Any discussion of "compact" subset for mobile devices?

Brendan Eich brendan at mozilla.org
Fri Mar 21 12:50:21 PDT 2008


On Mar 21, 2008, at 7:11 AM, ToolmakerSteve98 wrote:

> "Brendan Eich" wrote:
>> That's not the web, sorry. JavaScript is and will remain a web source
>> language for the foreseeable future. The Ecma TG1 (now TC39) group
>> charged with maintaining and improving its standard is not going to
>> throw it out and require a CLR-like VM and standardized interchange
>> bytecode. Nor are web developers going to switch horses (really, ride
>> both old and new horses) like that in significant numbers, from what
>> I can see.
>
> Having thought this through, I am sorry to say that based on my  
> experience
> over the past 25 years, that would be a better solution than where  
> we are
> headed.

This solution has existed for a while with ActionScript targeting  
Flash. It has had successes for sure, but it's not yet taking over  
the Web. I see Silverlight going not quite as hard toward offline  
compilation, rather handling source-loaded script including Python  
and Ruby dialects. Again, I suggest you are looking backward too much.

In any event, no standard body is yet set up to foist new, VM- 
agnostic intermediate code and pre-compilation on JavaScript  
programmers. It's a non-starter in Ecma, and since you mentioned the  
w3c, even more of a non-starter there. The difficulties include IPR  
around VMs and bytecode formats, different trade-offs among existing  
VMs, developer hostility to the edit-compile-download-debug cycle,  
and complexity in dealing with a distributed compilation/execution  
pipeline.

/be




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