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JavaScript at 17
June 1, 2012 6:36 AM   Subscribe

JavaScript at 17 Brendan Eich on the language he initially created in just 10 days in 1995, and on its state now, 17 years later.
posted by Deathalicious (30 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
OH SO HE HALF-ASSED IT
posted by Edison Carter at 6:40 AM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Any chance someone could link to a transcript? Or at least something of the non-SLYT variety for those of us who would actually be interested in reading but are currently trapped behind a corporate firewall that tries it's darnedest to prevent us from these sorts of work-place shenanigans.
posted by Blue_Villain at 6:49 AM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does his post in AskMe make him "MeFi's own"?
posted by zombieflanders at 7:07 AM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does his post in AskMe make him "MeFi's own"?

No. He's in the browser.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:09 AM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can think of at least two things wrong with the name for this language.
posted by the painkiller at 7:22 AM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


the painkiller: "I can think of at least two things wrong with the name for this language."

One of those things is no longer in the name. The language is ECMAScript.
posted by Plutor at 7:32 AM on June 1, 2012


Cool... looking forwarding to this!
posted by ph00dz at 7:33 AM on June 1, 2012


As Brendan says in the talk, “ECMAScript sounds like a skin disease.”
posted by migurski at 7:34 AM on June 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


3 + 3 = 33 FTW
posted by localroger at 7:45 AM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


One of those things is no longer in the name. The language is ECMAScript.

I beg to differ, because I can think of at least two things wrong with that name too...
posted by the painkiller at 7:47 AM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]



No. He's in the browser.


Oh dear, he's just standing still now.
posted by infini at 7:52 AM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


the painkiller: "I beg to differ, because I can think of at least two things wrong with that name too..."

Care to enumerate them?
posted by Plutor at 8:27 AM on June 1, 2012


1.) It has nothing to do with Java.
2.) It's actually a decent OOP language dressed up as a scripting language, so the -script part doesn't make a ton of sense either.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:44 AM on June 1, 2012



2.) It's actually a decent OOP language dressed up as a scripting language, so the -script part doesn't make a ton of sense either.


It's actually an OOP-function hybrid.
posted by KaizenSoze at 9:50 AM on June 1, 2012


It's actually a decent OOP language dressed up as a scripting language, so the -script part doesn't make a ton of sense either.

In those days, "scripting language" was commonly used to refer to many dynamically-typed languages lacking an explicit compile step -- regardless of how they were used. Other examples were Perl, Python and TCL. It may originally have been intended as a pejorative.
posted by Slothrup at 9:53 AM on June 1, 2012


I read that Brendan gave money to an anti-gay-marriage group. I think he's a creep.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:12 AM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read that Brendan gave money to an anti-gay-marriage group. I think he's a creep.

What does it have to do with the state of javascript? or how good of a developer he is?
posted by McSly at 10:19 AM on June 1, 2012


It has everything to do with my ability to show him any respect.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:28 AM on June 1, 2012


OH SO HE HALF-ASSED IT

Well, if the myth of, "I made it in 10 days" is true, he cobbled together an interesting prototype that wasn't ready for prime time, but had some major potential. Who half-assed it was whomever was like, "DUDE SHIP IT! BROWSER WAAAAAAAARS!" that we should all throw pointy rocks at.

That and the fact that a total rewrite of the language wasn't very possible in like 2000.
posted by alex_skazat at 10:29 AM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was just goofing.
posted by Edison Carter at 11:09 AM on June 1, 2012


thsmchnekllsfascists: "1.) It has nothing to do with Java."

Didn't you say you had two problems with the name ECMAScript?

thsmchnekllsfascists: "2.) It's actually a decent OOP language dressed up as a scripting language, so the -script part doesn't make a ton of sense either."

Scripting and OOP aren't mutually exclusive. Python, for instance. Perl, too (although "decent" is really not a word I would use to describe its OO). PHP's OO is just as good as ECMAScript's. (Although I'd argue mixing OO and weak typing is just asking for trouble, which dooms all four of these languages to a certain extent.)
posted by Plutor at 11:50 AM on June 1, 2012


I read that Brendan gave money to an anti-gay-marriage group.

Well, that's certainly disappointing to learn.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:03 PM on June 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've always felt there's something dodgy about JavaScript's OO. It seems less like a language paradigm and more like a kewl hack on mappings. But then, I've always thought C++'s OO was a horrifically shit-tastic hack on structs, so wth do I know.
posted by fleacircus at 12:48 PM on June 1, 2012


JavaScript and NewtonScript were based on the Self programming language, which was the progenitor of a class of prototype-based dynamic object-oriented programming languages.
posted by Jestocost at 1:24 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many days it took to develop NoScript.

Sweet, sweet relief.
posted by WhitenoisE at 1:27 PM on June 1, 2012


It's actually a decent OOP language dressed up as a scripting language, so the -script part doesn't make a ton of sense either.

I'd go with "actually a decent functional programming language" and consider "scripting language" to be far too ill-defined for it to be worth debating whether or not something is one.

Perl, too (although "decent" is really not a word I would use to describe its OO).

OO in Perl today means Moose, which looks to be pretty nifty. And, to bring it back around to Javascript, it inspired Joose.
posted by Zed at 3:56 PM on June 1, 2012


Didn't you say you had two problems with the name ECMAScript?

Nope. I didn't say that. I'm fine with the name ECMAscript.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 5:53 PM on June 1, 2012


Well, that's certainly disappointing to learn.

Agreed. I had no idea. While I respect the work, it will be awfully hard to separate the man. So unfortunate.
posted by purephase at 6:40 PM on June 1, 2012


JavaScript and NewtonScript were based on the Self programming language, which was the progenitor of a class of prototype-based dynamic object-oriented programming languages. - jestocost

Huzzah for Newtonscript! I learned that bugger and used it a fair bit. Fun times!
posted by readyfreddy at 5:27 AM on June 2, 2012


I will just take this opportunity to thank Douglas Crockford for existing. If you program JavaECMAscript and haven't read JavaScript: The Good Parts, then you owe it to yourself to get a copy and read it before you write any more JS.

Also, take a look at CoffeeScript and ClojureScript while you're at it.

Also, fuck Brendan Eich for being a homophobe. Say what you will, a person's actions have an effect on how they and everything they do is perceived--and it has consequences for where they work as well.

Okay, that's all I've got.
posted by dubitable at 7:52 AM on June 2, 2012


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