Plans for jQuery UI 1.14, dropping support for UI <1.12 in the Download Builder

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jQuery UI has been in maintenance mode since 2021. We are prioritizing security issues & regressions from jQuery UI 1.12, with occasional fixes contributed by the community. That said, maintaining jQuery UI still takes a significant effort. This is caused by many moving pieces:

  • jQuery UI 1.13 supports jQuery 1.8 & newer. This means jQuery UI is currently tested against every major and minor jQuery release since jQuery 1.8, in all supported browsers, and in development versions of jQuery. This amounts to 18 test variants in total.
  • jQuery UI is tested against the latest two versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera & Edge, Edge Legacy & IE 11.
  • The Download Builder supports jQuery UI 1.9 & newer – that’s 5 versions, the older of which was first released in 2012. Each of those versions has custom builder code that needs maintenance.
  • Most of the testing is only done post-commit; PRs have had limited testing so far.

The above issues, combined with the fact very few people work on jQuery UI in their limited time, result in delays—1 year and 9 months have passed between the 1.13.2 and 1.13.3 releases. If we want to continue supporting jQuery UI, we need to reduce some of this complexity.

We are planning the following changes to ease the maintenance effort:

  • Beginning in June, 2024, the Download Builder will only support jQuery UI 1.12 or newer. If you rely on built-in themes, you’ll still be able to download full builds of previous releases from the releases page after this date.
  • jQuery UI 1.14 will only be tested on the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari & Edge. It will not support IE and Edge Legacy. Contrary to what was done in past releases, code supporting unsupported browsers will be deleted.
  • Only the latest jQuery version within each major version of jQuery Core will be supported. As of the publication date of this blog post, that would be jQuery 1.12.4, 2.2.4 & 3.7.1, plus two development versions: 3.x & 4.x.
  • All browsers supported by jQuery UI 1.14 will be tested on PRs via the same custom test runner as jQuery Core. This will help catch issues before problematic code gets merged. In fact, this change has already landed!
  • jQuery UI 1.14 will have the jQuery.uiBackCompat flag set to false. We are not planning new big compatibility breaks and this will help people discover accidental reliance on deprecated behaviors.
  • Support for jQuery UI 1.13 will end on the day jQuery UI 1.14.0 is released.

We understand these changes may be disrupting for some teams. However, we need to balance limited resources with still being able to address more important issues. We think the above plan is the best way to achieve this goal.

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