Under a plan to have ECMAScript upgraded each year, the 2016 version would be available June 16 of next year, said Brian Terlson a Microsoft senior program manager serving on ECMA Technical Committee 39, which is developing the specification. But Terlson, speaking at the QCon conference in San Francisco on Monday, cautioned that all feature plans are still tentative. The ECMAScript 2015 specification was approved in June, marking the most significant update to the standard in more than 15 years.
ECMAScript 2016 also is on track to include a SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) numeric type, which would help exploit data-level parallelism. "It's strictly the ability to process more data and to process it simultaneously in a single thread," said Terlson. As an example, he demonstrated an application in which the frame rate was accelerated about four times via SIMD.
The 2016 specification will also include exponentiation operator capability, which takes a base number and offers the exponent of it. PadLeft and padRight, meanwhile, would pad out strings to fill out a certain number of characters.
Features under consideration for future ECMAScript editions include class property declarations and decorators, providing a declarative syntax for properties. This means that developers could add a property to an instance of a class without having to implement an instructor.
An Observables type for modeling push-based data sources such as DOM events, timer intervals, and sockets may be introduced to the standard library in ECMAScript 2017 or beyond. "Observables really help lay the foundation for a new syntax," Terlson said. Value types, such as int64 bignum, decimal, and complex, are under consideration as well.