More flexibility in the ECMAScript part? (was: Re: Futures (was: Request for JSON-LD API review))

Tab Atkins Jr. jackalmage at
Wed Apr 17 10:48:51 PDT 2013

On Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM, David Bruant <bruant.d at> wrote:
> I'm also going to ask a pretty violent question, but: does it still need to
> be spec'ed by ECMA? The only argument I've heard in favor of staying at ECMA
> is that some people still find ISO standardization and Word/PDF important.
> Can this be re-assessed? Especially given the recent promise/future mess?
> Other parts of the platform (thinking of DOM, DOM Events, XHR, forgetting
> about HTML5 specifically) have survived to the living standard model with
> success. The rumor on the street is that their latest editor draft of a lot
> of W3C is in HTML format; that would encourage a tighter feedback loop.
> Node.js is becoming more and more popular and I don't believe ECMAScript 5.1
> being an ISO standard is that important for the people interested in Node.js
> (probably even the business-focused ones).
> To a large extent the flexibility I'm asking for is already in place between
> TC39 and implementors (features are prototyped before being fully spec'ed).
> It just needs to be extended to another important consumer of the spec that
> is WebIDL.

Speaking as someone who's been doing W3C work for years, I find ISO
standardization a non-issue, and Word/PDF an anti-feature.  I can't
*stand* the ES draft as it's published today, and rely on the
unofficial HTML version for everything.

I strongly support any efforts to move JS standardization into the
umbrella of the W3C.  I also strongly support any efforts to move JS
standardization to a module-based affair, where parts can level
independently.  I think we've accumulated more than enough evidence
over the last decade that monolithic specs are not the right way to
develop standards for the web.  (The one counter-argument, HTML, is an
important exception to learn from, as it is a monolithic *document*
but a modular and independently-advancing *spec*.)


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