Macromedia to join Ecma International

By PR Connections
Johannesburg, 24 Nov 2003

Macromedia has formally applied for membership in Ecma International, an industry association dedicated to the standardisation of information and communications technology.

Ecma International developed and maintains the key standard ECMAScript (ECMA-262 and ISO/IEC 16262) - widely known through implementations such as Netscape JavaScript, Microsoft JScript and Macromedia ActionScript. ActionScript is used as the procedural scripting language for Macromedia Flash and Macromedia Flex.

"As the adoption of rich Internet applications delivered with Flash continues to accelerate, ensuring developers can use the standards with which they are fluent becomes even more of a necessity," says Jeremy Matthews, MD at local Macromedia distributor and Web enablement specialist, Dax Data.

"By joining Ecma International, Macromedia will take a key role in the ongoing development of the ECMAScript standard in the organisation`s Programming Language technical committee (TC39)," he says.

The goal of TC39 is to maintain a single leading standard for scripting that can be used for as many competing implementations as possible, and makes `forking` unnecessary.

"Standards have become business critical for any company building Web development and deployment technologies," says Jan W van den Beld, secretary general at Ecma International. "Macromedia has clearly shown its commitment to open standards over the years and they are a welcome addition to ensuring the continued flexibility and power of ECMAScript."

In another major commitment to supporting key industry standards, Macromedia also announced this week that Macromedia Flex, a presentation server and application framework, incorporates key standards from the W3C, including Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Extensible Markup Language (XML), and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) Web services.

Flex offers a standards-based framework for creating enterprise-class rich Internet applications. Flex is the latest example of a Macromedia product built on the strength of industry standards. Flex will operate on Sun Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) servers in its initial release and on Microsoft .NET servers in a future release. The Flex application framework leverages XML and SOAP Web services for data interchange, CSS for style control, and SVG for static graphic primitives and shapes. The declarative programming language for defining rich application front ends is based entirely on XML syntax.

Macromedia has also published version 7 of the Macromedia Flash (SWF) file format, available at This newly updated format specification builds on the company`s previously stated goal of enabling developers to build authoring tools and servers that leverage the broad penetration of Macromedia Flash Player. Macromedia has published the Flash file format with each release of the player for five years, which numerous ISVs use to add Flash support to their tools, servers, and utilities. In addition to joining Ecma International, Macromedia is also a current member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Java Community Process Executive Committee.



The ECMAScript (ECMA-262 or ISO/IEC 16262) Language Specification 3rd Edition, December 1999, is the foundation for Web pages that do something more than displaying text and images. It is estimated that nearly 70% of all Web pages contain instances of ECMAScript. In February 2003, popular search engine Google found 10 million references to "JavaScript," 400 000 references to "Jscript," and 40 000 references to "ECMAScript".

The international standardisation of the language was originally driven by Ecma International members Netscape and Microsoft, whose browser- or server-specific implementations include Netscape/AOL`s JavaScript and Microsoft`s JScript, which offer supersets of this full-featured programming language. Macromedia used ECMAScript as the basis for the procedural scripting language ActionScript in Macromedia Flash, which was introduced in 2000.

Ecma International is in the process of harmonising the various diverging extensions of ECMAScript. The second full version of the language will be published as ECMA-262 Edition 4 in 2004. This will update the standard with respect to the language and the various differing implementations.

ECMA International

Since its inception in 1961, Ecma International (Ecma) has developed standards for information and communications technology (ICT) and consumer electronics (CE). Ecma is a not-for-profit industry association of technology developers, vendors and users. Industry and other experts work together in Ecma to complete standards. Ecma then submits the approved work for approval as ISO, ISO/IEC and ETSI standards.

Main areas of standardisation include: scripting and programming languages; optical and magnetic storage; high-speed interconnects; safety, environmental, acoustical and electromagnetic product attributes; enterprise and proximity communication and networking; and file and volume structures. Publications can be downloaded free of charge from


Experience matters. Macromedia is motivated by the belief that great experiences build great businesses. Our software empowers millions of business users, developers and designers to create and deliver effective, compelling, and memorable experiences - on the Internet, on fixed media, on wireless, and on digital devices.

Dax Data

Dax Data is a value add software distributor providing solutions in the Web development and Web enablement area. Incorporated in September 1989, Dax Data has offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, is an IBM Business Partner, a Microsoft Solution Provider and holds local distribution rights for Macromedia, NetManage, DataMirror and Graphon products. The company has an extensive skills-base for these products, assisting southern African enterprises to tackle complex host-to-any connectivity issues, Internet-based delivery mechanisms and data replication solutions. Dax Data and its partners offer value-added services around the Web enablement of business applications - in effect, helping customers to maximise their investment in systems by making the data, information and applications they contain available across multiple backend and client technologies. (

Editorial contacts

Debi Franconi
PR Connections
(011) 885 3141
Jeremy Matthews
(021) 683 3861