JavaScr— ECMAScript

Javascript (aka ECMAScript 262) has long been in a love hate relationship with me (along with the rest of the world).

Back in the days of Netscape 4, it was my only method of creating dynamic content. I didn’t have access to flash (nor did I want to rely on plugins). I didn’t have access to a server side language like php. So I used javascript to create my templates. The result was what you can still see to this day on The SMRC.

Ironically, that template implementation might have been great for search engine purposes… but it wasn’t very practical all around.

I continued into the world of DHTML trying to develop my own basic game. I immediately ran into issues with cross browser compatibility (NS4 and IE4 did not get along). However, in the end, I conquered that battle as well, and the result was Mario Battle (still works in IE, but not FF or Chrome).

What I didn’t know until last night, was that while I was developing all of this, there was a standards battle going on behind the scenes with something called ECMAScript.

The standard would be revised soon after I built all this stuff (ECMA 3, 1999) and would result in things like getElementByID (the reason my stuff no longer works in Firefox).

And again, another thing I didn’t know until last night… Was that ECMA for all practical purposes was dying a slow death until someone discovered AJAX. AJAX brought it back to life, such that all the major players started optimizing it. Which brings us to where we are today… With Chrome, IE, Firefox, and Safari, all able to process ECMAScript (JavaScript) at very very fast speeds.

Now add to that, that a new standard emerged last year (didn’t know that either)… All the browsers are making great headway to implementing it… And something I find kind of cool is that IE10 is actually in the lead with following the relatively new standard (EcMA 5, 2009, according to Wikipedia and the insanely large ECMA Test).

So why am I sharing this with you…

Well, I’m considering looking at testing my skill set at writing something in ECMA 5. I’m still a firm believer that JS/ES shouldn’t be used on everyday webpages to make function… But for an App or Game, it makes perfect sense. Or even, something cool like Tumbledry’s Infinite Scroll Feature (Read about his Infinite Scroll).

Alex, if you read this still: Sorry if I caused your cache to go crazy when I generated the entire blog from top to bottom… I have a pretty cool word doc though… To bad it’s 2000+ pages, otherwise I would print it and mail you a copy… Maybe I still will (in 3 volumes). If you want a copy of it, let me know (doc or pdf).

Richard has been working his own ECMAScript project (MOSIM) as well. If I do start playing with my JS skills, odds are it will have something to do with that.

But the real reason I’m sharing this with you, is because I found this presentation on the future of JavaScript interesting.

Who knows if I’ll have time to play around with JS before the baby comes… He’s not here yet.



Comments are closed.