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

Chris Pine chrispi at opera.com
Tue Oct 30 06:45:14 PDT 2007

Ric Johnson wrote:
> I think the MAIN problem is not technical, but rather political:

Clearly.  Hence the lack of substantive argument against the proposal 
and the recurring issue of the *name* of the language.

> When I went to the Ajax Expereince,  several people commented that
> 1) There was a 'deal' between Adobe and Mozilla

And Opera?  Yes, I am maybe the fourth or fifth person to point this 
out, but perhaps if enough people say it, this can be the last time we 
have to deal with this point.

There is no deal, no secret coalition.  The ES4 work has been open, and 
has been the collaboration of more than two companies, frequently 
competitors.  I think our motivations should be clear:  to improve the 
web.  We have do a fair amount of in-house ecmascript development, and 
ES4-as-proposed is simply a stronger, better language.  As Jeff so aptly 
put it, "a rising tide lifts all boats".

And any concerns about ES4 destabilizing the web are either disingenuous 
or simply ignorant:  no one is more concerned about breaking the web 
than a minority browser vendor.  :)  The ES4 work has been both about 
increasing the programming-in-the-large tools to the programmer, as well 
as increasing implementation compatibility.  We run the reference 
implementation against ES3 test suites to ensure backwards 
compatibility.  When we say "it's backwards compatible", this isn't a 
guess or a hope.

We can't bet Opera's future on guess or a hope.

If you want to continue programming is ES3, and leveraging existing ES3 
code, that will be fine.  But for some ecmascript developers, it just 
isn't enough for the platform the web has become.

> 2) There was not consensus on the new features, but they are being pushed
> through anyway

There has always been a clear majority.  There was never unanimous 
agreement, nor is that necessary.  When you are voted down 8-to-3, to 
say "there was no censensus" is to say "I will not accept that I did not 
get my way".  In my opinion, such an attitude is disrespectful to the 
other members of the committee (personally) and to the standards process 
(professionally).  I would be ashamed if I conducted myself in such a 

Chris Pine
Opera Software

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