How stan­dards are made

Web Designer - - Javascript: What’s New? -

The ES2015 spec­i­fi­ca­tion added too many new fea­tures in one go. It was hard for browsers to ship its fea­tures in a timely man­ner. As a re­sult, the process for adding to the stan­dard changed. From now on, the fea­ture would need to pass the TC39 process. But what is the TC39 process? The TC39 com­mit­tee is a group of browser ven­dors and prom­i­nent in­dus­try fig­ures that meet ev­ery couple of months to dis­cuss Ec­mascript along with any pro­pos­als to change it. Ec­mascript is a gen­eral-pur­pose lan­guage stan­dard that Javascript ad­heres to. There are five stages of pro­posal rang­ing from 0 to 4, with var­i­ous cri­te­ria they must meet be­fore ad­vanc­ing to the next level. Stage 0 – or ‘straw­man’ – is the start­ing point for all pro­pos­als. There is no re­stric­tion on what can be sub­mit­ted, but to get any fur­ther there must be a vi­able rea­son for its ad­di­tion. Stage 1 – ‘pro­posal’ – re­quires a strong enough case for the pro­pos­als in­clu­sion along­side a work­ing demo with a poly­fill. At this point it would be cham­pi­oned by a mem­ber of TC39 and have its ben­e­fits dis­cussed with the rest of the com­mit­tee. Stage 2 – ‘draft’ – means a pro­posal is gain­ing trac­tion. At this point, a roughly com­plete spec­i­fi­ca­tion for the fea­ture needs to be pro­vided. Edge cases and any lin­ger­ing is­sues are dis­cussed at this point. Stage 3 – ‘can­di­date’ – is where a pro­posal is all but com­plete. It stays in this stage un­til it has ac­cep­tance from all those re­spon­si­ble for up­dat­ing the stan­dard. To move on from here, it needs to have at least two im­ple­men­ta­tions in en­vi­ron­ments such as browsers or com­pil­ers as well as tests to make sure it com­plies to the stan­dard. Stage 4 – ‘fin­ished’ – means the work has been com­pleted and the pro­posal be­comes part of the next year’s stan­dard. From here, im­ple­men­ta­tions will be made in all ma­jor Javascript parsers and ren­der­ers to keep up-to-date. Then you fi­nally get to use the fea­ture for your­self.

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