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The ironic thing about this scenario of ActiveX being required by Gmail is that XHR sort of has its roots in ActiveX -- that is, before Mozilla and others had to replicate it to remain competitive.

We reverse-engineered XHR long before it became a big competitive deal, back in the pre-WHATWG XML daze. See


XHR was a good idea. Even choicer irony: MS exposed it to JScript when they gave Java the boot, to keep Outlook Web Access working!

This is sort of what gets me confused:

You say XHR was a good idea, and it's clear now that reverse engineering it and putting it into Mozilla's browser was a good move because it allowed that technology to advance the web -- but at the same time you are showing opposition to taking a similar course of action for a Dart VM because it's not an open standard.

I understand the viewpoint that you would rather have had Google focused on improving JavaScript through Ecma TC39 than creating another language with absolutely no outside influence. I also admit that this is a pretty inconsiderate move for them to make, especially as that email made it sound as this new language aimed to be a "replacement" for JS. But despite the lack of good will behind this action, I would still hate to see something as rare as a new client side language, that has a decent potential of allowing developers to think differently about solving problems on the web, die off because no one wanted to adopt it.

See my other reply on XHR. It is orders of magnitude simpler than Dart. Also, even though MS had monopoly power when they added XHR, they did not abuse it on the web. XHR was for OWA. Mozilla and Opera were not coerced by MS-inspired use of XHR on the web. We chose to implement (with some changes, see the wikipedia page) at leisure.

In contrast, Dart usage in Google web properties targeting the native VM in Chrome, per the leaked memo, would pressure other browsers to adopt or reverse-engineer a much more complex non-standard.

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