Bootstrap v5: drop Internet Explorer support

zaiste | 408 points

IE 11 is still supported by Microsoft because it is tied to Windows 10 support.

If you're B2C you can probably ignore that and just not support it, but if you're B2B where you're selling not to users it's very hard to get away from supporting IE11.

If your users never directly interact with you (for example you sell white-label software which gets resold) then you just can't control your end-user tech stack enough.

If you're selling to partners who sell to companies who push out logins to their customers or user base then even if <1% of users use IE 11, that becomes 5% of companies having a user with it, which becomes 30% of the partners who are asking for IE11 support.

It's one thing to turn down 1% of users it's quite another to annoy 30% of your income stream.

As long as bootstrap 4 is supported (and the legacy bootstrap 3 support suggests it will be) then this doesn't have to be a problem of course, just one more thing to be aware of.

7777fps | 2 months ago

Microsoft (or a third party) needs to do this:

I. Rename IE11 something like "MS ActiveX Runtime For LOB Network Apps" (AXR for short) or something like "MS ActiveX Player".

II. Create an MMC console entitled "AXR Domain Manager" that identifies a list of domains that open in AXR instead of the default browser. This list is controllable via group policy and other MS management tools.

III. Modify IE where if a website not in the aforementioned list is accessed, a popup saying "This site will be opened in your default browser" appears and the link opens up in the default browser.

It would make it so much easier to explain to non-technical people that IE11 is really a legacy app engine at this point and shouldn't be used for modern website usage.

tenebrisalietum | 2 months ago

There are still companies in Europe I work with that use IE11.

Since we switched from jQuery to Vue last year, we put a friendly reminder on each page saying IE11 is not supported (since its ES6 support sucks), but the tickets still came in. Finally we installed a header on all B2B sites that pops a modal error saying please don't use IE11. The tickets stopped abruptly. I was expecting complaints, but the majority of them already have alt browsers installed, so instead of asking, in this case forcing them to use a different browser worked much better.

0xff00ffee | 2 months ago

Even StackOverflow dropped IE11 support recently [1], mainly to be able to use CSS custom properties in their Dark Theme implementation.


darekkay | 2 months ago

I wonder how many of these ancient legacy systems are content to stay on IE because everyone coddles them with support? Chicken and the egg kind of thing. Why invest the time and money to modernize if devs will bend over backwards to keep them on life support?

fortyseven | 2 months ago

I feel like the projects that rely on bootstrap are ones that have a larger IE audience.

I hate supporting IE, but that has always been the appeal of bootstrap for me.

mleland | 2 months ago

I have access to analytics for a big government site. 11% of all traffic in March 2020 was IE11.

baccredited | 2 months ago

The only reason we still "support" IE11 in my company is that a "significant" number of our users visit us in their working-hours from IE11.

During the weekend this kind of traffic drops significantly, which means to me that people using IE have to, and not choose to.

Raed667 | 2 months ago

As a provider, supporting old tech stacks sucks. They're clunky, have all kinds of warts and annoying workarounds for stuff that got improved in future versions.

As a consumer, being told my light bulbs won't work with the new fixture is a great reason to no longer work with that provider.

As a provider that knows this, I'd rather support the old tech stack right up to the point my ability to keep the lights on isn't at risk.

cfv | 2 months ago

Is it going to be completely broken / inoperable or just "not quite perfect"?

Cthulhu_ | 2 months ago

IE 11 legacy support is a dream compared to having to support IE 8 and lower back in the day. The JS engine on IE 9 was about 10X faster than the one on IE 8.

jgalt212 | 2 months ago

I despise the fact that IE11 is still used, but it’s used by a quarter of our users at the large company I work at.

We don’t use Bootstrap, but hopefully this encourages the companies that do use it to usher their users to something more modern and secure.

sjroot | 2 months ago

Don't forget the fact that some (how much ?) users visit websites with IE because it's the default browser on their entreprise setup, but admins have installed Firefox alongside for compatibility with modern websites.

So dropping IE is almost a service for them.

Source : french administration with thousands of employees.

maelito | 2 months ago

I'm even not sure what an average experience on IE11 would be for any users.

I push as much as I can to POs / stakeholders to just disable non-critical features on IE11 and just leave the basic functionality.

I doubt anyone using IE11 likes that fact, so sounds good to give them just another reason to complain about their experience to their superiors. I will definitely never see "The product that just works on IE11" as a slogan, so being competitive in this won't be reasonable argument.

drinchev | 2 months ago

What are some good alternatives for developers who don't want to lose 2,39% (or whatever the current MSIE11 market share is) of their visitors/revenue?

Bulma claims 90% compatibility with IE11 at least. Foundation 6 seems to support IE9+.

lazyjones | 2 months ago

A progressively enhanced site should work fine in text mode on IE11.

rado | 2 months ago

Why aren't IE users considered more when thinking about accessibility? The best practice is to incorporate a11y accessibility standards to accommodate the small percentage of users who use screen readers and/or have color blindness/other disabilities. Why are we so quick to drop IE11 support when supporting users with disabilities is just as much work if not more? And possibly are a smaller percentage of users than IE users? You'll never read "Bootstrap stops supporting screen readers and removes aria tags in v6".

By extension, can we classify IE usage as a disability? Only half joking: I imagine a lot of current IE users are either doing it because of work or because they are technologically illiterate.

ativzzz | 2 months ago

Well, this is a mistake.

Nobody likes to support IE11 but dropping support moves Bootstrap 5 from "just use Bootstrap" to "Bootstrap has tricky pitfalls". Before someone can use Bootstrap 5 they need to be sure and confident that they don't need IE11 and never will.

jmull | 2 months ago

Somehow Bootstrap became the jQuery of CSS for me.

I used it excessively 6 years ago. Then the v4 took an eternity to release and I already switched to different solutions.

I would have thought that people that are still using it are doing so because of legacy support.

k__ | 2 months ago

Good lord, looks like I’ll have to wait a few years to use this update then. We have a decent amount of legacy browser users that need support. Wish that Bootstrap supported these still widely used browsers. Had the same problem with v4.

websitescenes | 2 months ago

This sounds like a terrible idea. Most of the reason to use a framework like Bootstrap is to avoid dealing with cross browser issues, looking at you IE

vinniejames | 2 months ago

It seems IE11 has become the new Python 2.7. I can only hope one day MS decides to pull the plug entirely, it can't run any new JS features and is clinging onto life.

Eventually, the web will just break (for example, http/3), and IE will be forced to retire.

We just need the "right" pieces to break before it can retire in peace.

tcd | 2 months ago

IE has become a tech debt that often corporations running an enterprise web app older than 10 years have to bear. I have clients who's web applications refuse to work on Chrome/Firefox and mandates the use of IE11 for proper functioning.

eddywebs | 2 months ago


soperj | 2 months ago

What is the the expected release date for Bootstrap 5.

Being that it is still an early Alpha, this change may not have a significant impact for a while.

leejoramo | 2 months ago

I would love to drop IE11 support but its still generates way too much revenue. V5 won't be an option until that changes.

wnevets | 2 months ago

Small world, the committer is one of the main contributors to MPC-HC (RIP)

lanius | 2 months ago

Are there any frameworks like this that support IE10 or IE11?

jakearmitage | 2 months ago

Bootstrap needs a modern browser, but modern browsers don’t need bootstrap.

Seriously: 90% of the value of bootstrap was homogenizing browsers and making horizontal positioning easier. Both these issues have improved dramatically, with browsers converging and CSS Grid becoming available, respectively.

At this time, bootstrap offers little more than a somewhat more opinionated set of margins and other defaults than what browsers ship with, plus some higher-level components.

KarlKemp | 2 months ago

I make sure my website is still 100% functional in IE11: Using only .jpg and .png (I don’t use .gif on my website) for images; not using too much Javascript; using .woff instead of .woff2 webfonts; text-shadow instead of text-stroke to give one font an outline look; etc.

If I was building a node website which depended on a bunch of packages from developers who may or may not care about IE11, this would not be possible. But since I’ve done the entire design by hand with HTML and CSS for over a decade, I can keep it IE11 compatible without issue. Also, everything works if Javascript is turned off, and there are reasonable (if not great) fallback fonts for users who disable webfonts.

strenholme | 2 months ago