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

Thomas Reilly treilly at adobe.com
Tue Oct 30 13:19:51 PDT 2007

Its the es4 "discuss" list, I think the "technical discussion only" is
probably overly restrictive, there's lots of subjective judgements
involved in evaluating languages.   We just want to hear workable
feedback and "it has too many features" or it has many good features
that won't work well together isn't particularly helpful.   What
features would you drop?   What problems arise when exactly which
features are combined?  

Why do you think Java 1.5 is worse than 1.4?  That may be relevant given
the overlap between the languages.  We write a lot of Java around here
and we generally prefer 1.5.  Our ActionScript3 compiler is written in
1.5 even though to meet our customers needs we had to write a class file
"downgrader" to be able to run the compiler on older jvms.  We also use
a lot of python and that's probably evident in ES4, personally I wish
ES4 could have the indent scoping feature but that got shot down long

So don't feel limited to technical discussions, just help us out by
adding some meat to your criticisms.  It would also help if you could
get all the extremely good programming language folks you met with at
OOPSLA who hate ES4 and feel they are being oppressed by this runaway
train wreck of a standards process to voice their concerns.  Sounds
horrific!  Can't imagine how those feelings got scared up ;-)  Well its
good that people care, they should, but obviously we don't want to steam
roll anyone and would like to hear from them, oppressed or otherwise.

-----Original Message-----
From: es4-discuss-bounces at mozilla.org
[mailto:es4-discuss-bounces at mozilla.org] On Behalf Of Mark Miller
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 10:49 AM
To: Chris Pine
Cc: zwetan; es4-discuss at mozilla.org
Subject: Re: [TLUG]: ECMAScript ("Javascript") Version 4 - FALSE ALARM

On Oct 30, 2007 10:13 AM, Chris Pine <chrispi at opera.com> wrote:
> Yes, I read that.  I am extremely doubtful that Microsoft is suddenly 
> so concerned about browser compatibility for the benefit of the web.  
> (When IE passes the Acid 2 test, let's talk again.)
> It's nice that MS has constructed this document identifying browser 
> differences.  But frankly, this is too little, too late.  We are 
> painfully aware of the significant differences.  Suggesting that we 
> all sit down and strive to fix every last trivial discrepancy under 
> the guise of "browser compatibility" is manipulative and, from a 
> business standpoint, absurd.  It is an unnecessary task that would 
> never be completed.
> In essence, it is just another stalling tactic.

When I raised non-technical points critical of the ES4 proposal, people
rightly shot back with a "technical discussion only!" response, which
I've respected. Since then, most of the traffic on the list has been
non-technical criticisms of the critics of the ES4 proposal. Much of
this traffic, such as the message I quote above, continues to speculate
about the motives of others, rather than engaging with what they are
saying. My comments, which provoked so much response, contained no such
speculation. I can only conclude that, on this list, the injunction
"technical discussion only!" should be interpreted as carrying the
additional clause "unless you agree with us."

Text by me above is hereby placed in the public domain

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