12

Which browsers are officially supported, and what else do I need? previously contained the following words regarding Internet Explorer support:

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.

However, a few minutes ago today, an employee made an edit to remove Internet Explorer from the list of supported browsers.

What "new functionality" was implemented that necessitated pulling support for IE11? (Yes, I'm aware that it's a fairly outdated browser, but I'm curious nonetheless.)

Disclosure: yes, I do have a vested interest in maintaining support for the browser, but for the purposes of this post, please ignore it.

  • 1
    How many years is "fairly outdated"? Just out of curiosity. – Mari-Lou A Nov 12 '19 at 7:11
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA After December 8, 2018, more time passed since the release of Internet Explorer 11 than the gap between IE6 and IE7 (previously the longest gap between successive IE releases). – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Nov 12 '19 at 7:14
  • 3
    I see.... That still doesn't tell me how many years old is IE11 – Mari-Lou A Nov 12 '19 at 7:17
  • 2
    @Mari-LouA IE11 was released in October 2013 – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Nov 12 '19 at 7:17
  • 3
    Thanks, so that's your answer. Six years is, I suppose equivalent to 15 years in terms of technology and advancement. I once had an iPhone 3, lovely piece of design. I loved it, I bought it 2nd hand when the iPhone5 had came out; it was my first smartphone. Then Whatsapp stopped supporting iPhone 3 about two years later, give or take, I literally had to buy myself a new smartphone because everyone in Italy, and I mean everyone, uses Whatsapp, and it is essential for work purposes too. Sometimes, you got to let go the things you love and say sayonara – Mari-Lou A Nov 12 '19 at 7:25
  • 6
    This is only conjecture (obviously), but the responsive UI of Stack Exchange is partly based on CSS flex. In my experience, IE11 has been... reluctant to follow the flex spec properly, and I have actually spent a few days at work on "make this usable on IE11 without breaking the rest of the world" tasks. – Frédéric Hamidi Nov 12 '19 at 7:26
  • 8
    @Mari-LouA technically IE11 is still "supported" by Microsoft, based on their Life-cycle FAQ but that is only for security patches. It hasn't followed any new or emerging standards and that is the major point why keeping support in for IE11 becomes harder and harder. – rene Nov 12 '19 at 7:28
  • 2
    @rene well, many banks (at least in Israel, two major banks I know of) still use IE for their internal systems, so Microsoft keeps them supported with security patches. – Shadow9 Nov 12 '19 at 7:49
  • 1
    @ShadowThePrincessWizard yeah, the Dutch government also is 90% a Microsoft shop and they spend tax money for Extended support beyond the regular life-cycle. – rene Nov 12 '19 at 7:53
  • @rene but do they use IE internally too? Or other Microsoft products? (e.g. Azure) – Shadow9 Nov 12 '19 at 7:58
  • 1
    @ShadowThePrincessWizard they still run XP on desktops, because they can't find people to make their applications up-to-date. – Luuklag Nov 12 '19 at 8:00
  • 1
    @ShadowThePrincessWizard yes, worse of all: my private data is kept in Azure ... – rene Nov 12 '19 at 8:01
  • What does it matter? This has been looooooong coming. That said, it still seems to work just fine on IE11. – Cerbrus Nov 12 '19 at 8:46
  • 2
    I'd guess it's not that any one particular feature broke on IE11, but that they decided that the time spent testing new features on IE11 and the time spent tentatively tiptoeing around IE11's limits while working on new features was not time well spent, and that dropping IE11 support would increase productivity. – user56reinstatemonica8 Nov 12 '19 at 9:50
9

None specifically, yet. It's more a culmination of features that have been added over time that have been building up a lot of IE-specific clutter in our CSS and JavaScript and blocking other specific features that we simply cannot build while still supporting IE. For example, you might have seen this pull request pop up on Stacks recently. We also could not possibly support IE if this exploration were ever to see the light of day, since IE does not support the necessary features.

You must log in to answer this question.

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