Make WordPress Core

#57031 closed enhancement (duplicate)

Establish a plan to remove the skip link focus fix

Reported by: afercia's profile afercia Owned by: joedolson's profile joedolson
Milestone: Priority: low
Severity: normal Version:
Component: Bundled Theme Keywords: close
Focuses: accessibility, javascript, performance Cc:

Description

Previously: #54421
Related: #55552

In #54421 a proposal was made to deprecate the 'skip link focus fix' used by some of the bundled themes. The conversation on the ticket led to the decision to keep the script but missed to establish a plan for the future.

This issue was discussed at the latest Yoast contributor day on November 2022 where the participants agreed to see it more as an issue related to actual browser usage rather than a backwards compatibility issue. Worth reminding this script is now only needed for Internet Explorer 11 and previous versions . Keeping this script forever doesn;t seem ideal. As such, we’d like to propose to establish a plan for its removal,

We could think of two options:

  • Establish a removal date based on a certain Internet Explorer usage threshold. WordPress browser support is based on the can I use browser usage table, which in turn is based on StatCounter GlobalStats. This approach would require to monitor the IE usage decrement overtime until it reaches a certain threshold, to be decided.
  • Remove the script on a future WordPress release. For example, 6.3 would warrant enough time to not rush and inform theme authors and users with some adequate notice.

Any thoughts are very welcome.

We do share some of the concerns expressed in #54421 but we’d also like to mention that if some users are still using Internet Explorer, the skip link is very likely the last of their problems with the WordPress bundled themes.

On the other hand, removing the script is a slight performance gain and also reduces maintenance cost and effort for theme authors.

Cc @poena @westonruter

References:

IE 11 Support Phase Out Plan
https://make.wordpress.org/core/2021/04/22/ie-11-support-phase-out-plan/
WordPress browser support
https://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/best-practices/browser-support/
Browser Market Share Worldwide, October 2021 - 2022
https://gs.statcounter.com/browser-market-share#monthly-202110-202210

Change History (8)

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #accessibility by sabernhardt. View the logs.


18 months ago

#2 @sabernhardt
18 months ago

  • Milestone changed from Awaiting Review to Future Release
  • Priority changed from normal to low

We may remove old Internet Explorer support in these themes soon (#56699). Coordinating both in the same release could be good, whether that moves this earlier or delays the other.

#3 @joedolson
14 months ago

See https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/38338#comment:30 for some additional concerns suggesting we should remove these now. That could use secondary testing to confirm my findings.

#4 @joedolson
14 months ago

  • Owner set to joedolson
  • Status changed from new to accepted

#5 @sabernhardt
14 months ago

  • Keywords close added

I think we should reopen #54421, closing this as the duplicate, and I could make a patch soon.

#6 @joedolson
14 months ago

That's fine. It doesn't matter to me which ticket it's on.

#7 @joedolson
13 months ago

Since this ticket is about establishing a plan, I'd like to propose this plan:

1) Re-open 54421.
2) Remove all skip link focus fix scripts from all browser for WordPress 6.3

While a year ago, I felt it was too early, based on my findings in #38338, I think this is potentially now causing more harm than benefit. As @afercia says, any users still on IE have bigger problems than a skip to content link.

If that's agreed to, let's close this ticket and move back to #54421, then get that milestoned.

#8 @sabernhardt
12 months ago

  • Milestone Future Release deleted
  • Resolution set to duplicate
  • Status changed from accepted to closed

#54421 is reopened.

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