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The State of ECMAScript 4

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Frank Sommers

Posts: 2642
Nickname: fsommers
Registered: Jan, 2002

The State of ECMAScript 4 Posted: Dec 27, 2007 7:57 PM
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JQuery author John Resig reviews the state of the upcoming version of JavaScript, ECMAScript 4, comparing six ECMAScript engines on the basis of how completely each implements features of the new standard.

ECMAScript 4 is destined to be the next generation of JavaScript, eventually replacing the current version of what is likely the most widely-used programming language today.

The ECMAScript 4 standard itself is still in development, but there are already a large number of new features that the final spec will certainly provide, such as optional static typing, native support for XML, and a combination of object-oriented and functional programming facilities. In many ways, the designers of ECMAScript 4 aimed to fix most of the problems that plagued JavaScript, while also keeping JavaScript's best features, such as higher-order functions and closures.

JQuery creator John Resig has been participating in the ECMAScript 4 efforts, and in a recent blog post reviews the current implementations of the spec.

Predictably, the ECMAScript 4 reference implementation provides the most new features, followed closely by Tamarin, a join VM project between Mozilla and Adobe. Included in the list is the Mbedthis commercial implementation focused on embedded Web servers, as is Mozilla's Spidermonkey, and the Java-based ECMAScript implementation, Rhino.

Resig notes that,

I went through and attempted to compile as many bugs and features as possible, as stated by the ECMAScript 4 specification and double-check them against all the actively-maintained implementations... I think it's fascinating to note that there [are] 3 implementations that already have over 25% of all the new features in the language implemented.

If you've looked at the ECMAScript 4 language, what new language features do you like the most?

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