What is ECMAScript?
Most articles on sites like DailyJS will refer to ECMA-262, ECMAScript 3, and ECMAScript 5. We usually abbreviate these terms to ES3 and ES5.
- ECMA-262 is the name of the specification, of which there are five editions
- ECMAScript 3 (or ECMA-262, edition 3) was published in December 1999, and was supported by Netscape 6 and IE 5.5
- ECMAScript 5 (or ECMA-262, edition 5) was published in December 2009 and is supported by Firefox 4+, Safari 6: ES5 compatibility table
ECMAScript 5 adds a lot of features that we've already started to take for granted: including new array methods like
Object methods like
Object.create, property attributes, function binding, and more.
ECMAScript is still being actively developed. It's tentatively known as ES.next (ECMA-262 Edition 6), and ES.next working drafts can be downloaded from the ECMAScript wiki.
Proposals for the language are collected on the strawman wiki, and discussed in detail by several contributors on the wiki and mailing lists. To keep up with this, I often check the wiki's recent changes and the es-discuss mailing list.
The language will change, and as new standards are made available you'll need to know what your given platform or browser supports.