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"If you want to get angry, get angry at them!"

What makes you think I have not been "angry" at MS, Apple, and Adobe? You must not follow my writings closely!

What's more, my mood is not the point, actual market-facing behavior is.

The topic here is Google and its actions. There are good reasons to focus on the big G now:

* Microsoft is older, formidable but late to mobile, in some ways in decline.

* Apple, we know what we get: proprietary lock-in -- but also extensions to the web platform that mostly (still waiting for some CSS spec drafts) get into the web platform. The secret sauce is the iOS-specific stuff: Obj-C, Cocoa, CoreAnimation, etc. They do not cross the streams.

* Adobe has turned to HTML5. They know Flash is in trouble. Neither Flash nor Silverlight is the "open web" threat some of us worried about four or five years ago.

In contrast, Google is a money machine with significant market power, and it is crossing the proprietary extension and open web standards streams without doing the requisite open spec work -- yet, of course. But very late spec'ing is no help. And again, open-washed open source is not nearly enough.

"Google is just trying to give web developers a choice. They plan to continue fully supporting ECMA's efforts as well, with developers and money. And for this they deserve to be attacked?"

From the http://wiki.ecmascript.org/ recent changes history, you can see who is doing hard work on Ecma proposals. Mark Miller works very hard. Google as a whole does not, and it could do a lot more, but it is not of one mind, and it wants to try both proprietary and open-standards tracks.

My point is that doing both means doing one well and one poorly. Can't serve two masters.

As for "just trying to give web developers choice", grow up. How would it work if Mozilla, Apple, Microsoft, and Opera revealed delayed-open-(spec|source) new and non-interoperable programming languages to "replace JavaScript"? Uh huh. Now can you spell "fragmentation"?

"You keep talking about lock-in, but if Dart becomes popular, other vendors will integrate it into their browsers as well."

Dart is a secret still, hence "proprietary". Delayed release of source and/or spec won't make an open standard that multiple vendors will implement, hence "lock in".

Without monopoly or majority market power, Google cannot force other vendors to support Dart in the short run, and the lock-in effects of having two+ years head start designing and implementing Dart is a negative for other vendors.

Even if Dart becomes so popular via either a native VM in Chrome or Dart-to-JS compilation elsewhere, other vendors may defect and not implement native Dart support.

Unless Google has high Chrome share by then on its web apps and sites that use Dart, it will suffer poor performance in the JS-implemented runtime the Dart-to-JS compiler targets, and may have to come up with a "plan B" (use pure JS, try a Gears-like plugin, etc.).

Meanwhile, JS is growing ever faster and the standardized ECMA-262 language is being evolved. And other vendors may try their own tit-for-tat proprietary responses (Mozilla won't).

"That's what being an open standard means."

Bullshit. I work on open standards, I've done it for 15 years. Have you? Open means Open: no wow-effect reveal after two+ years work, no promises (empty in a lot of cases so far) to standardize later.

Yes, Netscape didn't do that. They were a monopoly. I'm not moralizing here, I'm pointing out that because Google is not a monopoly, it can't help but fragment the web by acting as if it were.

"Let's try not to be petty about, even if JS is your baby."

You misunderstand me. JS is part of a "commons" now, not my baby. It's a shared asset. It requires stewardship, including evolution, and not just maintenance.

The leaked memo declares that JS can't be evolved to fix critical problems, in order to justify Dart, without giving evidence and without Google making a concerted effort in the governing standards body, Ecma TC39.

My concern about this two-faced and fragmenting approach is not "petty" and it's not about "my" anything.

It's about a common good ethos that must prevail or the open web tends to fragment. Not all at once, not fatally, but down a bad and slippery slope.




Just a small historical revision - Netscape was losing a point of market share per month in mid 1997 - even before IE4 came out, because of Microsoft enforcing IE as the OEM browser on most desktop PCs


Right, Win95 bundling. How could I forget?

I cited some market share links from wikipedia elsewhere in this thread, and TechnicalBonobo set me straight on monopoly vs. (let's say) dominant competitor or market leader (whatever that term is).

The point for Dart (vs. JS) is that Google doesn't have 80% or even 50% share.


Dart will probably work on Chrome Frame, not on its own plugin, which is already a fairly used.




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