Planning JavaScript 1.9

The feature set for Firefox 3 has long been frozen, and committed – it’s well on its way to becoming a polished browser, at this point. It’s time to start looking ahead, specifically, at the feature set of JavaScript in the next version of the browser.

Traditionally JavaScript 1.X releases (1.6, 1.7, 1.8, and now 1.9) have served to introduce new features into the language that help to pave the way towards its next major release. The size and scope of the features have, generally, varied – the importance of generators and iterators – or let statements – are, arguably, much more than, say, expression closures.

However, since the final feature set for ECMAScript 4 (JavaScript 2) has calmed down, with implementors starting to lay their code on the line, it’s becoming easier to get a full picture of what will be happening in the near future of the language.

A few of us Mozilla folk will be meeting tomorrow at the ECMAScript 4 implementors meeting in Newton, MA to discuss what features, and bug fixes, should be pursued. I have a few that, I feel, are no-brainers like a builtin Function.prototype.bind and a native JSON encoder/decoder.

It’s doubtful that we’ll be able to land too much with this release (we’re hoping to get it out as quickly as possible, post Firefox 3 – so don’t expect too much) but, as always, input is appreciated. At the very least, I’ll be able to let you know where your suggestions lie within the scope of the language. I should have an update after the meeting with a full re-cap of what was concluded.

Posted: April 16th, 2008

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