by Peter Galli on April 10, 2009 02:50pm

The candidate specification of the ECMAScript language standard - known as ECMA-262, was published on April 9.

ECMAScript is the scripting language used to create web pages with dynamic behavior, and is more commonly known as JavaScript. It is a component of every web browser and is an essential aspect of interoperability.

The ECMAScript standard is "one of the core standards that enable the existence of interoperable web applications on the World Wide Web," Ecma International, which develops standards for Information and Communication Technology, said in a media release.

This candidate specification, the PDF of which is available here, will now undergo interoperability and web compatibility testing, and will likely be submitted to the Ecma General Assembly for ratification as an Ecma standard before the end of 2009.

ECMA is inviting technical experts to review this candidate specification and submit feedback here by July 15, 2009.

This latest revision of ECMA-262 will now be known as ECMAScript, Fifth Edition and not under the previous working name ECMAScript 3.1.

The Fifth Edition codifies de facto interpretations of the language specification that have become common among browser implementations and adds support for new features, ECMA said.

The ECMAScript, Fifth Edition candidate specification has been developed by Ecma TC39, whose membership includes all major browser vendors.

These members will now create and test implementations of the candidate specification to verify its correctness and the feasibility of creating interoperable implementations and for web compatibility testing to ensure that the revised specification remains compatible with existing web applications.

TC39 members Opera, Mozilla, and Microsoft have each committed to participating in this testing process, which should be finished by the middle of July, and that a final draft of the specification can be agreed upon in September for submission to the Ecma General Assembly for final approval in December 2009.

ECMA also expects this to result in a fast-track submission to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for revision of ISO/IEC 16262.

"We expect the Fifth Edition to benefit all web developers by helping improve browser interoperability and making enhanced scripting features broadly available," said Allen Wirfs-Brock, Microsoft's ECMAScript architect. Read more about all this on Microsoft's JScript team blog.

The last major revision of the ECMAScript standard was the Third Edition, published in 1999 and work on future ECMAScript editions continues as part of the ECMAScript Harmony project.