I also dared to ask him a question about ES6 and I would like to better explain the reason of that question.
I have 99 problems in JS, syntax ain't oneI don't know who said that but I completely agree with him.
Here the thing: one of the main ES6 aim is to bring new, non breaking, shimmable, native constructors such StructType, ArrayType, and ParallelsArray.
We have all seen a demo during Brendan presentation and this demo was stunning: an improvement from 3~7 to 40~60 Frames Per Second over a medium complex particles animation based, I believe, on WebGL.
These new native constructors are indeed able to simplify the JS engine job being well defined, known, and "compilable" runtime in order to reach similar C/C++ performances.
These new constructors can also deal directly behind the scene, without repeated and redundant "boxing/unboxing" or conversion, with canvas, I hope both 2d and 3D, and images.
All of this without needing WebCL in the middle and this is both great and needed in JS: give us more raw speed so we can do even more with the current JS we all know!
I Have Been There AlreadyI am Certified ActionScript 2.0 Developer and back at that time, Adobe bought Macromedia and before Macromedia changed the ActionScript language 3 times in 3 years and a half: insane!!!
The best part of it is that everything that was new and not compatible anymore with ActionScript 1, syntax speaking, was possible already before and with exactly same performances: the SWF generator was creating AS1.0 compatible bytecode out of AS2.0 syntax
AS 2.0 was just sugar on top indeed but it was not enough: in order to piss off even more the already frustrated community, ActionScript changed again into something Javaish ... at least this time performances were slightly better thanks to better engine capable to use types in a convenient way.
Back in these days, the ActionScript 3.0 community is simply renewed and happy ... now, try to imagine if tomorrow Adobe will announce that ActionScript 4 will be like F#, a completely different new syntax, that most likely won't bring much more performances, neither concrete/real benefits for the community or their end users.
Is this really the way to go? Break potentially everything for the sake of making happy some developer convinced that -> is more explicit or semantic than function ?
CoffeeScript If You WantAs somebody wrote about W3C, why even waste time rather than focus on what is truly needed ?
We all know now how to create our own syntax manager, and many developers are using CoffeeScript already and they are happy ... do they need ES6 sugar? No, they can use CoffeeScript, isn't it? Moreover ...
The day ES6 will be CoffeeScriptish the CofeeScript project itself will probably die since it won't make sense anymore.
The day ES6 will be CoffeeScriptish all our experience, everything written about JS so far, all freaking cool projects created, consolidated, and used for such long time demonstrating these are simply "that good" won't be recyclable anymore.
Also, how should we suppose to integrate for cross browser compatibility, the new JS for cooler browsers, and the old one for "not that cool yet" browser?
Continuous IntegrationSCRUM teaches us that sprints should be well planned and tasks should be split down in smaller tasks if one of them is too big.
What I see too big here is an ECMAScript milestone 6 which aim is to include:
- the performances oriented constructors, the only thing truly needed by this community now
- the block scoped let, generators, destructured stuff + for/of and pseudo JS friendly sugar that can be implemented without problems in CoffeeScript
- the class statement, over a prototypal language we all love, plus all possible sugar and shortcuts for the function word, once again stuff already possible today but if truly needed, replicable via CoffeeScript
Is it really not posible to go ES 5.3 and bring what's needed with as much focus as possible on what's needed so that the community can be happy as soon as possible and think about what's not really needed after?
Wouldn't this accelerate the process ?
As SummaryMr Eich, it's your baby, and I am pretty sure you don't need me to feel proud of it. It's a great programming language a bit out of common schemas/patterns but able to survive for years revolutionizing the World Wide Web.
It's also something "everything can fallback into" and I would rather create a Firefox extension able to bring CoffeeScript runtime in every surfed page as long as we can have intermediate releases of these engines, bringing one step a time all these cool features but prioritizing them accordingly with what is missing.
I thank you again for your answer, which summary is: "we are already experimenting and bringing these features in SpiderMonkey ..." and this is great but we are talking about meetings, decisions, and time in the meanwhile to agree about everything else too, specially new syntax.
I am pretty sure that following one step a time we can already have a Christmas present here since I don't see how StructType and ArrayType can be problematic to implement, and eventually optimize later, in every single engine.
In 2013 most likely new powerful CPU/GPU will be able to handle heavy stuff we are trying to handle now ... so it's now that we would like to be faster and it's now that we need these constructors.
I have also shimmed down these constructors already so that incremental browsers upgrades will make these shims useless but performances will be increased whenever these are applied ... a simple example:
var Float32Array = Array, // better shimmed
Int32Array = Float32Array
I use similar code already and on daily basis: it does not hurt much, it works today everywhere, and it goes full speed where those constructors are available.
A whole new syntax incompatible with current specifications could be good and evil at the same time plus it will take ages before every engine can be compatible with it ... we all know the story here.
I am pretty sure I am saying nothing new here and I do hope that Harmony will bring proper harmony between what we have now, what we need now, and what we would like to have tomorrow, using projects like CoffeeScript if we really can't cope, today, with this beautiful unicorn.
Thank you for your patience