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

Kris Zyp kriszyp at xucia.com
Tue Oct 30 09:17:12 PDT 2007

>From a pragmatic perspective, it seems to that the critical goal behind all
of this, is what will bring a better development environment for the future
of the web, and the key to this is what will be broadly implemented. The
choice of the name is of course around this central issue since the ES title
brings such a strong motivitation for implementation. However, if ~10 years
down the road, ES4 is not implemented broadly enough that web developers can
code to it, than it is of signficantly less value. While unanimity is not
needed for a standard to be passed, if the one of the key browser vendors
will not implement it, than how valuable are our efforts? I know that there
are, or will be efforts to provide a Tamarin plugin for other browsers, but
is this really what we are pinning our hope on? Plugins usually don't reach
necessary distribution for developers to rely on them. Or are we hoping that
the ES4 title will be sufficient to get an implementation from every vendor?
I certainly acknowledge that it is insidious that there might a suggestion
to design around one member, but I will still ask, is there any concessions
that can be made to increase the probability that MS would implement ES4 in
the future? Perhaps this has already been discussed, so I apologize if it
has. Does MS have specific issues, or is their dissent simply for the
purpose of avoiding committing to implementation (regardless of the content
of ES4)? Is security one of the main issues? Is it the size and scope of the
language? From what I understand, I think these are Crockford's concerns,
although I don't know if that is true for MS.
I think that if even 25% subset of ES4 was uniformly implemented in all
browsers in 10 years, web developers would be vastly further along than if
the 100% of ES4 was implemented in half the browsers. While unfortunate that
such orthogonal issues could affect language design, and perhaps stifle
innovation, I would like to see what will be best for the future of the web.
Does anybody know if there is anything that can be done to increase the
likelood of full cross browser implementation of ES4? Does anyone know the
issues or parts of ES4 that are causing dissent? Is it the impact of the
size of the language (on security, implementability, etc)?
Apologies for my excessive pragmatism,
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