New browser war brewing over JavaScript?

I’ve been getting lots of emails and calls on this, so I know that at least some developers care about the proposal for a new ECMAScript titled the ES4 proposal (PDF). I am still trying to figure out which side to take in this, but from what I’ve been able to learn there are a few sides to this.

1. Mozilla and other browser manufacturers who are trying to push a new version of JavaScript (er, ECMAScript) through the system.
2. Microsoft, who those browser companies see as dragging its feet. Chris Wilson, architect on the Internet Explorer team gives his side of the story. He also wrote a post on the IE team blog. I’ll just link to Chris Wilson’s stuff because he links to plenty of stuff on the other side so you can get up to date on what’s going on.
3. Web developers, who are scared that they are going to have to support yet another version of JavaScript and test their sites on yet another platform.

Where do you find yourself?

Google, last week, told me it was about to announce a ton of things for developers that would be based around JavaScript and CSS. I wonder what it thinks about this conversation?

I’d love to have developers on my show who can explain both sides of this argument to me and also explain what the new JavaScript will do for the Web and for end users, since that’s really who I care about. I don’t have a dog in this fight, so would love to give both sides equal time to explain what’s going on. Anyone game?

UPDATE: Brendan Eich, head of Mozilla, writes back to Chris Wilson about this issue.

59 thoughts on “New browser war brewing over JavaScript?

  1. AS3 is built on ES4. It is a very cool language as is Javascript2 in which it is designed from. Microsoft is seeing the developers cling to this (coincidentally it drives Flash9/Flex3) and the competition is heating up.

    Usually Microsoft just does this to buy some time.

    ECMA4/javascript2 is the way to go. Everything is better the OO, the event handling, smaller scripts, ES4 is also compatible with ES3 so what the deal? The only bad part is it supports getters and setters, why oh why start the bloat? Totally unneeded concept in today’s languages, you can have properties without getters and setters especially client side.

  2. AS3 is built on ES4. It is a very cool language as is Javascript2 in which it is designed from. Microsoft is seeing the developers cling to this (coincidentally it drives Flash9/Flex3) and the competition is heating up.

    Usually Microsoft just does this to buy some time.

    ECMA4/javascript2 is the way to go. Everything is better the OO, the event handling, smaller scripts, ES4 is also compatible with ES3 so what the deal? The only bad part is it supports getters and setters, why oh why start the bloat? Totally unneeded concept in today’s languages, you can have properties without getters and setters especially client side.

  3. Sorry, my bad. I used your point about it being mothballed as the basis for drawing conclusions about Microsoft’s intentions. In retrospect that was probably wrong :(

  4. Sorry, my bad. I used your point about it being mothballed as the basis for drawing conclusions about Microsoft’s intentions. In retrospect that was probably wrong :(

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