Is it time for Angular to leave IE behind?

Stephen Fluid tweeted an interesting fact this week: Did you know that shipping ES6 instead of ES5 reduces your Angular Hello World main.js app from 155KB to 88.6KB? Which got me thinking, is it time to ditch IE?

Typescript lets you choose which version of ECMAScript you target. The setting is in the tsconfig.json e.g. “target”: “es5”,

Typescript can target ECMAScript versions:

  • “ES3”,
  • “ES5”,
  • “ES6″/”ES2015”,
  • “ES2016”,
  • “ES2017”
  • “ESNext”.

Angular defaults to ES5 because it guarantees support on all browsers back to IE9, but this comes at a cost. Older browsers need polyfills, hence the larger bundle size. Switching to ES6 supports fewer browsers but requires fewer polyfills.

Switching to ES6 will break IE compatibility. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, right? Edge, FF, Chrome and Safari will run fine.

What do you think? Hit reply and let me know if you are planning to ditch support for IE to get faster downloads for the majority.


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