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jQuery 2.0 Ditches IE 6, 7 and 8

The hugely popular JavaScript library jQuery just turned 2.0. And it's an especially significant release for .NET developers, as it jettisons some older Internet Explorer browsers and enhances support for writing Windows 8 applications.

The most important fact about jQuery 2.0 for Web developers is that IE 6, 7 and 8 are no longer supported. Dave Methvin, president of the jQuery Foundation, blogged that for sites that need to maintain compatibility with older IE browsers, the 1.x versions of jQuery will do just that, including an upcoming 1.10 version (1.9.1 was the last version of jQuery officially released). The older browsers, through the 1.x branch, will be supported for "several more years," Methvin wrote.

The time had come, however, to update jQuery for the modern Web, including Windows 8 apps, Google Chrome, Firefox OS apps, Chrome OS apps, Microsoft WebBrowser control and more. One advantage of the 2.0 release is that it's 12 percent smaller than 1.9.1, owing to the removal of patches needed for IE 6, 7 and 8.

The major changes that needed to be made in jQuery 2.0 when it comes to Windows 8 apps were security related. Since all Windows Store apps have native access to the Windows Runtime, jQuery had to create a new security model, according to Microsoft's Olivier Bloch, a senior technical evangelist, in a blog about 2.0. Jonathan Sampson, director of Support for appendTo, a company that's contributed to jQuery, described the technical reasons:

"While jQuery meets the language criterion for Windows Store applications, Windows 8 exposes all the WinRT APIs within the HTML5 development environment, which comes with a new security model that made some code and common practices of jQuery flagged as unsafe in the context of a Windows Store application. AppendTo reviewed and re-authored portions of jQuery core to bring it into alignment with the Windows security model, as well as identified key areas where alternative patterns would need to be substituted for actually-used conventions." 

jQuery is considered to be the most popular JavaScript library in use on the Internet. There are minified and unminified versions available, depending on a developer's needs. Methvin strongly recommends upgrading via the jQuery Migrate plugin.

Posted by Keith Ward on 04/19/2013 at 1:15 PM


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