Renaming ECMAScript 4 for the final standard?

Mark S. Miller erights at
Sun Mar 23 20:08:26 PDT 2008

2008/3/23 Lemonade Smith <lemonadesmith at>:
> The proposed ECMAScript 4 standard contains very different paradigms to the
> current JavaScript/ECMAScript standard. In my view, it is the equivalent of
> the changes between C and C++ - it's designed largely to be a revolution
> rather than a mere evolution of the current ECMAScript/JavaScript standard.

I agree that the language design currently known as "proposed ES4" is
about as different from the language described by ES3 as C++ is from
C, and should therefore have a separate name. I have taken this
position publicly on prior posts to es4-discuss.

Further, by separating these efforts into separately named language
efforts, those who favor large statically typed languages and those
who favor small dynamic languages can self select into distinct
efforts. The separate existence of C++ probably helped preserve the
smallness of C for many years. Likewise, Common Lisp probably helped
protect the smallness of Scheme. Both battles were ultimately lost,
but defending these languages from featuritis for a few more decades
was nothing to sneeze at.

> Therefore I would like to propose that ECMAScript 4 (aka JavaScript 2) has a
> different name to minimise confusion and punctuate the difference between
> two languages with fundamentally different design decisions and paradigms.
> [...]
> Has this previously been discussed or is the current name set in stone?

Yes. I've only joined the process recently, but I've seen this argued
about on the list and raised at the EcmaScript committee. From the
tone of the discussions, I gather that these issues had already been
argued about extensively with no hope of consensus. Everyone seems
tired of the argument, and we each know where everyone stands, so I'm
not sure there's much use in arguing further.


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