[TLUG]: ECMAScript ("Javascript") Version 4 - FALSE ALARM

Mark Miller erights at gmail.com
Sat Oct 27 10:17:15 PDT 2007


On 10/27/07, Scott Elcomb <psema4 at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Walter Dnes <waltdnes at waltdnes.org>
> On Mon, Oct 22, 2007 at 04:04:52PM -0400, Scott Elcomb wrote
>   Not so fast.  See the note on Slashdot Firehose at
> http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=350409
>   Since it's not too long, I'll quote it in its entirety...
>
> > "[...] This seems a little `cloak
> > and dagger` of those running the site, who desire serious changes
> > and are unfortunately Mozilla, Adobe, and others. The concerned
> > individual suggested that they simply create a new language with a
> > new name, as there are that many fundamental differences. Many of
> > us are very concerned that the language we love is being rewritten
> > under our feet."

I was not at the Ajax Experience conference, but I just spent the last
week at OOPSLA. Everyone at OOPSLA I ran into who knows about the ES4
proposal hates it. The general sense is that they think it's a train
wreck. But there's a feeling of resignation: Yet another runaway
standards process to oppress us. The people expressing this opinion
include some extremely good programming language folks with great
track records and reputations.

I have only skimmed the proposed ES4 spec, so I can't yet venture an
informed opinion. However, as a language designer myself, my initial
sense of smell corroborates the consensus I saw at OOPSLA.

I did raise with people the notion that the new larger language be
given a different name. One reason that C managed to stay small is
that all those who wanted to grow it self-selected to grow C++
instead. Likewise, the existence of Common Lisp probably helped
protect the smallness of Scheme. Everyone I mentioned this to thought
this name change would be a good idea, and would help protect the
continued evolution of the language we now call Javascript, i.e.,
EcmaScript 262 Edition 3. Whatever its flaws or virtues might be, the
ES4 proposal is simply a very different language. Please let's be
honest about that and change its name.

-- 
Text by me above is hereby placed in the public domain

    Cheers,
    --MarkM


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