Adobe’s ECMA TC-39 Involvement

Adobe is supporting, using, and contributing to Web standards, and ECMAScript is no exception. We’re actively building applications and tools built on and for Web technology, and are becoming keenly aware of the strengths and weaknesses of Web technologies for development.  That being said, Adobe is returning to the ECMA committee TC-39. During the week of March 11, Adobe’s Bernd Mathiske and Avik Chaudhuri attended the technical committee meeting. (Our entire ECMAScript team includes language design, type theory, compiler, concurrency and VM experts).

Ultimately, Adobe’s goal is to improve the Web experience for everyone. Making developers more productive is a key means to achieve this goal. One way we’re hoping to help is by improving the consistency of ECMAScript across its various implementations. While we’re aware that in practice, implementation differences come more from browser integration, we also plan to work with browser vendors to improve that consistency too. This will help us to develop better tools and make it easier for us to create our own Web applications.

On the JavaScript front, Adobe brings expertise from areas like ActionScript and Flash, Java, Lisp, OCaml, and other languages.  We’ll use this expertise to contribute to open-source platforms and we’ll do demonstrations of ideas built on existing open-source technology. Eventually, we’d like to see some of this work make it into both open-source and proprietary implementations.

My personal favorite feature that hopefully will become part of ECMAScript 6 is modules. The approach under consideration is highly flexible, versatile, and quite easy to use. It will have a huge effect on making ECMAScript scale to much more complex systems.

We’d like to see a more uniform interface to debugging and profiling data from JavaScript engines, and from browsers and virtual machines in general. We have some exciting ideas and a compelling way of demonstrating them and foresee interest among the other TC-39 participants. We’re researching this now and will start with preliminary specification and prototypes soon.

Performance matters a lot to Adobe, and this might be an area of ECMAScript where we can also help. This is mostly an implementation issue, so we’ll help on open-source implementations too. That also means ideas like asm.js and River Trail are compelling for us, and we’re willing to help with standardization on those fronts too.

I hope this introduction to our ECMA TC-39 participation is helpful and encouraging to TC-39 and the community at large.

John Pampuch
Director, Languages, Compilers and Virtual Machines

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