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ECMAScript

ECMAScript

In 1996, Web developers began to complain that Netscape was going in one direction with JavaScript, and Microsoft in a somewhat-compatible but different direction with JScript. Nobody likes to have to code pages to handle different dialects of JavaScript, or have their code work in one browser, but not another. Developers wanted a standard. So Netscape went to an international standards body called ECMA and submitted the JavaScript language specification to them, and Microsoft threw in their own comments and suggestions. ECMA did whatever it is that standards bodies do and in June of 1997 produced a standard called ECMA-262 (also known as ECMAScript, a term that just dances off the tongue). This standard closely resembles JavaScript 1.1, but (sigh) is not exactly the same. If you're interested in reading the official ECMAScript specification, you can download it from http://www.ecma.ch/stand/ecma-262.htm.

Microsoft claims that Internet Explorer versions 4.0 and up are ECMAScript-compliant, along with some extra, proprietary features that are specific to MSIE. So as long as you write ECMAScript-compatible code, it should run just fine under MSIE and probably Netscape Navigator 4.0 and later. But you should always test your code with different browsers, platforms, and versions just to be sure.


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