Monday, October 29th, 2007
With the release of the overview paper, some have been confused about what the paper really is. Is it the spec? No. Is it an official paper from the TG? No. It is an overview paper.
Brendan Eich wrote back to someone on the open mailing list:
As much as possible, those of us in Ecma TG1 actually working
productively on ES4 for over two consecutive years have made our work
and intentions known by means of this list, the http://ecmascript.org
site, the SML reference implementation, and blog posts and public
talks I’ve given.
In opposition, only Doug Crockford has spoken his mind forthrightly
in the last several months. Good for him (I’ll argue with his version
of the reality elsewhere), but shame on the biggest company involved,
which has not contributed at all in the open, instead leaving people
with wrong impressions about its commitment to ES4.
Many people don’t know where Microsoft stands, knowing only that it
contributed over the years to draft ES4 proposals, implemented a
variant of one such draft specification in JScript.NET, and had one
of its employees (Rok Yu) contributing to TG1 work, with his name on
E4X (ECMA-357) as well as ES3 and the 2003 interim ES4 draft report.
Indeed, up until early this year, the rest of us in TG1 had no clear
statement of dissent from Microsoft. So, who is not dealing
forthrightly or openly here?
To be more fair than the opponents of ES4-as-proposed have been, I’ll
add this obvious reassurance: any organization or person can change
position. Indeed one Microsoft rep confided to me that “we were
asleep!” about what was going on with Microsoft passively
participating in TG1 before this year. So let’s say there was no
duplicity, no playing along with the rest of TG1′s long-standing
work, only to reverse suddenly late in the process.
Nevertheless, standards do not require unanimity, and even Microsoft
loses sometimes. That’s life.
It looks like the community is definitely split on the new release, and I am sure it will get more and more fun as the spec gets released. Read the overview paper and stay informed.