ECMAScript, Fifth Edition Candidate Specification Announced

Yesterday was a significant milestone in the web’s continuing evolution—the announcement of ECMAScript, Fifth Edition Candidate Specification (formerly known as ECMAScript 3.1 back when I last mentioned it); the “Candidate Specification” stage is the last stop on the road to becoming a final standard. Read more about it on the Jscript blog!

This is a great achievement and paves the way for enhanced web programming scenarios in all browsers. I’d also like to personally thank Allen and Pratap for their contribution to the TC-39 effort, as well as their assistance in delivering a few of the ES 5 features to our customers in IE8.

-Travis Leithead

Comments (18)

  1. gabe says:

    i wonder if microsoft is working on ie9 or whatever its gonna be after ie8

  2. gabriel says:

    ECMAScript is the fancy name of JavaScript or Jscript. So I am happy that Ie still is working in following standards and contributing ideas.


  3. As I mentioned in the previous blog not long ago…

    Are there any new objects in the JScript engine that I can use for object detection to determine if it’s IE8 (so I can figure out without conditional comments if the browser is IE7)?

    When attaching an event to an element such as a click event it will not trigger if the content’s area is not used by content and has a transparent (not set so transparent by default) background-color. This only effects IE7 and to apply a fix I need to make sure the browser isn’t IE8.

  4. Derk says:

    @John A.

    In javascript – if you want to know how the page is being rendered in IE 8, query this property of the document:


    It will return the version number of the IE browser version (if any) being emulated. Otherwise, it will return 8.

  5. Marcus says:

    Its been almost 12 months now since the readers on the IE Blog have collaboratively asked in agreement with the IE Team members to get the MS Office Team to fix or preferably REMOVE the "MS Research" addon.

    It has been proven to be the worst offender for load time lag and has not shown any useful purpose.

    Before you post any other topic on this blog for Pete’s sake ensure that you can report that the MS Office Team has removed this Addon.  If not you are WASTING our time telling us about features that won’t matter because IE is still cluttered with useless memory hogging addons.

    Thanks – The entire IE Blog reading community.

  6. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Marcus: Anyone claiming to speak for an "entire community" is suspect.  With regard to the research add-on, it would be interesting to see your data?  What sort of load times do you see in MAO for the add-on?  Do you actually have the Research explorer bar enabled?  Did you have any problem whatsoever turning it off using the Manage Addons dialog?

    @Derk: The documentMode property is only available in IE8, so it’s not a great choice for this. IE8 can easily be detected via any number of methods, but as we’ve stated many times, the best bet for future compatibility is to use Capabilities detection rather than version detection.

    @gabe: Yes, as mentioned in our chats and Dean’s blog post, we’re now taking feedback and suggestions for IE9.

  7. dave says:


    Do not forget that many of us here on the IE Blog have also talked in person to IE Developers!!!

    I know you have to play the "MS Public Relations" card more often than you want but I’m seriously disappointed that you’ve decided to claim ignorance on this.

    I used to look up to you as the one true developer on the IE Team that took the time to respond to IE Blog comments and share information about the hidden options/features/behaviors of IE.

    As for Marcus’ comment, I too will vouch that the MS Research Addon Toolbar is an incredible waste of time and IE memory and thus is the first thing I have to UN-INSTALL when setting up a new PC on our network.

    I’d love to know why the installer for Office doesn’t allow you to skip this "feature" let alone not have it install by default.

    On a personal note I’d have to say the Install of MS Research is probably my #1 pet peeve with Microsoft software.  It was useless when it was first released – and it hasn’t improved one bit.

  8. Harry Richter says:

    @ dave

    I am on Office 2003 GERMAN, so I can’t talk about other languages or versions, but MY installation DOES give me the choice of installing the addon or not (not, in my case). But as you say, that you UNINSTALL it, I assume, that you use the Office installer, and uncheck the feature, to have it removed. So why install it in the first place? Of course if you simply click the default installation, you’ve got to do some tweaking after, but setting up your own "default" installation with the featureset of your choice is simple, and a good idea if you have an organisation to serve.

    Having said that, I fully agree, that – to put it politely – I would rather not see in a quality product…



  9. boen_robot says:

    >@gabe: Yes, as mentioned in our chats and Dean’s blog post, we’re now taking feedback and suggestions for IE9.

    Oh goody! Then let me say just three things, one of which has been said many times over (but is worth echoing), the second one which is implied by the first, and the third one is for users: "SVG"* is the first, "WCID Core"** (or at least 3.2.2) is implied, and "a pause button on downloads" for users.

    I don’t think I need to mention use cases for SVG. There are whole documents about it. WCID core is about SVG actually shining, and a pause button… I know if I cancel and reactivate a download I’ll resume download, but this means I have to again find the page I started the download from. I mean, what if I went to another page (e.g. to watch a video – this would explain why I’d want to pause the download on the first place)? If I have a pause button, I can just pause, do whatever I need to do (in this case – watch the video), and then click the resume button to resume the download.

    Here’s a link to a forum topic about what some people would like to see in IE9. I’m sure you’ll like it, since it asks repliers to put up a priority:

    The topic was created in the time frame of RC1, but is still valid. I encourage you to read the actual replies, not just the poll.

    * (and/or )


  10. peter says:

    adobe photoshop has killed something on uninstall… now my ie8 instantly closes down on start, all ie dependent apps dont start anymore and all folders open multible explorer windows and explorer.exe

    downgraded to ie7, reupgraded to ie8… nothing helped.

    jay for easy browser kill with a buged registered extension or something.

  11. steve says:

    @EricLaw[MSFT], @cc @Marcus, @cc @Dave, @cc @Harry

    Eric, back long before even 2009 rolled in, this was a well known issue.  Based on your very own comments @jason posted this "call for action" requesting a fix/patch/some attention to fix the MS Research Toolbar.



    re: IE8: What’s After Beta 2

    Monday, December 01, 2008 5:01 PM by jason

    @EricLaw [MSFT] – you are right, users moaning is much more effective than a gentle corporate request. Thus;

    Dear Microsoft;

    Based on the (incomplete) load time column for Add-ons in IE8 it has become painfully obvious that the addon that is ruining my performance the most is "Microsoft Research" – I personally have no idea what this addon does (AFAIK) I have never used it.  Since it is created by the same MFGR that creates the browser it lives in, and is installed by default, I think that it would be highly advantageous for MSFT to either (a) disable/uninstall this addon, and or fix the performance of it so that it loads at least 10x faster.

    EricLaw [MSFT] on the IE Blog posted a link to help you fix any performance issues with your addon.  Please follow this link for information.

    Thank you

    Concerned User


    Thus can someone from the MS Office team please indicate the status on this?  Its quite worrisome that this has yet to be addressed.

    We don’t have their contact information – since you do, can you post it so we can follow up with them if they are not willing to post here.

    thanks, steve

  12. Dan says:

    steve, saying something doesn’t make it so.  Why is it that you cannot actually provide any information about the slow down?  Is it because there isn’t one?

    Explorer bars should only be loading (and thus impacting performance) when they’re showing…

    I have the Research addon installed, and while I don’t use it, I also see ZERO performance impact.

    If you’re actually impacted, why not record a little video and post it for all to see the difference?

  13. images says:

    images found on the net regarding MS Research:

    On MS Research is DISABLED (good call!)

    On Research is DISABLED (wonder why?)

    On Research is DISABLED (a trend I wonder?)

    On Research is DISABLED (odd? Dan thinks it is a great addon that doesn’t need to be disabled)

    And the piece de resistance! (The IE Blog!)

    And low and behold MS Research is disabled.

    Sorry Dan but the rest of the Internet thinks that MS Research is a resource hog.

  14. Dan says:

    images, Don’t misquote me.  

    All I’ve said is that no one, to date, has documented evidence of the Research addon being a performance problem.  I don’t think it’s a very useful add-on, and I don’t use it myself, but suggesting that it’s somehow a massive performance issue without actually showing any evidence of this is intellectually dishonest.

  15. gary says:

    @Dan – I can’t believe you are still harping on this.  Worse yet I can’t believe I’m about to re-install MS Research just to get the stats to prove it is a dog.

  16. Dan says:

    gary, I’m not the one "harping" here.  I look forward to your data; please include only cases where the user isn’t actually using the Research pane, since that’s what people are complaining about.  

  17. Gopal says:


    why are u discussing MSResearch toolbar in the comments section for ECMAscript.

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