Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submitlogin
BrendanEich 1034 days ago | link | parent

You set up a series of straw men based on nothing I wrote. I wrote "Then Dart could come to Ecma as a proposed spec with a single open source implementation."

Nowhere did I say a single word trying to corral Google into a non-evil, artificially held back (you imply) posture of offering only compile-to-JS, with no Dart VM in Chrome. Chrome ships all kinds of non-standard or proto-standard stuff.

Chrome can certainly ship Dart if it floats their boat, and if it is standards-bound, meaning Ecma TC39 bound, then I will not object categorically.

The issue is whether Dart is even a proto-standard, or more a modern VBScript. Get it?

"Now they're evil and anti-open-web?"

Half-right. You put the e-word in my mouth, but yes, some of Google's actions are anti-open-web.

Remember, I'm not the one throwing around slogans about "evil". Do you really need me to quote Uncle Ben in full? The relevant words from that quote are "power" and "responsibility". Google is acting like a monopoly power. Now, being a monopoly is not illegal or evil, it depends on actions. You bet I am objecting to proposed actions in the plan that leaked.

But whether these actions are evil, I leave to others. They are definitely disruptive to Google's standards effort in TC39. The open-standards-based web does not work by following anything like the game plan in the leaked memo.

"As to the MSFT analogy -- I've never heard of any intentions of driving competitors to implement ActiveX or VBScript."

This is not only ignorant, but naive.

We at Mozilla faced pressure to implement ActiveX and ship support for it, starting in the late '90s. Adam Lock did an implementation, still in our source tree (IIRC in chromium.org too). Without ActiveX, plugins were unscriptable until we at Mozilla founded the plugin-futures mailing list in 2004 and co-created NPRuntime with Apple, Adobe, and others.

Good thing we (meaning Netscape, then AOL, which was under pressure) didn't cave and ship ActiveX support or we would have been on a very long, high-speed treadmill, reverse-engineering hundreds of COM interfaces in IE. But see my earlier comment about the PKI story in parts of Asia.

That's the history. I believe that you don't need to know it in detail to game out how minority share browsers were stuck without a plugin API locked into MSCOM and Windows. Really, what were other browsers to do, without market power to get plugin vendors sinking more cost in a second plugin API? The old Netscape-1.1-era NPAPI did not include scriptability (JS debuted in Netscape 2).

Ok, maybe you did need to know some details, but I still think your use of "analogy" and "I've never heard" are naive.

As for VBScript, MSFT was absolutely trying to make that a de-facto standard, gunning against JS as de-facto standard from Netscape (yes, Netscape was a monopoly at first; not for long). GNU folks even offered to get on the VBScript treadmill and help Mosaic, Netscape, and other mid-'90s browsers support it. Good thing JS came out early enough to choke it off to a few microsoft.com sites.

"Would that ease the objections?"

More straw men. If you don't know what I meant by "consequentialist", look it up. I'm not going to play "how low can you go" if we don't agree on premises, specifically how open web standards are best made, what's wrong with the game plan in the leaked memo, and why monopoly power shouldn't be so eagerly abused.

Being open is nothing like (a) delayed, single-vendor-dominated source code release; (b) sweet-talking or arm-twisting with a big ad budget; (c) hedging one's standards commitments so heavily while tossing fragmentation grenades such as standardizable-only-by-market-power new language VMs into Chrome.



BrendanEich 1033 days ago | link

A bit more detail about ActiveX. What really brought pressure on non-IE browsers targeting Windows was not just ActiveX's support for scripting the plugin from the page's JS -- again that was missing from the NPAPI.

The big pressure started when Microsoft dropped NPAPI altogether. See http://web.archive.org/web/20071016233843/http://www.meer.ne... (September 4, 2001).

Fast forward to today. I'm told that the next Android release, Ice Cream Sandwich, will drop NPAPI support -- this time in favor of Pepper. ActiveX, ActiveG.

Vertical lock-in from plugin to browser to OS to hardware. The 90s -- if not the 80s pre-commodity-PC -- are back.

-----




Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | News News | Bugs and Feature Requests | Y Combinator | Apply | Library | Contact

Search: