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Devs welcome jQuery 2.0 release

As announced on the Official jQuery Blog, JavaScript library jQuery 2.0 has arrived. The main change appeared to be ditching support for older versions of Internet Explorer: jQuery 2 runs only on IE9 and newer, leaving legacy support in the hands of the (still maintained) 1.x branch.

The upshot of this change has been a reduction in file size. The jQuery team stated the final 2.0.0 file is 12 per cent smaller than the 1.9.1 file, mostly due to the “elimination of patches that were only needed for IE 6, 7 and 8”. Android 2.x support is reportedly now also in the firing line, with market-share being closely monitored, until Android 2.x can be crossed off the support list. “We don’t expect it to take very long,” remarked the blog post.

Developers .net spoke to seemed positive about the new release. “I was very pleased to see that jQuery 2.0 has made such significant improvements to the overall build size,” thought Addy Osmani, Developer Programs Engineer at Google. “A 12 per cent decrease is no small feat, and with so many developers focusing on shaving off bytes on network requests for mobile, the availability of a minimalist 10 KB (gzipped) build is fantastic.”

Osmani added that “dropping ‘oldIE’ support was also welcome,” and inline with the web community’s “march towards optimising for modern web browsers”. Developer and writer Jack Franklin agreed that the latest release was “great news for those developers lucky enough to not have to support older browsers,” but he wanted to emphasise jQuery’s consideration for those who aren’t so fortunate: “For those of us—like me—who still have to support those browsers, we won't notice the difference, because the jQuery team will continue to support, maintain and develop 1.x in tandem with 2.x, with 1.x including the legacy browser support.”

On that basis, Franklin noted that developers should carefully examine their needs rather than immediately move to the new: “If you still need legacy IE support, stick to 1.x. If you don't, move to 2.x. There are plenty of bug fixes and improvements along with the file-size saving, and the API will be identical across the two versions.” He added that the jQuery team also deserved credit from those making the leap: “Migrating is also really straightforward, with the migrate plug-in that will point out places in your code where you're using deprecated methods.”