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#1 2019-05-25 07:06:56

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 7,246
Website

are backward compatibility scripts still needed?

Are backward compatibility scripts such as html5shiv.js and css3-mediaqueries.js still needed for websites? This was one of the main issues I was tracking before GDPR and cookie policies. According to W3 there are a lot of old systems/browsers still in use out there but aside from the unreadable server logs, I have no idea if they are relevant to our sites. What are your educated opinions about this?


Yiannis
——————————
neme.org | hblack.net | LABS | State Machines | Respbublika! | NeMe @ github

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#2 2019-05-25 09:00:42

phiw13
Plugin Author
From: Japan
Registered: 2004-02-27
Posts: 1,653
Website

Re: are backward compatibility scripts still needed?

I haven’t used those scripts for ages (I don’t remember ever using css3-mediaqueries.js…). Those thing were mostly useful in IE 8 days – for IE8. Remember that one, previous life maybe ?

So, no I would not bother at all. graceful degradations etc, as long as the text is readable… Plus, you’ll have a more ecological foot print. No need to send all those hacks over the network, have the browsers waste energy processing / ignoring the hacks.

BTW – I don’t see much reference to old browsers (browsers that might eventually use those scripts) in the stats you quote.

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#3 2019-05-25 09:41:33

jakob
Admin
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 3,435
Website

Re: are backward compatibility scripts still needed?

You can also check statistical coverage of the relative things they compensate for at caniuse.com:

In the settings (next to the search box) you can also choose your desired target country to see how that diverges from the global statistics. The most precise indicator of whether your visitors use old browsers will be your own stats / server logs.

You could also include a notice for old browser users such as that used by html5 boilerplate. Their current one classes all IE as outdated, but the earlier version applied that to IE9 (in 2018) or less than IE8 (in 2014). I believe that the last versions of Chrome and Firefox to work with Windows XP support HTML5 and CSS3, so even those still using that OS should be able to access your site.


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#4 2019-05-25 10:52:00

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 7,246
Website

Re: are backward compatibility scripts still needed?

I came across the caniuse site and it is the reason I am asking. I also find the server logs a real bugger to read and analyse. For example, it’s hard to see paths of visitors, returning visits, etc. There is also no statistical info re browsers/versions/etc.

Admittedly I always had the html5shiv as a conditional load

htm
<!--[if (IE 6)|(IE 7)|(IE 8)]>
<script src="/js/html5shiv.js"></script>
<![endif]-->

but not the css3-mediaqueries.js.

I also checked the average internet connection speeds which reveal a disparity amongst nations. This could mean that for many internet users, not only are their speeds low but also that the software they are running might be old – especially as the new trend demands updating from the net. As such accessibility should take into consideration not only those who face physical challenges but also those who face financial and/or infrastructural ones. It’s a very hard decision to make when the carbon footprint is also added to the equation!


Yiannis
——————————
neme.org | hblack.net | LABS | State Machines | Respbublika! | NeMe @ github

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#5 2019-05-25 15:01:13

michaelkpate
Moderator
From: Avon Park, FL
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,173
Website

Re: are backward compatibility scripts still needed?

Hopefully the percentage for IE 11 (2.75%) will go down as more and more large installs finally upgrade to Windows 10.

Where I work, we were still using XP up until 2015 and are still using 7 now but are supposed to be finally upgrading to 10 over the next few months. And hopefully getting a new version of Firefox because we still have machines running 40.x ESR versions.

Thankfully we finally got Chrome on some machines last year that can upgrade itself.

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#6 2019-05-26 02:43:03

phiw13
Plugin Author
From: Japan
Registered: 2004-02-27
Posts: 1,653
Website

Re: are backward compatibility scripts still needed?

colak wrote #318213:

I also checked the average internet connection speeds which reveal a disparity amongst nations. This could mean that for many internet users, not only are their speeds low but also that the software they are running might be old – especially as the new trend demands updating from the net. As such accessibility should take into consideration not only those who face physical challenges but also those who face financial and/or infrastructural ones. It’s a very hard decision to make when the carbon footprint is also added to the equation!

Ah yes infrastructural chalenges… Eric Meyer had some issues with https due to dependence on satellite connections, here . His case is in Africa, but infrastructure issue are widespread across the globe – rural US, rural France,… but also high powered Japan. The building where I live (urban area), we can only get one bar at best on the iPhones. That is very poor. Happens with all 3 big service providers, across 4 flats in the same corner of the building. Wifi is fine of course. Needless to say, loading that monstrosity that is apple.com is a nightmare. It is already a nightmare loading it on full 4G networks or even on the 2Gbps network we have.

I wouldn’t correlate poor network infrastructure with poor or old equipment. For example many areas of Africa, outside the big cities have weak networks but are mostly hooked up on mobile devices – devices that have no need for these backwards compatibility scripts.

So yeah, if you really are about all and sundry, serve a plain HTML page with small thumbnail images only and very minimal stylesheet (best in the <head /> of the document).

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#7 2019-05-26 09:32:08

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 7,246
Website

Re: are backward compatibility scripts still needed?

michaelkpate wrote #318214:

Hopefully the percentage for IE 11 (2.75%) will go down as more and more large installs finally upgrade to Windows 10.

Thanks so much for the heads up on this. According to world internet stats there are currently well over 4 Billion users making the 2.75% amount to over 120 million users. That’s not a number we can neglect.

phiw13 wrote #318222:

Eric Meyer had some issues with https due to dependence on satellite connections…

I read that article ages ago and I so much agree with him although he avoids talking about the politics of this disparity, he is nevertheless writing enough to paint the picture on the ground.


Yiannis
——————————
neme.org | hblack.net | LABS | State Machines | Respbublika! | NeMe @ github

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#8 2019-05-26 09:47:39

phiw13
Plugin Author
From: Japan
Registered: 2004-02-27
Posts: 1,653
Website

Re: are backward compatibility scripts still needed?

colak wrote #318225:

In reply to michaelkpate, about IE 11 (between 2 and 7% of users, depending on country stats)

Thanks so much for the heads up on this. According to world internet stats there are currently well over 4 Billion users making the 2.75% amount to over 120 million users. That’s not a number we can neglect.

But you don’t need those back combat scripts for IE 11 (they don’t do anything good, in fact). It is certainly not a browser you can ignore. ATM. And it still is a fairly good browser, easy to support. Your OP was talking about long defunct browsers.

I doubt IE 8 can go very far on todays web, BTW as it doesn’t support many server configurations in use today. Try e.g. to access emps.l-c-n.com with IE 8. You can’t, unsupported TLS configuration.

Last edited by phiw13 (2019-05-26 09:50:43)

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#9 2019-05-26 20:41:51

michaelkpate
Moderator
From: Avon Park, FL
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,173
Website

Re: are backward compatibility scripts still needed?

colak wrote #318225:

Thanks so much for the heads up on this. According to world internet stats there are currently well over 4 Billion users making the 2.75% amount to over 120 million users. That’s not a number we can neglect.

The sad irony is that Microsoft Edge is now available for Windows 7 users now that the switch is being made to the Chromium Engine. But I assume most users will be either unable to switch (in corporate environments) or not knowledgeable enough to do.

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#10 2019-05-28 13:16:34

philwareham
Core designer
From: Farnham, Surrey, UK
Registered: 2009-06-11
Posts: 3,192
Website

Re: are backward compatibility scripts still needed?

IE11 is a fairly capable browser and still has a moderate user base. Anything IE10 or below is not worth supporting.

IE11 also has support for flexbox – but not CSS grid – so you can use CSS grid and fallback to flexbox for that browser. I do that in my code. There are a few other CSS features that are unsupported by IE11 but most fallback fairly gracefully. CSS calc() has some bugs but I very rarely use that anyway.

Apart from that, you don’t need to polyfill anything crucial to support IE11 CSS-wise. And for JavaScript ES6 (also not supported by IE11) you can use something like Babel.

(so TLDR; you can drop the scripts you mention)

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