The release of version 5.0 of the Bootstrap framework is scheduled for late spring of this year and for now, changes continue to be made. The last notable change is the discontinuation of support for the latest versions of the Internet Explorer (IE) browser. The new version of Bootstrap will remove browser support not only for Internet Explorer 10, but also for 11. This follows the announcement in February 2019 of the removal of the jQuery library in favor of pure JavaScript.

Bootstrap is probably the most popular HTML, CSS and JavaScript framework for developing first and responsive mobile projects on the Web. It offers useful tools for creating Web site and application design. Bootstrap contains bits of HTML and CSS code for buttons, navigation tools and other interactive elements, as well as optional JavaScript extensions. Bootstrap 4.0 was released in January 2018 after more than 3 years of development and version 5 has been in development since last year.

Version 4.0 was presented as a complete rewrite of the library. Thus, there have been many changes that are incompatible with previous versions. Like version 4.0, version 5 is also a major release that announces several breaks with its predecessors. Recently, the CSS framework development team has started to remove IE support. The information comes from a commit made a few weeks ago on the tool’s GitHub page. So what impact will this have on developers in the future?

For some, it was painful to always have to step back and make corrections specifically for IE browsers. According to the latter, most of the time, this makes development much less fun, but it also greatly increases the time it takes to complete projects. So, they believe that this decision will improve development with Bootstrap and, given that the use of IE 11 will steadily decrease over the next few years, this functionality will be less and less demanding.

In this regard, according to IE usage statistics from W3counter, a site that provides statistics on browser and platform market share, IE 10 usage has dropped drastically below 1% since the beginning of 2017. More importantly, Internet Explorer 11 went from about 9% in 2015 to 2-3% from 2017, but since then it seems to have stabilized in that range. However, Microsoft intends to support IE 11 until the end of support for Windows 10 on October 14, 2025.

In addition, Microsoft no longer recommends the use of IE, but now recommends using its Edge browser, which now relies on the Chromium engine. But why does it continue to support IE? The answer is because some people continue to use it. These include people who don’t care much about the browser they use, or some large companies who don’t feel ready to invest in upgrading their infrastructure. Won’t there be situations where this support will be needed?

According to some developers, it is likely that there will be. One example is the special case of business-targeted projects. So what will we do in this case? We will probably proceed as we do with other tools. Although there is no more official support for Internet Explorer, there will necessarily be workarounds to make websites made with Bootstrap work on Internet Explorer. What might be better is that some of these means are mentioned in the official documentation.

Some people already think that Polyfill.io would be the solution to use Bootstrap v5 on IE 11. It is a service that accepts a request for a set of browser features and returns only the polyfills needed by the requesting browser. Here are some examples of the changes already announced for Bootstrap v5 :

  • jQuery deletion ;
  • abandonment of the support d’IE 10 et 11 ;
  • customized SVG icons library ;
  • going from Jekyll to Hugo ;
  • important JavaScript updates ;
  • correction and updates of minor classes.

Source: Bootstrap v5 

, by Bill Fassinou


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