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Because ECMAScript turned out to be pretty awesome, and is now the de facto standard on the web.

If you don't like Javascript, your best alternative right now is to make a language that compiles into it. Take whatever "nice" features you want. Here was my crack at it: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2044752

Creating a language that compiles to JavaScript without essentially being an alternative syntax for JavaScript or being agonizingly slow is surprisingly difficult. I'm not aware of a single one. Do you know of any? Your "language that compiles into it" falls into the former category.

Languages like CoffeeScript do fall into the "alternative syntax" category. And things like emscripten (and some others I've seen) probably fall into the latter. If you try to abstract out a traditional VM on top of Javascript, you're likely to get poor results.

As another commenter suggests, though, we have a language like Haxe, which is much more than just an alternative syntax. And GWT does a very good job with Java -- with the exception of some corner cases, it's usually as fast as hand-written Javascript, and often faster because of a great deal of static optimization. The Google Closure compiler arguably defines a different language (if you turn on "advanced optimizations", it only accepts an effectively-statically-typed Javascript variant).

Off the top of my head I know of haXe, York Haskell Compiler. And WebSharper on F# allows you to do some cool stuff.

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