ECMAScript 3 and beyond - the road to "Harmony"

The current ECMAScript specification was completed in 1999 and certainly needed to be updated to reflect today’s web environment and practices. Some participants in the standards process wanted to use what they thought of as a once-in-a-decade opportunity to make some significant changes that they felt would make the language better. Other participants, including Microsoft, were concerned about the ability of the web to “digest” such large changes and favoured a smaller set of revisions. There were passionate and well thought opinions on both sides of these issues and everybody seemed truly motivated by what they thought would be “best for the web”. However, the net effect of the disagreement was to block any real chance of actually achieving an approved revision to the ECMAScript specification any time soon.


Most of these points of disagreement have now been resolved. Rather than re-telling this story, we’d like to point to ECMA's press release and the accompanying white paper that lay out the agreements that have been reached in the ECMAScript technical committee. We think that these agreements set the stage for real progress in advancing standards-based web scripting and Microsoft is committed to being an active participant in making these advances. We want to thank and congratulate our colleagues at Adobe, Apple, Google, IBM, Mozilla, Opera, Yahoo!, and other organizations for working hard to get past these differences in order to find a common path forward for ECMAScript.


Pratap Lakshman

Allen Wirfs-Brock