ECMAScript release cycle

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ECMAScript is a standardized scripting language created to provide a consistent set of rules and regulations for programming with JavaScript. As a language, it has become popular due to its widespread use in web development and its compatibility with a variety of platforms. ECMAScript is released in major versions, each of which contains new features and updates. This article will discuss the release cycle of ECMAScript and how it affects developers.

Introduction to ECMAScript Language Release Cycle

What is ECMAScript?

ECMAScript (often referred to as ES) is an ECMA International standard that is primarily used as the basis for JavaScript and other programming languages. ECMAScript is an open standard that is constantly evolving, and it is maintained by the Ecma technical committee (TC39). The language provides a consistent set of features and syntax rules that are used in many different programming contexts. It includes features such as objects and functions, which can be used to create dynamic web pages and applications.

History of ECMAScript

The concept behind ECMAScript was originally developed in the late 1990s. At the time, there were two major web development languages: JavaScript (which was owned by Netscape) and JScript (which was owned by Microsoft). In order to resolve the conflict between these competing browsers, the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) began to work on creating a unified, standardized scripting language that could be used across all platforms.

The first version of ECMAScript, ES1, was released in 1997. From there, the language has gone through several iterations, each adding new features and improving the syntax. The latest version, ECMAScript 2020, was released in June 2020 and included several enhancements, including updated object and function syntax, new global property options, and the introduction of new data types.

Features of ECMAScript

ECMAScript provides a wide range of features that make it a powerful programming language. Some of the key features include:

  • Objects and functions: ECMAScript provides support for both objects and functions, allowing developers to create dynamic webpages and applications. Objects can be used to store and manipulate data, while functions enable developers to combine data and logic.

  • Typing: ECMAScript supports strong typing, allowing developers to specify data types for variables and functions. This helps to ensure that data is handled correctly and prevent errors.

  • Error handling: ECMAScript provides built-in functions for handling errors, including try/catch and throw. These help to ensure that errors are handled gracefully and that they do not cause the application to crash.

  • Modules: ECMAScript also allows developers to create modules, which are reusable pieces of code that can be used across different applications. Modules can help to speed up development time and improve code readability.

ECMAScript Release Cycle

ECMAScript follows a predictable release cycle, with new versions generally being released every year. The cycle begins with a feature proposal and ends with a new version of ECMAScript being released.

The feature proposal phase begins when the Ecma TC39 releases a call for new feature proposals. During this phase, developers can submit feature ideas, which will then be evaluated by the TC39. If a proposed feature is accepted, it will be included in the next version of ECMAScript.

Once the feature proposals have been submitted and accepted, the specification drafting phase begins. During this phase, the TC39 works to develop a specification for the proposed features. Once the specification is ready, it will be released to the public.

Next, the testing phase begins. During this phase, the proposed features are tested on a variety of different platforms and browsers. This ensures that the features will work correctly on all supported platforms.

After the testing phase, the final version of ECMAScript is released. This version is usually available for download after a brief period of beta testing.


ECMAScript is an essential part of web development and its release cycle helps ensure that the language remains up to date and relevant. By understanding the release cycle of ECMAScript, developers can stay informed about what features are available in different versions and prepare their applications accordingly.

Code Examples

ECMAScript provides a variety of features that can be used to create powerful web applications. Here are some code examples that demonstrate some of the features of ECMAScript:


ECMAScript provides support for object-oriented programming, allowing developers to create objects with specific properties. Here’s an example of creating an object in ECMAScript:

let person = {
    name: 'John Smith',
    age: 30

In this example, an object called person has been created and assigned two properties, name and age.


ECMAScript also provides support for functions, which allow developers to combine data and logic. Here’s an example of a function in ECMAScript:

function sayHello(name) {
    console.log(`Hello ${name}!`);

This function takes a name parameter and outputs a greeting message.

Error Handling

ECMAScript also provides support for error handling, allowing developers to handle errors gracefully. Here’s an example of using the try/catch statement to handle an error:

try {
    //execute code here
} catch (error) {

In this example, the try block contains the code that should be executed, and the catch block contains the code that should be executed if an error occurs.


For more information about ECMAScript, its history, and its release cycle, check out the following resources:

December 10, 2022 by