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back to article Testing time for updated Javascript standard

A "minimal but needed update" to ECMAScript, also known as Javascript, has been ratified by standards chiefs who have promised greater consistency between browsers. ECMA-262 edition 5.1 packs a number of "editorial corrections" and bug fixes that it promised will make ECMA-262 edition "easier" and allow for better …

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Meh

Greater interoperability between browsers

The "Browser Wars" was how long ago? There still isn't a common standard in all that time? This so-called evolution will work until somebody wants to have an edge, in which case a bunch of system specific things will arrive and, oh look, le plus que ça change.....

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Evolution?

How can you have evolution when three of the major ...(I wont say players as they are more like the kid who takes any ball home when he isn’t allowed to win or just try to pop it) deliberately non-standard compliant 'competitors' have pre-cambrian legacy code they don’t want to loose and by joining in the standards process have managed to slow any gene changes to a point where evolution is almost just a dream.

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Boffin

ECMAScript x.y

While improvements in the language are welcome where necessary, we developers are still left trying to support available browsers.

Quote: "It should therefore come as little surprise that Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla have become keenly interested in making sure their browsers run Javascript with as few problems as possible, in case this puts Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox out of contention among web developers."

True enough, but developers cannot simply use the latest features and publish their web apps with a smile on their face. We're not even safe blindly calling our code 'Javascript'. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2714694/which-javascript-versions-does-ie8-supports makes interesting reading.

Just last week I discovered that IE8 doesn't support forEach on Array objects, so [1, 2, 3].forEach(function(i)) {..} fails horribly. IE8 is going to be around until 2020, from what I heard about the extended lifetime of XP, and given that WinXP (probably) will never support IE9 there are going to be a lot of IE8 browsers around out there for a long time.. and of course IE7.. and we still get a few hundred IE6 hits a month. For now, I will stick to homogenising libraries such as http://dojotoolkit.org to write code that safely supports whatever browser the user is on. dojo.forEach([1, 2, 3], function(i) {..}) and you're done.

Of course, at least IE offers long term stability, unlike Mozilla: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/24/microsoft_attacks_mozilla_on_enterprise/

Good luck to the library developers, then, as they safely implement support for the new while maintaining support for the old.

Must be nice working in an enclosed environment like node.js where your platform guarantees a language implementation and such worries are other peoples' business :)

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Out of contention..?

"It should therefore come as little surprise that Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla have become keenly interested in making sure their browsers run Javascript with as few problems as possible, in case this puts Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox out of contention among web developers. ®"

This is quite the opposite of what it does: We developers don't have the luxury of "This feature isn't supported by IE, we wont support IE - and let that be a lesson to MS!". We support the lowest common denominator of features. If IE doesn't implement a feature, we don't use that Firefox or Chrome feature.

If only the crappest was put out of contention. Oh, to dream...

Cheers,

-Oli

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