compiled to JavaScript idea

Alex Russell alex at
Thu Nov 8 04:33:28 PST 2007


On Monday 05 November 2007 1:18 pm, Thomas Reilly wrote:
> There's this hookey idea percolating that somehow we can use whatever
> language we want and compile it to JavaScript and that will be great.
> Hold that thought, now check this out:
> I don't care how tricked out your JavaScript VM is, or how awesome
> your source language and compiler are, JavaScript today will never
> reach this richness of UI.   Look how big and snappy the Flash data
> grid example is.  (I love how slow the silverlight one is so slow to
> load, can anyone say applets? sorry couldn't help it...)

The flash version is indeed snappy by comparison, but it's kind of a 
rigged game. The silverlight version it needs is an alpha, and they'll 
have plenty of chances to iterate. I don't think this demo is a dig 
against ES3 in any way. Indeed, we can do better than the Silverlight 
example without resorting to plugins of any variety:


for locked columns and virtual scrolling:

For full effect, try it on Safari 3 or a recent Minefield/GranParadiso 

If we can get similar performance for tasks like this in raw-browser 
environments (on today's ES3 implementations), then biting off the 
entire rendering phase is absolutely the wrong problem to solve. Your 
example points out to me not that having a better VM's 
that the level of effort to get to a UI which is completely 
inappropriate on my Mac is tremendously high ;-)

[ snip ]

> Salient point:  we should pimp the performance potential of ES4 more
> and label the anti-ES4 crowd as performance-haters which I don't
> think is far from the truth.

This strikes me as both dangerous and wrong. That many of the folks 
railing against ES4 are using weak arguments doesn't seem to me to be a 
green light to do the same in favor of the new language.


Alex Russell
alex at     A99F 8785 F491 D5FD 04D7 ACD9 4158 FFDF 2894 6876
alex at BE03 E88D EABB 2116 CC49 8259 CF78 E242 59C3 9723
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