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Mozilla and Microsoft Battle Over JavaScript

Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich, creator of the popular scripting language ECMAScript, better known as JavaScript, and Microsoft's Chris Wilson, platform architect of Microsoft's Internet Explorer platform team, are trading heated rhetoric over the proposed next version of the language. Microsoft, whose own version of JavaScript is called JScript, is quibbling with the ECMAScript Edition 4 effort, which is supported by Mozilla, maker of the Firefox browser. "As I've frequently spoken about publicly, compatibility with the current web ecosystem -- not 'breaking the Web' -- is something we take very seriously," Wilson wrote on the Internet Explorer team blog this week. "In our opinion, a revolution in ECMAScript would be best done with an entirely new language so we could continue supporting existing users as well as freeing the new language from constraints."

Eich charged in turn that Microsoft's arguments are self-serving. "At best, we have a fundamental conflict of visions and technical values between the majority and the minority," he wrote. "However, the obvious conflict of interest between the standards-based web and proprietary platforms advanced by Microsoft, and the rationales for keeping the web's client-side programming language small while the proprietary platforms rapidly evolve support for large languages, does not help maintain the fiction that only clashing high-level philosophies are involved here."

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