Internet Explorer has long been on the checklist for many companies, but every week the feature gap between modern browsers and IE grows. It has increasingly become harder for the team to ignore how this has hampered innovation.
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Ending Support For IE 11
There are fundamental properties for the modern web that IE does not provide support for, and while it is possible to polyfill some of the missing features, many more lower level browser APIs are too expensive to polyfill or simply impossible.
This was not a decision the Player Team undertook lightly, we knew we needed to use a data-driven decision making approach to be able to gain company wide buy in. Luckily, we have a wealth of analytics around our product for precisely these decisions and after sampling 100 million player sessions from last month less than 0.01% were on IE. After this investigation we knew it was possible to make this decision and improve the experiences of 99.99% of all end users who interact with Flowplayer.
After discovering how big of an impact this move might have for our end users, we set to work to detail key candidates in our codebase for simple refactors that might give us an immediate impact. We discovered over 650 lines of code that can be simplified or in some cases removed completely, which may sound like a modest gain, but we are optimizing for kilobytes and bytes at Flowplayer.
There are several places we have slated for significant innovation including stream-lining our embed offerings, developer experience, and a revamped CSS skinning system using modern CSS variables. These are just a few of the many advances we are looking forward to adding to our product in 2021.