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04 August 2007

Stuff I Did Not Know, Pt. I

I think I'm going to make this a regular feature of my blog. (Wait... nothing about my blog smacks of regular or consistent, unless you count the fact that I regularly and consistently am not regular and consistent about posting entries. Wait... let's not go there--I could be arguing with myself all day).

Stuff I Did Not Know:

The Javascript language continues to evolve.

Firefox 2 has been out for almost a year. Introduced with Firefox 2 is support for Javascript 1.7. This came as two announcements to me: 1) Wow! Firefox is upgrading its support for Javascript, and 2) Wow! There exists a new version of Javascript!

You can read all about at the Mozilla Dev Center. Enjoy.

What struck me is the way Javascript is growing up. You need a little historical context here... To me, Javascript has always been the little language that could. For years I have been struck that very few people give it the time of day. Sure, it is handy for manipulating your HTML DOMs and doing other funky HTML tricks, but it is also wonderfully expressive and actually VERY FUN to program in.

And keep in mind that it is very accessible [to programmers]. I mean, it is in EVERY Firefox (unlike Python and Ruby, mind you). But very few people give it credit for being what it actually is: a first-rate programming language.

I'm not going to get into the new features--go read up for yourself. But I am glad to see that Javascript continues to grow an mature. Maybe someday we'll have a real Javascript compiler and some Desktop-class apps that do a little more than Konfabulator and Apple Dashboard.