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Evolution of JavaScript

The Evolution of JavaScript
So far in this book, you have learned about the origins of JavaScript as well as about the imple-
mentations presently in use. This chapter talks about what lies ahead for JavaScript. Since its intro-
duction and the standardization of ECMAScript, JavaScript and derivative languages have been
used in many different programming environments. But JavaScript hasn’t peaked: It’s still grow-
ing and evolving with several interested parties (such as Microsoft and Mozilla) pushing it for-
ward. In this chapter, you learn where the evolution of JavaScript is heading and what this means
to your code.
ECMAScript 4
The future of JavaScript is inescapably tied to the fourth edition of ECMAScript, which has met
with substantial problems since first being proposed.
Technical Committee 39 (TC39), which you may remember as the group inside of ECMA that first
standardized ECMAScript, is still in charge of developing future editions. Like the first edition of
ECMAScript, the fourth edition was first proposed by Netscape Communications, and TC39’s
schedule originally called for its release in 2002. However, issues arose surrounding the clout that
Microsoft had gained on the Web since the first edition of ECMAScript had been standardized.
Microsoft entered its own proposal to TC39 for the future direction of ECMAScript.
TC39 changed the planned release of ECMAScript Edition 4 to the first quarter of 2004, almost two
years later than the originally scheduled release. However, March 2004 came and went without the
release. As of the time of my writing, no indication has been given as to when the next edition of
ECMAScript will be released. All schedules of record still indicate the Q1 2004 date.
Given this lack of direction from the ECMA, the only possible way to investigate the future of
JavaScript is to take a look at the proposal that was sent to TC39 for consideration.
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