Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Nov 2007 23:34 UTC, submitted by irbis
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y Mozilla and Microsoft are in the midst of a squabble over the future of JavaScript, with each side accusing the other of actions which could end up 'breaking the Web'. The two companies each have their own respective versions of the common programming language that is used across the web: Mozilla backs ECMAScript, while Microsoft pushes its own JScript.
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Give it a rest
by Michael on Sun 4th Nov 2007 00:23 UTC
Michael
Member since:
2005-07-01

How many times do we have to hear this kind of rubbish from Microsoft before they get realise we're on to them? Standardized or proprietary? Let me think... hmmm... [scratches beard]... I think I will go with ... the standardized option that anyone can implement thank you very much. If Microsoft want to go their own way, that's just fine, but don't expect anyone to join them. How dumb do they think we are?

Reply Score: 25

RE: Give it a rest
by SlackerJack on Sun 4th Nov 2007 01:33 UTC in reply to "Give it a rest"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Indeed, time and time again we see Microsoft wanting "their" version of a standard not what everyone else addears to. Microsoft's mission is to lock in everyone to their version of whatever it is, sorry but that time has gone since other have got a foot hold in the market.

I'd incline to agree with Mozilla, wonder why.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Give it a rest
by kaiwai on Sun 4th Nov 2007 09:54 UTC in reply to "Give it a rest"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Considering the number who embraced ActiveX - I'd say that there are a good number of dumb people out there, clamouring onto their proprietary technology, then bitching and whinging years later that their wizz-bang internally written web service is glued to Windows.

Reply Score: 16

RE[2]: Give it a rest
by somebody on Mon 5th Nov 2007 00:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Give it a rest"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

Considering the number who embraced ActiveX - I'd say that there are a good number of dumb people out there, clamouring onto their proprietary technology, then bitching and whinging years later that their wizz-bang internally written web service is glued to Windows.

Wow, that's fairly optimistic viewpoint on this topic.

Dumb would actually be good. Reality says this point has to be compared with movie "Dumb and dumber" where developers are later and even that with major portion of lazy factor.

Most of the developers have fetish on easy application/web building. Consideration about formalities like rethinking best option is not the case until the problem slaps them in their face. But, since then is to late to reconsider things, they reinvent the stupidest workarounds possible.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Give it a rest
by segedunum on Mon 5th Nov 2007 13:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Give it a rest"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Considering the number who embraced ActiveX - I'd say that there are a good number of dumb people out there, clamouring onto their proprietary technology,

When Internet Explorer started to get some significant share, Microsoft felt confident that web developers would move to using VBScript in favour of JavaScript and ActiveX in favour of Java or Flash. Thankfully for all of us, that didn't happen on a large scale simply because what was on offer wasn't too good and it was easier just to stick with JS and maintain compatibility with other browsers.

With Silverlight, this is Microsoft's second major bite at the cherry, and they will get as many attempts as they like as long as IE and Windows are the main browser and OS to connect peoples' desktops to the internet.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Give it a rest
by Joe User on Sun 4th Nov 2007 12:24 UTC in reply to "Give it a rest"
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

Microsoft @ it again...Just let Microsoft implement their junk and the rest of the browser manufacturers will go on with ECMAScript (Mozilla, Opera, KDE Team, Apple, etc...). People will develop for ECMAScript as they've always done, and Microsoft will have to follow the bandwagon, especially now that it's lost a fair amount of market shares on the browser market, thank God. Let Microsoft eat its own dog food.

Reply Score: 2

Really fun discussion
by diegocg on Sun 4th Nov 2007 00:25 UTC
diegocg
Member since:
2005-07-08

Microsoft says that radical changes in javascript will "break the web"...and then, they propose to create a completely new language! Of course, a completely new lenguage will be at least just as disruptive as ECMAScript 4 can be, but apparently Microsoft doesn't thinks the same. And they say that Steve Jobs has a strong Reality Distorsion Field!

I'm curious, what will be that "new language" that Microsoft is proposing? Let me guess in my magic ball....something based in .NET? Something related to Silverlight? Who knows, Microsoft only says that they want a "new language", not ECMAScript 4. But then, ECMAScript 4 could be considered as a "new language", couldn't it? It pretty much is a new language in fact. So, if Microsoft wants a "new language", they could have contributed to the development of ECMAScript 4 to make sure it's good enought to become the future's standard. But....they haven't. So...they really want a "new language"? Or it's just that ECMAScript is a standard and not .NET based?

Edited 2007-11-04 00:26

Reply Score: 8

RE: Really fun discussion
by makc on Sun 4th Nov 2007 02:41 UTC in reply to "Really fun discussion"
makc Member since:
2006-01-11

Well...

1) MS are free to implement ECMAScript v4 on .NET
2) Old versions of ECMAScript would compile against a VM anyway in Mozilla's vision.
3) They don't like ECMAScript v4. (Neither me, but I lack a large chunk of the browser market)
4) There are other languages available which can be
used instead of it. (Ruby, Python... )

I vote for Ruby.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Really fun discussion
by butters on Sun 4th Nov 2007 04:00 UTC in reply to "Really fun discussion"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

ECMAScript4 is not a language, but rather a virtual machine architecture for languages to target. The incumbent version can only support dynamic declarative scripting languages like JavaScript, but version 4 adds support for static and/or object-oriented languages. Mozilla's Tamarin VM (source code contributed by Adobe) even supports a Mono-based layer called IronMonkey that provides IronPython, IronRuby, and possibly IronPHP scripting support.

So Microsoft's comments strike me as extremely disingenuous. We aren't talking about a new language, we're talking about giving web developers the option of using a much wider variety of languages. As far as I know, ECMAScript4 is backward-compatible with existing JavaScript/JScript code, so nobody is "breaking the web". I can only imagine that web developers would rejoice at the ability use Python instead of JavaScript.

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: Really fun discussion
by Beta on Sun 4th Nov 2007 12:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Really fun discussion"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Not sure why youíre getting the Tamarin VM muddled up with the language spec.

ECMAScript4 is a language, itís an extension of ES3.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Really fun discussion
by mook on Sun 4th Nov 2007 12:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Really fun discussion"
mook Member since:
2007-11-04

Err, ECMAScript4 is indeed a language. With a reference implementation written in SML/NJ.

Tamarin is the Mozilla/Adobe engine that will end up in Firefox 4 (or whatever; definitely not 3) that will be able to interpret ES4/JavaScript2. Derived from the ActionScript Virtual Machine, it runs things that are in ActionScript Byte Code (ABC).

IronMonkey, from a quick glance at the wiki page, is an attempt to translate things into ABC so they run in Tamarin. While it certainly is going to be in the probable leading implementation of ES4, it's by no means part of the language itself.

For extra fun, there's also ScreamingMonkey to run Tamarin as a ActiveScript engine in IE...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Really fun discussion
by google_ninja on Sun 4th Nov 2007 20:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Really fun discussion"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Wow, once again you have the one comment that is even remotely on topic, amidst a horde of gibberish.

I really don't think this is a good way to go. Having a single language on the net for scripting is a Good Thing for us developers. Imagine if every software house used their own language? Diversity is a good thing in a general way, but web developers have to already be at least proficient at XHTML/CSS/JS/PHP to have a shot at most web jobs. Its bad enough that you already have so many language on the server side. Honestly, the only reason to use something like Python is if you use it for server side scripting already.

Contrary to all the people who find javascript beyond them, and therefor declare it sucks, it is actually a very well done language. If you know any halfway modern c based language, it is incredably easy to learn and work with.

Thats not to say I don't have any pet peeves. I would like to see a more elegant way to reference DOM elements then getElementById and the nodes collections. I would like a way to completely separate script from HTML, the way that using #id lets us totally separate style from it (i know about applying new Function() {}s to DOM elements, but that is kind of hackish). I would like a more intelligent way of declaring objects then assigning properties to a function. I would like XmlHttpRequest to be more streamlined and standardized, with a good framework of helper methods built around it. I would like a way to implement namespaces, because a library without encapsulation is kinda dumb.

All that to say that working with javascript is far form a chore, and I would much rather if ES4 improved the existing language, then added even more requirements for someone to be a good web programmer.

Reply Score: 1

v No standard Java anything
by Arkansas_Rebel on Sun 4th Nov 2007 00:45 UTC
RE: No standard Java anything
by segedunum on Sun 4th Nov 2007 01:35 UTC in reply to "No standard Java anything"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

No different than installing Java in your web-browser in Linux lets say Fedora the version in it and the RHEL5 OS's are GNU branded. Then you download 'Sun's version' of Java and it is under a different license.

Except this isn't about Java, and JavaScript is in no way related to Java. This is about JavaScript (in general).

Reply Score: 11

Hello, We're Microsoft...
by segedunum on Sun 4th Nov 2007 01:34 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

...and we would like to tell you about all the exciting ways in which we are enabling web technologies today through Silverlight! At this point in time we do not believe ES4 to be the right solution for an awful lot of bogus reasons we have come up with off the top of our heads, including the fact that it will break everything, but we do propose that you rewrite everything with Silverlight. We are currently engaging in a bogus campaign against the ES4 process, mostly by telling everyone that we are locked out of the process and that it isn't open. Many of the tactics we used with ODF and OOXML will come into play here. When someone comes up with a blunt question we can't answer, we'll play the victim again.

I'll be blunt though. Microsoft has a huge installed base of Internet Explorer through Windows, and it is only Firefox, and Safari to a lesser extent, that have made web developers sit up and take notice of alternative browsers. That will not last forever because nothing is being done about the status quo, and Microsoft will eventually get their way. Moonlight and an illegitimate port of Silverlight to the Mac will be used until Silverlight has attained enough of a critical mass, and then the dominant implementation of Silverlight (since that's what everyone will follow) will then start making incompatible changes and use Windows specific technology that will lock out the Mac and other platforms. It's a well, well worked formula.

Apple will do nothing about this, because they are clueless, and will depend on Microsoft licensing them the technology needed as they depend on Office for the Mac today. For other platforms, the one piece of compatibility that they could reasonably depend on, the web, will suddenly not be open to them. Make no mistake, that's what Microsoft wants and they've been on a long road to get there.

Solution? Come up with a workable alternative server and desktop OS and get it out there. The clock's ticking.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Hello, We're Microsoft...
by Almafeta on Sun 4th Nov 2007 02:16 UTC in reply to "Hello, We're Microsoft..."
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

will then start making incompatible changes and use Windows specific technology that will lock out the Mac and other platforms. It's a well, well worked formula.


Yes, because even if Microsoft were to pull such a boneheaded move, the binaries based on a reverse-engineered .NET developed by a completely independent set of developers with a completely independent sent of code with its own unique development toolset, none of which are Microsoft-controlled, will magically stop working.

'Well worked formula?' I think 'dead horse conspiracy theory' were the words you were looking for.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Hello, We're Microsoft...
by segedunum on Sun 4th Nov 2007 12:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Hello, We're Microsoft..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, because even if Microsoft were to pull such a boneheaded move, the binaries based on a reverse-engineered .NET...

You seem to be ignorant of the fact that .Net depends on an awful lot, and will depend an awful lot more, on Microsoft and Windows specific technology that will be exceptionally more difficult to reverse engineer.

...none of which are Microsoft-controlled, will magically stop working.

If and when web developers start using successive versions of Silverlight where successive versions of Windows Media, DRM and other Windows specific technology is used, yes, I'm afraid it will stop working.

I'm astonished that some people out there still cannot get this concept through their thick skulls.

'Well worked formula?' I think 'dead horse conspiracy theory' were the words you were looking for.

You seem to be blissfully ignorant of the last 20 years or so. Feel free to do some Googling and find out about how Microsoft have continually operated regarding standards during that time, otherwise, just don't comment and show your ignorance.

Reply Score: 11

...
by asdx24 on Sun 4th Nov 2007 01:34 UTC
asdx24
Member since:
2007-05-17

f--k MS

Edited 2007-11-04 01:35

Reply Score: 1

RE: ...
by raver31 on Sun 4th Nov 2007 10:43 UTC in reply to "..."
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

hmmm, not a constructive argument, but you did manage to get the point across. So to speak.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ...
by Rehdon on Sun 4th Nov 2007 10:49 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Rehdon Member since:
2005-07-06

Was going to mod this down because of "offensive language" but it sort of shows an auto-censuring inclination. And, honestly, I can't dismiss it as completely "off topic" either ...

Rehdon

Reply Score: 2

Meh
by Almafeta on Sun 4th Nov 2007 01:59 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

Either way, it's not like we'll win. And it's not like anyone will stop using the first two notable scripting languages (original Javascript or VBScript), regardless of what 'new and improved' versions come out later.

I mean, the selling point of Javascript was always that it was a standard that had been worked upon and agreed to by both sides of the browser wars...

Edited 2007-11-04 02:08 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Meh
by digital.alterego on Sun 4th Nov 2007 13:10 UTC in reply to "Meh"
digital.alterego Member since:
2007-11-04

don't throw in the towel! adobe want's to push ES4 as the allround scripting language for the web, including flash.
so if adobe ships the ES4 enginge with flash (ScreamingMonkey for IE), the market share is almost at 100% percent. i think brendan eich chose a very wise strategy dealing with the issue. ScreamingMonkey will put a *lot* of pressure on MS.
clearly it's not the solution of all problems, because many (X)HTML bugs and inconsistencies remain in IE, but it's a big leap forward.

Reply Score: 1

It's dead technology anyway
by dwave on Sun 4th Nov 2007 03:49 UTC
dwave
Member since:
2006-09-19

Client-side scripting is and has always been a burden. It is by definition insecure, unreliable and (mostly) useless.

Client-side scripting is mud hole with a dinosaur's graveyard in it. We should pull out of there because it was a mistake to enter it in the first place.
It is dead technology that only sees a short hype now during these fancy Web 2.0 things that add nothing worthwhile.

Perhaps this is just wishful thinking but for me it worked: I avoided client-side scripting altogether since a couple of years now, putting all efforts in server-side functionality, saving my customers and myself a lot of trouble.

So whatever it will be, ES4, or just a dysfunctional Windows-only trainwreck - I will find ways to avoid it without anyone really missing anything.

Reply Score: 4

RE: It's dead technology anyway
by Moochman on Sun 4th Nov 2007 16:34 UTC in reply to "It's dead technology anyway"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Thank god not everyone thinks like you. I for one am glad to finally be seeing the end of constant page-reloads every time I click the simplest drop-down list.

Sure, your job as admin might be easier, but my position as end-user ends up getting crapped on, since everything interaction I make is as slow as the internet itself.

There's a reason Flash became popular. Here's a hint: it's not slow as mud.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: It's dead technology anyway
by Matzon on Sun 4th Nov 2007 19:59 UTC in reply to "RE: It's dead technology anyway"
Matzon Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, flash IS dead slow. It's fast to load - but thats about it.
It's vector graphics, albeit nice, is really really slow. Especially those god awful banners that thing that LOTS of gradients and alpha blending is the way to go.

Reply Score: 1

Johnbon
Member since:
2007-04-14

If one is smart there is only one way to go .. that is to go with Mozilla and its prevailing choice ... keep things open .. dont go the MS lock in way .. look at mono .. how treacherous a way of computing MS really is ... and gnome partly depending on it already probably .. we can already start to prepare to say goodbye to gnome .. not so bad for me personally .. i am a kde person anyway .. even more so when kde4 final is available .. summary in short .. Go the Mozilla way .. f--k MS ... with their lock in crap ... use your brains people .. its not the first time MS has tried this ..

Cheers

Johnbon

Reply Score: 1

somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

look at mono .. how treacherous a way of computing MS really is ... and gnome partly depending on it already probably

Now, this is already offensive. Gnome IS NOT depending on mono. Yes, Tomboy is blessed gnome desktop application and that is it.

1. If you're not mentally deficient (your post somehow shows that you are) you might notice that tomboy is not vital application.
2. You can run gnome without tomboy.
3. Write as good application as tomboy and propose it. A lot of developers shares your pain with mono and you might succeed even with much lamer version of note taking than tomboy.
4. depending on C# is not equal to depending on mono or .Net. There is vala.
5. Port tomboy to vala and success is guarantied.

It is time to grow up.

Reply Score: 3

re: ...
by zhulien on Sun 4th Nov 2007 11:00 UTC
zhulien
Member since:
2006-12-06

if Mozilla had any balls, they'd make their own script which MSIE doesn't have.

Reply Score: 0

RE: re: ...
by Beta on Sun 4th Nov 2007 12:24 UTC in reply to "re: ..."
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Mozilla has balls, but they use them to stick with their open web ideas, thankfully.

As for having their own script, they already do ;) MSIE doesnít have JavaScript, it has JScript, which is a slightly corrupt version of ECMAScript anyhow.

Mozilla, Opera, Adobe (and others) are quite happy with the extensions in ES4, so itís likely theyíll be going that way anyway, the only one that wants to cause a fuss is Microsoft, naturally ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: re: ...
by Moochman on Sun 4th Nov 2007 16:39 UTC in reply to "re: ..."
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, they've got their own user-interface-description language, XUL, which is actually a lot more powerful than JavaScript (it's what all of Firefox's extensions, as well as the Firefox GUI itself, are based on). I think at some point Mozilla was trying to get web developers to use it, but it hasn't seen very wide adoption because it's not cross platform. However, we do have quite a lot of Firefox extensions out there, which in many cases take the place of similar AJAX-based web applications. So in a way, Mozilla has already been pretty successful in spreading their own language.

Edited 2007-11-04 16:44

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: re: ...
by rycamor on Mon 5th Nov 2007 17:46 UTC in reply to "RE: re: ..."
rycamor Member since:
2005-07-18

Well, they've got their own user-interface-description language, XUL, which is actually a lot more powerful than JavaScript

"re..." and "RE[2]: re: ...": you're both about as clueful as a deaf bat. First, Brendan Eich *created* Javascript as a Netscape (and later Mozilla) developer. Ergo it IS Mozilla's 'script'. And secondly, XUL is a markup language, not a scripting language. Anyone doing XUL apps (as I do) still uses Javascript to make things happen.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: re: ...
by Moochman on Tue 6th Nov 2007 07:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: re: ..."
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Brendan Eich *created* Javascript as a Netscape (and later Mozilla) developer. Ergo it IS Mozilla's 'script'.

Yes, I was actually aware of this.

Anyone doing XUL apps (as I do) still uses Javascript to make things happen.

Sorry, thanks for clearing that up. I've always been interested in XUL but haven't gotten around to writing any of it myself, so please excuse my ignorance.

Reply Score: 2

Discussion is a bit wider...
by gonzalo on Sun 4th Nov 2007 12:45 UTC
gonzalo
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not only a matter of Microsoft vs. Mozilla, really. The debate involves quite a number of other players which, yes, do have relevance.

Reply Score: 3

here we go again
by trenchsol on Sun 4th Nov 2007 14:44 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

Javascript implementations have just begun to resemble each other in latest browsers, I have started to have some hope. And then, this.....

Reply Score: 2

Mozilla will win!
by Arabian on Sun 4th Nov 2007 17:34 UTC
Arabian
Member since:
2007-01-23

Mozilla should win this battel, alot of users switching to FF instead of lame IE.

Open Source is the way to go ;)

Reply Score: 3

but...
by smashIt on Mon 5th Nov 2007 02:43 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

but is adobe supporting ES4 not already reason enough not to support it?

Reply Score: 1

Microsoft Said It: So It Must Be Wrong
by kramii on Mon 5th Nov 2007 17:00 UTC
kramii
Member since:
2005-07-22

Interesting how few of the posts here address the content of the argument between the two parties.

In the post refered to in the article Wilson clearly states, "Consider the rest of this post to be only my opinion". But, he works for MS. So can he really have an opinion of his own, based technical merit rather than profiteering and politics?

Personally, I think that there is considerable merit in Wilson's views. Sometimes it is better to start again with a new technology than to make a poor attempt to fix-up an old one.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Sometimes it is better to start again with a new technology than to make a poor attempt to fix-up an old one.

There's really no merit in it at all. The JavaScript out there that exists right now still has to work, and ES4 is looking to keep that along with adding the new features that people want to see that will fix past problems.

Wilson comes up with no solution to that whatsoever anywhere in what he writes, and his technical arguments are outright bogus considering that he's never been involved with ES4 - when there's no reason why he couldn't. There is no excuse whatsoever for him not to know and not to be involved.

Reply Score: 3

kramii Member since:
2005-07-22

>The JavaScript out there that exists right now still has to work

I don't think that Wilson ever said that we should dump existing JavaScript support, rather that it should be augmented by a new language.

>his technical arguments are outright bogus considering that he's never been involved with ES4

Also, I don't find the fact that Wilson has not been involved in ES4 at all surprising, as he has clearly stated that he sees little merit in persuing that direction.

Furthermore, non-involvement is not enough to reject someone's opinion as bogus. I have never (for example) been involved in the slave trade, but that doesn't mean my opinions against it are invalid.

Reply Score: 1

Less Bias
by Hae-Yu on Tue 6th Nov 2007 01:23 UTC
Hae-Yu
Member since:
2006-01-12

Wow, biased article headline and lots of uninformed people. Both sides have a great deal of merit to their arguments, none of which BetaNews covered.

Read the Ars Tech article for a less biased viewpoint.
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071102-major-stakeholders-ar...

MS isn't proposing a new language from their house, just anything different. They and their allies do not believe that ECMAScript can be made secure AND backward compatible. That's a pretty reasonable argument.

My take is that Eich has his claim to fame hung on JavaScript and refuses to let it go, even in the face of more powerful (and more secure) languages (Ruby and Python). Why turn JavaScript into a half@55 Python when Python exists?

In fact, I don't see why both sides can't easily reach a compromise, as outlined in the Ars article. MS AND Mozilla are already implementing multilanguage runtimes in their browsers. Problem solved already.

Reply Score: 2