Douglas Crockford – Yahoo
John Resig – Mozilla
Andre Charland – Nitobi
Aza Raskin – Humanized

There is a debate if Javascript needs to evolve, or if we need a large advancement in one version.

Resig
– A gradual step is important, mainly because the browsers just don’t adhere to the specifications that are laid out for them.

Charland
– Gradual is easier to sell and bite off, more likely to bring the community along with it.

Resig
– No upgrade path from ECMA 3 to 4. typeof(null) == object, but will return null. There shouldn’t need to be a significant upgrade between the current and next version of ECMAScript.

Mozilla is committed to providing a JavaScript 2 implementation as soon as possible after its released. Is this quick adoption a good thing?

Resig
-Its not just FireFox, lots of browsers are trying to quickly adopt and push out JS 2.

Crockford
– There will be an ECMAScript 4, but he hopes it doesn’t take the form it currently has proposed. Its to radical. Undoes the goals of the original design. Switches from prototypical to classical, loose to strongly typed. Javascript already won, we don’t need to add some stuff to it to make it the king, its already the lone royal family. We have a huge range of users in JavaScript, copy and pasters, as well as PH.D mathematicians, and we don’t want to leave any of these guys behind.  Version 2 doesn’t have a problem to solve, while persisting the issues of version 1. The two features with the worst performance are eval() and with().

Does mozilla have a response to these problems coming up in ECMAScript 4?

Resig
– It will help development and performance. He generally seems for it.

Browser innovation probably shouldn’t happen, the frameworks should do it. At least then we have cross-browser support. We should rely on the frameworks since we don’t want a repeat of the browser wars which are very disruptive.

Crockford
– The libraries are consolidating, they are beginning to look the same. Maybe in a year after they all converge to one point, we should refactor this logic into the browsers as the methodology has been decided.

Charland
– Agree’s, we have a lot of great libraries but developers need bits from all of them.

Resig (in response to Charland)
– We haven’t had to scramble after each of the latest browser releases. There hasn’t been many new features and there isn’t much that we have had to work around for each of the new browsers. XMLHTTP for local files has an issue so we had to backtrack on that, so they implemented one new feature and it was buggy. (a joke I’m sure)

Resig
– The difference between innovation now and later is that it used to be willy nilly, now we are on a path with some sign-posts.

Raskin
– The browsers releasing new versions gives them an opportunity to improve the browser features not just the DOM or CSS model. So new browser releases are good and we shouldn’t just despise them for possibly breaking new things.

Raskin
– Why do we need to have Javascript turned off? Why isn’t it javascript secure enough that people feel they have to turn it off to be safe? Lets get Javascript there.

Crockford
– There is no other environment where we have to plan for the possibility of our environment not being available.

Do you think there’s space for vendors in the AJAX space?

Charland
– Room for open source and proprietary solutions. Have to be careful what we open source, if they open source to much they may lose all thier income. They still sell ASP 3.0 licences (services he means maybe?) he’s amazed how many enterprises out there are doing creaky old things behind the firewall. Javascript was o`reilly’s subject of choice for books.

Missed question

Resig
– Some companies want to buy software, even though the top 4 frameworks are open source, they still want to pay for the library. Though why not use the library and pay for the support? Thats the dinosaur of corporate world.

If there was one specific thing we can get from MS for IE what would it be? And how would we get that?

Crockford
– The thing I would most like to get from IE is a kill switch. If we could kill IE 5.

Raskin, Charland
– A really good debugger, they NEED a firebug.

Resig
– A bunch of things would be nice, but there’s nothing in particular, I’ll just say a W3C compatible eventing model.

How?

Crockford
– Not quite sure.

Dion
– Google Gears *cough*

Crockford
– I agree, gears has great potential.

Multiple versions of the libraries?

Resig
– We’ve been looking at this strongly. If there is something we can do to make the common code-bases faster, lets do it. Caching javascript libraries in the program by version is a good idea, we’ll see.

Not understanded question, something about Flash, Flex and Silverlight.

Crockford
– We have to fix the web or it becomes irrelevant as a platform. As AIR could take over platform.

Why choose between the meekly supported SVG and Canvas if Flash is everywhere?

Resig
– Most browsers support it, mostly everyone (except ie). And I have been using it a lot.

Raskin
– Its tough for Flash to interact with the rest of the page. Things don’t lay over it well, we can’t script it easily.

Who wrote the ECMAScript 4 spec?

Crockford
– Adobe, Mozilla, Yahoo and Microsoft. The first to support it, the later two oppose it.

Resig
– Probably a better question for Brendon Eich.

Crockford
– I support them creating a new language, but if we are going to do that, don’t screw up Javascript while you do it. Just give us two languages. Goto Ecmascript.com and read the white-paper, then go to where it says participate then join the mailing list.

 If I misrepresented your opinion or misspelled your name please comment away.

4 comments

4 Responses to “TAE: Day 3 – Ajax Futures Q and A”

  1. Rob Sayre’s Mozilla Blog » Blog Archive » ECMAScript4, the Language of the Web Says:

    […] I’m pretty unhappy with this transcript of the Ajax Futures Q and A. […]

  2. ECMAScript4, the Language of the Web · Get Latest Mozilla Firefox Browsers Says:

    […] ECMAScript4, the Language of the Web I’m pretty unhappy with this transcript of the Ajax Futures Q and A. […]

  3. Garrett Says:

    Great JavaScript libraries? Please, show me just one.

  4. Justise Says:

    Whats wrong with JavaScript libraries?

    If your talking relative, they are insane compared to what we had several years ago. And if your not, they are still darn helpful.