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ECMA Standards

What is the ECMA?

The European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) is an organization officially founded in 1961 in order to meet the need for standardizing computer operational formats, including programming languages and input/output codes.

The ECMA is based in Geneva, Switzerland, near the headquarters of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). In 1994, the organization’s name was changed to the ECMA - European Association for Standardizing Information and Communication Systems, in order to reflect its broader range of activities.

What does it do?

The main role of the ECMA is to develop Standards and Technical Reports in the area of information and communication technology. As ECMA is an association of companies and not an official standardization institute, they often collaborate with official national or international institutes.

ECMA Standards have been accepted as a base for international and European standards. So far more than 270 ECMA Standards and 70 Technical Reports have been published.

Of these standards 85 have been accepted as international standards by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In addition, 25 have been accepted as European standards by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

What are the ECMA standards?

ECMAScript (standardized JavaScript)

ECMAScript is a standardized scripting language, based largely on Netscape’s JavaScript and Microsoft’s JScript. The ECMAScript standard is defined by ECMA’s Technical Committee 39 (TC-39).

The main use of ECMAScript, which is an object-based language, is to manipulate the objects in web pages which are specified by the Document Object Model (DOM). These objects (effectively, the elements which make up web pages, or the web pages as a wholes) can then be added to, deleted, moved, or have their properties changed. This lets web developers implement such effects as animated text, graphic roll-overs, and pages that change based on user input without having to be reloaded.

The current ECMAScript specification is ECMA Standard ECMA-262, ECMAScript Language Specification, 2nd edition.

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Last modified on 27 june 2004

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