Tug of War
Microsoft can still hold the web hostage to their ailing WSH VM [Windows Script Host virtual machine] by continuing to ignore its performance, regardless of bug fixes and syntactic updates. Doesn't matter if it's amputation or debilitating arthritis, crippled is crippled. For what it's worth, my interactions with the Microsoft reps on TC39 give me no reason to believe that they won't be improving their VM. And Adobe can still choose to implement a language which implements an ECMA spec. They can do this any time they damn well please. It may not align so cleanly with their current technology road map, but it's absolutely feasible...
Unfortunately, as is the case with many standards, the situation became a tug of war. Standards aren't just about the good of the community; they are also now recognized as competitive advantages. A new standard for ECMAScript thus became mired in a morass of bickering, infighting, and sometimes out and out name calling; the politics of competition. It became clear that members could not arrive at the consensus needed to allow a decade of advancements to be incorporated into the next generation of ECMAScript.Mike Chambers, also an Adobe engineer, blogged that "ActionScript 3 is not going away, and we are not removing anything from it based on the recent decisions. We will continue to track the ECMAScript specifications, but as we always have, we will innovate and push the Web forward when possible (just as we have done in the past)." Indeed, "ActionScript 3 isn't changing and we are not going to dumb down future versions of ActionScript," Chambers said. "We are going to continue to innovate on the Web with the Flash Player..." Russell said Adobe gets it. Based on the McAllister and Chambers posts it would appear Adobe does. But mostly it seems Ecma gets it. Let's just hope this attempt at Harmony does not get mired in yet another tug of war.