JavaScript: How Did We Get Here?
Subject:   Who Moves Javascript Forward?
Date:   2001-04-10 04:37:00
From:   caugusti
Response to: Who Moves Javascript Forward?

The lack of a pluggable interpreter is really obvious. One could see JavaScript's star going down slowly because of all these (mostly irrelevant) bugs and magazine's started to ban JavaScript.

On the other hand, I see another important issue -- probably the most important, imho. What really broke the prospects of JavaScript, in addition to all the security flaws, was this so-called "Browser-War". You could see everyone talking about JavaScript once, I don't see another programming language which attracted so many people (non-programmers) because of its promising simplicity. It's only comparable to the Home Computer revolution and BASIC. And what happened? People just abandoned trust in JavaScript and the technologies around. Can you expect to explain the difference of event bubble and capture to a non-programmer. Someone who just wants to enhance his pages in a simple manner as he's used to when working with the Web?

Right now, I'm seeing great prospects for JavaScript. The DOM is here, available for the masses. It's simple and powerful enough to help people navigate through a XMLized world. I just see it everytime I'm teaching JavaScript. People get curious when they hear about this powerful duo of JavaScript AND the DOM, they're curious about write-once-run-everywhere (well, ;-o ).

Enforcing the usage of standards, we can continue the evolution. Opening JavaScript to the masses and pushing it to the critical mass. Actually JavaScript has never been down, it was only slowed down by proprietary and incompatible technologies around it.

Dale, your comment about spiders caught my attention. I always considered this being one of the most natural applications for JavaScript, but, try to create one...

What we need for the future:
- A standard Browser-API for accessing the basic functions.
- A way to plug JavaScripts into your browser without hosting them in a document.
- A standard WWW security model for Web Client applications.
- A pluggable JavaScript interpreter, preferably with some Smart Install option which checks for security updates regularly.