JavaScript 1.3 Overview, Part I: ECMA Standard - Doc JavaScript | WebReference

JavaScript 1.3 Overview, Part I: ECMA Standard - Doc JavaScript

ECMA Standard

Netscape chose ECMA for standardizing JavaScript. The company relies on a non-commercial international standards body to drive the standard around Netscape's own implementation of the scripting language. The standardization of JavaScript means that a JavaScript code will behave in the same way on all applications that support the standard. JavaScript is constantly improving, luring more and more applications to adopt it as their scripting language. Identical behavior across multiple platforms is also an objective of this standardization.

ECMA completed its first specification, ECMAScript, in June 1997. It is defined as "an object-oriented programming language for performing computations and manipulating objects within a host environment." ECMAScript (ECMA-262 standard) was recently approved by ISO. Note that there are other standards bodies, such as W3C. The Document Object Model (DOM), for example, defines the way in which the HTML document objects are exposed to a JavaScript script. It is currently being standardized by W3C.

Netscape heavily influenced the ECMA standard. The 1997 specification is based on JavaScript 1.1. Netscape released JavaScript 1.2 in Communicator 4.0-4.05, adding some features to the JavaScript language which were not considered by ECMA. As the ECMA standard evolved, it became incompatible with JavaScript 1.2. JavaScript 1.3 resolves this inconsistency and adds new features which are under consideration for next version of ECMA standard. Some powerful features of JavaScript, such as support of regular expression, are still missing from the ECMA standard. Netscape intends to keep JavaScript ECMA-compliant, extending the standards with additional features that will eventually be adopted by ECMA.

Created: September 14, 1998
Revised: September 14, 1998