A couple of interesting snippets from an interesting interview 

Javascript's rushed birth:

Kevin Yank: [It’s] continually surprising to me just how capable a 
language it is, given where it came from. I mean, one day in the 1990s, 
Netscape said, “We need a little language to run in our browser.” And 
what we ended up with was very close to the JavaScript that we have 
today. How did Netscape end up with it as a language, answering that 
need at the time?

Douglas Crockford (Yahoo): They were really lucky. Given the process 
that created the language, we should have gotten something much, much 
worse, because they didn’t do a careful design of requirements. They 
certainly didn’t give enough time for its design or its implementation. 
They took a prototype, which was intended just as a proof of concept, 
and that’s what they shipped. And it had all the problems that you would 
expect such an implementation to have. And it was partly on the basis of 
that implementation that the language got the terrible reputation that 
it had. And a lot of those defects are still in the language.


Problematic history of CSS:

Douglas Crockford: [In] the last few years web standards—at least for 
the last ten years—web standards have lost focus. They've been more 
about invention than about codification, and I think that is unhealthy. 
At best it's been unproductive, and at worst we've seen bad standards 
come out of that.

For example, CSS2 was un-implementable, and eventually it had to be 
revised as CSS2.1—an attempt to cut CSS2 down to what people were able 
to figure out how to implement. That sequence was totally backwards—or 
it started backwards, but eventually they got it right. Let's look at 
what can actually work and make a standard out of that, and then let 
everybody catch up with each other. I think that's a proper role for 

What I see happening now with HTML5 is appalling. There is some stuff 
there that I really like: I really like that they figured out what the 
rules of HTML <http://www.sitepoint.com/glossary.php?q=H#term_75> 
parsing are. Brilliant. That's long overdue. And you can look at any 
individual feature that they're doing and say, “Yeah, that makes sense.” 
But there’s just too much, and there’s not a good set of trade-offs, 
there’s not a complexity budget. It’s not motivated by real need, but by 
what’s shiny in front of a committee.

All the best, Grant


Dr Grant Paton-Simpson
Director, Paton-Simpson & Associates Ltd


16 Summit Drive, Mt Albert, Auckland 1025

(09) 849-6696
(09) 849-6699


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