[parenscript-devel] Parlez-vous ActionScript?

John Pallister john at synchromesh.com
Sun Jun 24 09:07:14 UTC 2007

Hello list,

While people are discussing future directions for ParenScript, I thought I'd add 
my two cents.

I am developing systems based around XHTML, X3D and Adobe Flex; in all three 
cases we have an XML-syntax language with an embedded JavaScript language. 
Except that X3D uses ECMAScript 2 (which AFAIK is "standard" XHTML JavaScript 
1.x) while Flex (i.e. Flash 9) uses ActionScript 3.0, which is an implementation 
of ECMAScript 262 Revision 4 [1], a.k.a. JavaScript 2.0 [2].

The point is, ECMAScript 4 has a variety of new features (optional static 
typing, classes, interfaces, packages, generators, list comprehensions etc. - 
there's a nice overview at [3]) which aren't currently supported by ParenScript. 
Given that the adoption of ECMAScript 4/JavaScript 2 is a case of when rather 
than if [4], it would be great if any overhaul of ParenScript could be done with 
an eye to incorporating some or all of these features in the near future 
(hopefully by other interested parties such as myself).

The "add a compiler" POV vs. the "keep it simple" perspective echoes the two 
sides of the JavaScript 2 debate. Since these new language features will be 
added (and I'm already using them in ActionScript 3), it would be great if they 
could be added to ParenScript without causing too much inconvenience to those 
who like it the way it is now.

I would like to help out with this task; I might have some time to spend on it 
later in the year.


John :^P

[1] http://www.ecmascript-lang.org/ - includes reference impl. in Standard ML
[2] "ActionScript 3: The Language of Flex. A Conversation with James Ward, Part 
I", http://www.artima.com/lejava/articles/actionscript.html
[3] http://developer.mozilla.org/presentations/xtech2006/javascript/
[4] http://www.mozilla.org/projects/tamarin/
John Pallister
john at synchromesh.com
Wellington, New Zealand

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