Remove IE 6, 7, and/or 8 support
This topic comes up constantly, so let’s try to put it to bed once and for all. People tend to greatly overestimate the amount of code in jQuery that is specifically related to IE. Most of the problems in IE 6 and IE 7 are also present in IE 8, so there is no real size or complexity benefit to dropping support for the first two as long as that last one still has appreciable desktop market share and must be supported. Nobody (including Microsoft itself) likes these Jurassic Park browsers, but stripping out support for them right now would break web sites for many users.
That said, we know that older-IE support is not required in some scenarios such as mobile browsers. We are looking into ways to put as much of that code as possible into a single clearly marked block so that it can be easily removed by someone who is willing to create their own custom jQuery version. It may also be possible to get Closure Compiler’s help with this issue as well. However, we are not sure that will even provide a significant space savings in gzipped file size, and it won’t offer a performance boost since those code paths aren’t taken in other browsers.
What about your ideas?
Please do take this opportunity to give us your input. The team is looking forward to reviewing your suggestions. Oh, and don’t forget to try jQuery 1.7.1 soon!