back to article JavaScript shogun deflects Google's mid-air Dart attack

Google might be pressing on solo with JavaScript-killer Dart, but those backing JS reckon their language - while not perfect - will thrive for another 25 years. Allen Wirfs-Brock, editor of the ECMAScript 5 standard, thinks JavaScript will expand beyond its web stronghold, thanks to the use of browsers to run apps in a dawning …


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  1. Turtle


    "ads'n'search giant"

    Or, let's say, "surveillance 'n' datamining giant" or "content-stealing 'n' copyright-infringement giant". Or "stalking 'n' tracking giant". Well you are free to think up as many more as you want for whatever the context requires.

  2. DrXym Silver badge

    Shades of VBScript

    Microsoft used to be at the receiving end of a good kicking for pulling this crap with Internet Explorer. They'd shove in extensions into HTML and CSS as well as new tech VBScript, ActiveX, VML etc. in order to pollute the web and tie it to their own browser.

    And now we see Google doing the same with the likes of Dart, PNacl, WebM and so on. They should be receiving an equally large kicking for what they are up to.

    The excuse that some of the tech is open source doesn't really cut it either since it will still result in Chrome being the reference implementation and other browsers playing continual catchup. There are perfectly good standards bodies that Google can submit to if they want to see their tech adopted without shoving out some half baked standard and expecting others to jump when they say so.

    1. James Cooke
      Thumb Down

      Re: Shades of VBScript

      The difference is that Chrome isn't the defacto leader and monopoly in web browsers or any of the fields you've mentioned.

      That makes this an innovation - whether it is any good or not is by-the-by. Javascript isn't essential to HTML5 and if Google can make Dart completely open and it's better than JS then why shouldn't people adopt it?

      What Microsoft did was wrong and damaging because it forced everyone else to write things broken as IE was what by far the majority used and doing anything else was commercial suicide.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Shades of VBScript

        "...if Google can make Dart completely open and it's better than JS then why shouldn't people adopt it?"

        Er, because they don't have to?

        Because they'd have to write everything twice, once in Dart for Chrome and once in JS for every other ruddy browser?

        Because if it ain't broke you don't bloody fix it?

        The only way this'll take off is of Google do a Microsoft, leverage Chrome's user base and rip JS out of Chrome, forcing the use of Dart. Trouble is that MS only got away with it by dint of being the only game in town at the time. These days all that would cause is a massive exodus from Chrome to FF, IE, Safari, possibly even Opera.....

        1. Tinker Tailor Soldier

          Re: Shades of VBScript

          Except that Dart cross-compiles to JS. So, you don't really have to implement everything twice. If the Dart VM does end up being significantly faster than JS, then, there might be a significant win in getting the performance benefit where Dart is available.

          No ripping of JS out of Chrome required. Either JS VMs catch up in performance, or eventually other browsers adopt Dart because it really is faster and then don't want web apps to suck on their browser compared to chrome.

        2. Tom 13


          Except of course that isn't what Google is doing and so far shows no indications of doing. In fact, as the article clearly notes, they are continuing to support JS. Maybe on this point they are willing to let the best technology win, because er, well, it is best for Google to support the best technology regardless of from where it originates?

  3. Buzzword

    Reinventing the wheel

    Why is JavaScript being hacked and cajoled into all these contortions, when there are perfectly good languages out there such as Java or C# which support "sandboxes and module loaders, array comprehensions, binary data objects, built-in hash maps and sets, and super-method calls, block scoping, array comprehension, maps and proxy"? Wouldn't it be easier to just take an existing language and plug in the DOM-related functions?

    1. Spearchucker Jones

      Re: Reinventing the wheel

      That's how JavaScript started. You suggesting we push for C#Script?

    2. Alan Bourke

      Re: Reinventing the wheel

      Because JS requires a lot less syntactical faffing.

    3. Tinker Tailor Soldier

      Re: Reinventing the wheel

      Java - because Sun and then Oracle really messed up by locking the language down to the extent that no-one can really leverage it for a client platform well. If you think MS were alone on this, witness Dalvik and android.

      C# - because its from MS, basically. Not that I have an inherent bias against MS technology and certainly C# is what Java would be if Sun had bothered to continue developing it, but because the rest of the planet doesn't necessarily hold this view.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reinventing the wheel

      "java or C#" does not belong in the same sentence as "perfectly good", unless "perfectly good" in this case is a euphaism for "steaming pile".

      If you're going to take a language for the web, then take on that's vendor neutral ( and no Mono does not make C# vendor neutral ). Python springs to mind here.

  4. MamaMiaaa

    There is a *fixed* JavaScript implementation available already...

    ...And it's called CoffeeScript. Best of all, it's all JavaScript underneath, so you can use tomorrows technology today :)

    Fail cause Google barked up the wrong tree.

    1. Benny

      Re: There is a *fixed* JavaScript implementation available already...

      By fixed, I assume you mean exactly the same, only with a different coding structure that makes reading it damn hard, and debugging near impossible? (Unless they have fixed the debugging since I last looked at it)

    2. Aaron Em

      What the Christ?

      God knows why I'd want Haskell, but if I do, I know where to find it.

  5. David Dawson

    Functional versus Object Oriented

    Broad goals for Harmony are modularity and better abstraction capabilities. There's a discussion about whether JavaScript should be a functional or Object-Oriented language and also a debate about how permissive the language should remain and about security.


    Neither, Javascript is already a prototype based language (read up on Prototype languages before contradicting me please).

    Do I get a prize?

  6. Ottman001

    In order to continue to be effective in my job as a code monkey, I constantly need to learn new things. That could either be enhancing my understanding of the technologies I already use or learning new technologies. Which ever it is, I'm always reading a book or a web site just to keep up.

    I try to avoid getting bogged down learning dead end stuff which will probably mean that I am not learning something I really should be learning. Dead ends are unlikely to reward me for the effort and will probably result in my re-writing a substantial amount of code.

    My present major concern is the Windows desktop platform. Will it survive this decade in a recognisable form? I have a lot of coding invested in that platform. I'm hearing noises about platforms supporting applications in JavaScript so maybe I am sitting pretty with my existing skill base. Maybe I need to put some real effort into learning Java despite of the fact that I have seen that it isn't nearly as platform neutral as originally intended by Sun. What about Dart?

    If OS vendors are turning to JavaScript, will Dart ever do that? Right now I would not learn Dart. But I never rule such things out. Ultimately, the reason that I am skilled in JavaScript now is its universal and reasonably uniform browser support. And provided you avoid using the crap features, its a reasonable language to work in.

    The real problem in web development is the awful DOM API. If "JavaScript Harmony" helps there, I will most definitely be learning more.

  7. JDX Gold badge

    Will DART be any more successful than Go?

  8. Cazzo Enorme

    Google seem to be a bit schizo. As well as Dart, they have GWT (Google Web Toolkit), which also offers an alternative to the pains of JavaScript coding. GWT does this by enabling developers to code in a statically typed programming language with good tooling - Java - and to then compile down to JavaScript, HTML and CSS for deployment. Treating JavaScript as an execution only language means all the work that's gone into optimising the JS engines in various browsers can be exploited, while the programmer can rely on the IDE and compile time support for Java that catches many of the most frustrating errors that crop up at run time in a loosely typed language like JavaScript.

    1. David Dawson

      I use GWT a lot, and I agree totally.

      The IDE and other tooling support is excellent in Java, with huge amounts of money invested. On any moderately large application, this makes a big difference in managing code and warming developers up quickly (again, on any moderately sized project, you have to plan for some developer churn).

      I don't totally enjoy working in the GWT environment, but I like it a whole lot more than working in a javascript app of a similar size to the biggest one I work on.

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