jQuery is Not Needed for Browser Compatibility in 2021

You can now write scripts in plain JavaScript. Jquery is mostly not needed for compatiblity.

In 2021, Microsoft desktop and server Windowses only support Internet Explorer 11 or later (Edge). This removes the need for most compatibility hacks. Firefox and Chrome have followed JavaScript standards mostly from the start.

$("h1").text("Goodbye jQuery, my favourite JS library!")

document.querySelector("h1").innerHTML = "Hello, vanilla JavaScript!"

So, maybe 2021 is the year of vanilla JavaScript. JQuery has been my all time favourite JavaScript library, and I'm happy that it has finally made itself mostly unnecessary.

This article is about compatibility with old browsers. This does not teach how to program.

End of Life for Obsolote Browsers Removes the Need for Compatiblity Hacks

Firefox and Chrome have had quality support for standards for ages. Support hacks were needed for Microsoft browser, Internet Explorer.

For a long time, jQuery was used to support old browsers without having to write complex hacks. This is not needed anymore, as those old browsers are dead. Dead as in not receiving security updates from their vendor, Microsoft. Now, in 2021, all non-EOL (not end of life) desktop and server Windowses Support IE11, most embeded Windows too.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) has been the most incompatible popular browser, defining the required level of hacks. For example, YouMightNotNeedJquery.com only shows jQuery alternatives up to IE 10, which is already dead. In the end, Internet Explorer had such a bad name that Microsoft now calls its browser Edge.

Only IE11 and Later Supported on Windows Desktop and Server

Microsoft, visited 2021: Internet Explorer 11 - Microsoft Lifecycle:

"Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates."

Microsoft 2020: Lifecycle FAQ - Internet Explorer and Edge:

"Microsoft recommends using Microsoft Edge as your default browser and supports Internet Explorer 11 for backward compatibility."

"Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system and follows the Lifecycle Policy for the product on which it is installed. For customers running on an older version of Internet Explorer, we recommend customers migrate to the latest version of Edge."

Lifecycle FAQ also has a handy table of supported browsers and Windowses. According to the table of "Windows Desktop Operating Systems" and "Internet Explorer Version"

  • Desktop and Server Windows only support IE11: Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, 2012R2, 2016...
  • Older Windowses are not supported anymore (as OSes): Windows 7, Windows Server 2008.
  • Embedded Windows mostly supports IE11
  • Only two embedded Windowses only have IE7 (don't support IE11): Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows Embedded Compact 2013

As a Linux guy, it seems slightly odd for me to run a browser on a server. Maybe it's a Windows thing?