Questions to our Community
We are primarily looking for feedback from the Mattermost community on the potential impact of dropping support for IE11.
Would you be impacted? If so, would you be able to migrate to the Mattermost Desktop Apps or another web browser? If not, what would block your migration?
Any and all feedback is highly appreciated! To learn more about why we’re considering removing support, see below:
Background on Internet Explorer (IE).
Mattermost supports a number of browsers, including recent versions of:
Unlike the other browsers, IE is no longer under active development and has been replaced by Edge on Windows. This means that, over time, maintaining compatibility with IE presents a disproportionate burden on the development team as, unlike other browsers, it is no longer keeping pace with evolving web standards. However, some large enterprises still use IE internally, which is the reason we have continued to support it up until now.
Why are we considering dropping IE support?
As web standards continue to evolve, other browsers keep pace with these changes, but IE, as it is unmaintained, does not. This means we have an increasing volume of brittle, special-case code in the webapp to maintain compatibility with IE. This special-case code receives no usage from the core team, and requires its own QA testing. We have reached the point where, to continue the improvement and forward progress of the web app, it is necessary to make use of technologies which are not supported (and never will be supported) by IE.
For specific examples of areas currently hindering development, see https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YCoowY7pO-bFbMDRO3G25ziJhyGqGPkMfgm97nELeIM/edit#heading=h.6txere9z6erc
Moreover, below is a list of deprecations in the wider world:
- IE is a legacy browser. Although Microsoft will continue to support it until Windows 10 EOL, it is deprecated in favor of Microsoft Edge. https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windowsforbusiness/end-of-ie-support
- Microsoft considers that it should only be used “for compatibility with legacy intranet systems” and, wherever possible, a modern browser such as Edge should be used for all other Intranet/Internet resources. https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-security-chief-ie-is-not-a-browser-so-stop-using-it-as-your-default/
- Slack will be ending IE support from 15th March 2019. https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/115002037526-Minimum-requirements-for-using-Slack#web-browsers
Alternatives for communities currently using Mattermost with IE.
Mattermost offers a fully functional desktop application, which can be rolled out by enterprises where using an alternative web browser to access Mattermost is not an option. To assist an organization with a wide deployment of the desktop application, an MSI for Windows has been released as Alpha with step-by-step docs on installation and setting group policies.