I’ve been reading about Dash – the new language that Google is supposedly making – a lot these days. Today, some more details were leaked. I found it especially interesting. You can find the entire article hereΒ but I’ve pulled some excerpts that struck out to me. Read on.

Javascript has fundamental flaws that cannot be fixed merely by evolving the language. We’ll adopt a two-pronged strategy for the future of Javascript:

– Harmony (low risk/low reward): continue working in conjunction with TC39 (the EcmaScript standards body) to evolve Javascript – Dash (high risk/high reward): Develop a new language (called Dash) that aims to maintain the dynamic nature of Javascript but have a better performance profile and be amenable to tooling for large projects. Push for Dash to become an open standard and be adopted by other browsers. Developers using Dash tooling will be able to use a cross-compiler to target Javascript for browsers that do not support Dash natively.

Then I read the following paragraphs which seems pretty pessimistic about the future of JavaScript.

Future of Javascript State of affairs Building delightful applications on the web today is far too difficult. The cyclone of innovation is increasingly moving off the web onto iOS and other closed platforms.

Javascript has been a part of the web platform since its infancy, but the
web has begun to outgrown it. The web development community has been
backed into using large amounts of JS largely to work around the
deficiencies in the platform. Complex web apps–the kind that Google
specializes in–are struggling against the platform and working with a
language that cannot be tooled and has inherent performance problems. Even
smaller-scale apps written by hobbyist developers have to navigate a
confusing labyrinth of frameworks and incompatible design patterns.

The web has succeeded historically to some extent in spite of the web
platform, based primarily on the strength of its reach. The emergence of
compelling alternative platforms like iOS has meant that the web platform
must compete on its merits, not just its reach. Javascript as it exists
today will likely not be a viable solution long-term. Something must
change.

I think it would be premature to make any judgements on whether Dash is needed or not. I applaud Google for trying to solve the problem in this space, as there definitely is one. We just don’t know what that solution looks like. Looking forward to seeing it develop!

 

Update (11/18/2015): Yeah, Dash wasn’t the solution. Neither was CoffeeScript. Neither is TypeScript. I don’t think you can fight standards. ES6 has won. Standards usuallyΒ win in the end. Β But it was a noble effort, so no regrets.

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