On ECMA International

Brendan Eich brendan at mozilla.com
Fri May 17 15:21:32 PDT 2013

Andrea Giammarchi wrote:
> I've tried to find something like ECMA constitution or "how things 
> work here" page in what I think is the official ECMA website: 
> http://www.ecma-international.org/
> I could not find what I am looking for, which is an answer to this 
> question:
> Does TC39 make decisions based on majority or unanimity?

We work by consensus (ISO and Ecma both do, in general). Consensus means 
general agreement. Unanimity at every instant is not possible or 
desirable, but by the end of a spec cycle we need everyone to agree.

In human terms, this means some members of the committee may be happier 
than others, but no one is fatally unhappy about anything, or about the 
whole thing.

> I believe it's essential to understand this so that any time there is 
> some discussion in this ML, if some member of TC39 is not 
> aware/involved, we can eventually hold or point the discussion if the 
> answer is: unanimity

You are mistaken. es-discuss is free to discuss things (without 
rehashing, trolling, beating dead horses, escalating to tl;dr -- oops, 
that happened recently :-/) without any concern about how TC39 works, 
unless TC39 has heard appeals and rendered some kind of "final verdict".

We are not inclined to do a "final verdict" often. Never say never. What 
you may have herad, which is not the same thing, is "we're not going to 
revisit for ES6", if not "please stop rehashing."

What is not rehashing, and has been crucially helpful at times: 
re-opening an issue that was settled by ended up with problems someone 
found later, or where there was weak consensus and someone thought later 
of a way likely to get stronger consensus, or variations on those themes.

> Thanks in advance for the answer.

I think you are overthinking things. If es-discuss has to worry about 
Ecma or ISO process too much, everyone loses.


More information about the es-discuss mailing list