Feedback needed from assistive technology stakeholders
WebAIM’s survey of screen reader users shows Internet Explorer 11 usage dropping from 23.3% in October 2017 to 10.9% in September 2019. The next edition of their survey is likely to be released at the end of 2021, but we need to finalize our browser support within the next month in order to develop and release Drupal 10 on schedule.
We need feedback from assistive technology users and accessibility stakeholders. Do you or your users still use Internet Explorer 11 with screen readers? Do their screen readers support browsers other than Internet Explorer 11? How feasible is it to upgrade to a different browser for use with your screen reader? We are requesting feedback until December 18th, 2020.
Why would we drop support for Internet Explorer 11?
- Microsoft stopped developing Internet Explorer 11 in 2015. For that reason it is significantly behind modern browsers that have continued development. Because more and more libraries are adopting the use of those features, there is a significant cost associated with maintaining Internet Explorer 11. For example, the latest major release of CKEditor has dropped support for Internet Explorer 11, which means that Drupal 10 cannot securely support both CKEditor5 and Internet Explorer 11.
- Microsoft itself has dropped support for Internet Explorer 11 in many of its services, and the rest will drop support in mid-2021.
- Usage of Internet Explorer 11 has decreased significantly. Drupal doesn’t collect analytics on browser usage from its end users, so we rely on data provided by other projects such as Wikimedia, WebAIM, and Statcounter. For example, in October 2019, Wikimedia had 4.4% of its traffic using Internet Explorer 11. At the same time this year the number had dropped to 1.4%. We assume that the number of Internet Explorer 11 users will continue decreasing before the release of Drupal 10.
- Supporting Internet Explorer 11 degrades the experience for everyone. We currently supply all users extra code to make Internet Explorer 11 work. This increases the request size and makes page load time slower for everyone.
- The additional requirements of Internet Explorer 11 demand additional development time that far exceeds the browser’s market share. These efforts come at the expense of new features and bug fixes.
What if I need to support Internet Explorer 11?
Even if Drupal 10 drops support for Internet Explorer 11, you can continue using Drupal 9 until late 2023. We recommend advising your users to move to another browser before that. If you believe your users have specific requirements as to why they cannot move from Internet Explorer 11, post them on the Internet Explorer 11 policy discussion.
Would this affect Drupal 7?
No. Drupal 7 remains compatible with Internet Explorer 11. A separate announcement will be issued if that changes.