"The cooperation and speed accompanying the acceptance of the ECMAScript standard reflects the importance of open standards and the efficient exchange of information between platforms," Jan van den Beld, secretary general of ECMA, said in a statement. "Open standards remove technical barriers for information distribution and are essential for industry growth."
"At a base level they've been compatible, but if you talk to a developer, there are some incompatibilities," said Rick Fleischman, group product manager for tools at Netscape.
"We're happy to see this approved. In terms of creating more interoperability, it's a step forward," said Thomas Reardon, a program manager at Microsoft. "But it's only ten percent of the problem. It's just the language, not the API.
Microsoft said that its forthcoming Internet Explorer 4.0 will conform to the document object model already under review by the World Wide Web Consortium, another Net standards body. Netscape says that it will also support the same technology if it is approved.
"Customers will not let Microsoft and us split on this," said Netscape's Fleischman. "We will both deliver the resulting standard."