ECMAScript 2015, also referred to as ECMAScript 6, has been approved by ECMA International, the organization said this week. The move provides stability to the technology.
Wirfs-Brock said the primary goals for ECMAScript 2015 are better support for large applications, library creation, and the use of ECMAScript as a compilation target for other languages. Major enhancements include modules, class declarations, lexical block scoping, iterators and generators, promises for asynchronous programming, destructuring patterns, and proper tail calls. Also, the ECMAScript library of built-ins has been expanded to support additional data abstractions, including maps, sets, and arrays of binary numeric values as well as additional support for Unicode supplemental characters in strings and regular expressions. The built-ins are now extensible via sub=classing.
Developers should now see much more frequent updates to the specification. "[ECMA Technical Committee 39's] intent is that ECMAScript 2015 is the new foundation for the future of ECMAScript," Wirfs-Brock said. "Rather than waiting five to 15 years for another major revision, TC39 intends to better respond to the needs of Web developers by making annual incremental enhancements to the ECMAScript specification." Work is already underway on ECMAScript 7.