JavaScript: How Did We Get Here?
Subject:   Who Moves Javascript Forward?
Date:   2001-04-07 11:03:51
From:   dale
As Steven points out, JavaScript has seemed to succeed in spite of its shortcomings and the complexity of maintaining fully-compatible scripts.

The problem is the lack of a standard
interpreter in all the different versions
of browsers. It's a shame that the Javascript interpreter can't be replaced as a separate
component -- and upgraded independently
of the browser. That would create the
opportunity to source the interpreter from
a third-party. In the end, Flash, as
a plug-in, has provided a more standardized
interpreter that is not dependent on the
brower vendor.

Is there an open source Javascript interpreter? I read about one written in Java but it was
for stand-alone scripts. It would be interesting to know if there was a way to replace the embedded interpreter with a more standardized Javascript plug-in.

Another strike against Javascript is
that ever since Netscape became a ghost
company, there has been no real owner
or champion of Javascript, no one really
driving the language forward. Maybe
Microsoft is doing that, but I don't think
so. ECMA and a standards process is
not necessarily the way to move a language
forward, and must almost always seem to
define a least common denominator. In short,
I can't see the path that leads to the
improvement of Javascript,
or who might innovate to solve some of its

It's too bad because the browser really needs
a scripting language -- not just to create
a dynamic interface for web sites, either.
The end user needs scripting to automate tasks that are done manually in a browser or to create
useful spiders.

I'd be interested in knowing what more could be done to improve the prospects for Javascript in the future.

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  1. Who Moves Javascript Forward?
    2001-04-10 04:37:00  caugusti [View]

  2. Derrick Story photo Who Moves Javascript Forward?
    2001-04-07 16:05:34  Derrick Story | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

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