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Scripting language introduced by the Netscape corporation in 1996 as JavaScript and is by now the standard scripting language for the Web and known uder a variety of names including JScript (Microsoft) and ActionScript (Adobe). ECMAScript is a loosely LISP inspired tool with a somewhat C like syntax and despite its enormous popularity is widely considered one of the worst designed programming languages to ever escape into the wild and the only such horror story to gain any popularity since Perl. The classic example of how little forethought was used when cobbling the language together is that despite being released just over three years before the 1999/2000 turnover the first versions of the language were not year 2000 ready, resulting in a few set-top Internet access boxes that used Netscape starting to have odd failures on some webpages in 2000 despite being less than 2 years old.

It is possible to use ECMAScript as a tool to develop OS/2 desktop or even command-line applications, but due to the high number of problems with the current implementations you are advised not to do so unless compatibility with web based applications is a high priority. If you choose to use it it is recommended that you use an abstraction level like Microsoft Typescript.

The name JavaScript is an attempt to leech onto the hype that surrounded Java at the time the language was released but EMCAScript has no connection with Java at all except that Sun (owners of the Java trademark) gave permission to use the Java name. 1996 really was the year of Java and there were lots of tools that added Java to their name and the fledging Linux operating system started to use a penguin as its mascot in the same year, aping "Duke" the penguin Java mascot that seemed to be virtually everywhere at the time.

OS/2 implementations of ECMAScript


  • LZ4 - Decompression library - Open source - Current

Foreign libraries with ECMAScript bindings

  • LZ4 - Compression library - Open source - Current
  • Snappy - Compression lib. - Open Source - Current

Utilities and test suites

  • ANTLR - Parser generator - Runs on Java and generates ECMAScript output code.

OS/2 text & programmers editors with ECMAScript support

  • Boxer - Contributed, requires a separate download.

Implementations that run under WinOS/2

OS independent ECMAScript tools

Programming tools written in ECMAScript

Programming languages or tools that compile to ECMAScript



The commonly used standard is ECMAScript v3, but that is primarily to allow older browsers to work correctly, the current standard is v5.1 and should work with most modern browsers.