convenient to carry around. Overall, it fits great for my purposes especially when traveling. No other platform meets my needs like it, except maybe the Surface 2.)

Second, lots of users in corporate environments may be forced to use IE11. Many users' environments still run Windows 7, and the Long Term Service Branch (LTSB) release of Windows 10 omits Edge. (It's worth mentioning that almost all of the minor IE11 issues aren't issues in Edge.)

Overall, I do think that while it may not be worth fixing the more minor issues with the browser, the critical issues should still be fixed. In other words, the current stance as a "because it works"-supported browser is fine.

  • Please provide evidence, actual numbers, that lots of users (how many?) have no choice but to use IE11 at work and at home. If they have no other alternative for a browser, you make a strong and valid case. If, on the other hand, you want a company to support IE11 because you use this browser yourself and you want to continue using it for the next year or two, then your case is weak. How much time and money does it cost to pay someone to fix bugs that affect only IE11? If it's peanuts then maybe you're right. – Mari-Lou A Jan 21 at 7:50
  • US desktop internet browsers market share Oct 2018:- Chrome 63%, Internet Explorer 10%, Safari 9%, Firefox 9%, Edge 6%, Opera 1%. statista.com/statistics/272697/… – Bruce Abbott Jan 21 at 20:09
  • @BruceAbbott That's the US only, what about the rest of the world? And what about Stack Exchange users, the developers, the engineers, the webmasters etc. who use SE? How many of those use IE11? – Mari-Lou A Jan 21 at 21:33
  • @Mari-LouA In China, a large proportion of users use Qihoo 360 Secure Browser, which uses the Trident rendering engine that IE uses. – Sonic the Bracketed Hedgehog Jan 21 at 21:33
  • Currently, 64.9 percent of the population in China is between 16 and 59 years old. Presumably, the overwhelming majority is computer literate. What percentage of the "large proportion of Chinese users" are members of SE?statista.com/statistics/251524/… – Mari-Lou A Jan 21 at 21:40
  • @Mari-LouA "the developers, the engineers, the webmasters.."? Do we really want to limit users to experts who already know it all? Should we drop the culture, life, arts and recreation sites because those users may not be as tech-savvy? "Stack Overflow helps a lot of people today, but it is not yet the the welcoming, inclusive, and diverse platform we want it to be. That’s something we are committed to continuing to improve on this year,.." stackoverflow.blog/2019/01/18/… – Bruce Abbott Jan 22 at 0:20
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA "Who brings in the dough for SE?" - all the users who are not experts, who come here looking for answers. Without them it would be dead.Not sure why they do it though. I prefer to do my own research rather than risk being savaged by 'experts' who apparently don't have the skills to support any web browser more than 3 months old. – Bruce Abbott Jan 22 at 1:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .