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Like mentioned in this question, there are some tag synonyms that rather should not be synonyms. I'm proposing to ‘desynonymize’ the [ecmascript] and [javascript] tags.

Though ECMAScript represents the standardization of Javascript, it is a separately developed language (based on Netscape's historical implementation of Javascript) that is still being developed (e.g., look at the ECMAScript 5 specification, which is released December 2009) and its improvements are slowly being adopted by the different Javascript engine coders. Also see the history section of the Wikipedia entry on Javascript.

Although I suspect that most questions about ECMAScript and Javascript are interchangeable, I can imagine cases where someone wants to ask a question specifically about ECMAScript itself (e.g., about something new in the spec, that's not already adopted in the different/all browser implementations, or something about the questions in Kangax' Javascript quiz). In those cases, it's way more clear when someone can tag their question with the [ecmascript] tag, solely or in conjunction with [javascript].

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But how are future people going to know what to tag things? Your going to get lots of fluff if you do that –  TheLQ Aug 10 '10 at 22:54
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@Lord: I'm afraid the same is true for many other tags. E.g., should a [jquery] question also be tagged [javascript]? There are even people that don't know or understand that jQuery is merely a Javascript framework and tag questions [jquery] where their problem actually is a Javascript issue. –  Marcel Korpel Aug 10 '10 at 22:59

3 Answers 3

I nuked this synonym multiple times (not because ecmascript is not javascript, it just felt a bit confusing). It always seems to come back. User feel very strongly that it should exist.

If this is not acceptable we need a feature request that makes it harder for certain synonyms to be created.

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javascript and ecmascript are strongly related (one being an implementation of the other and so). people will always want to express this strong relation. at the moment the only way to express this relation is by synonym. as long as synonym is the only way to express a relation there will always be people suggesting to synonym [javascript] to [ecmascript]. the only way to stop this is by banning the synonym (bad) or by having some other way to express strong relation: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/60570/… –  lesmana Aug 12 '10 at 10:04

If I recall correctly, most of the non-JavaScript questions under that tag were related to Flash development. And those should probably just be tagged ActionScript.

If you want to talk about ECMAScript 5, then introduce a ecmascript-5 tag. Like it or not, in the common parlance ECMAScript is JavaScript.

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Set A: People familiar enough with the term "ECMAScript" to think of using it. Set B: People who don't understand the distinction between ECMAScript and JavaScript. Isn't the intersection of these two sets fairly small? –  Nicholas Knight Aug 11 '10 at 11:23
    
@Nicholas: well, the problem now is that the questions are gone; I don't recall there being a lot of non-JS questions in that tag, but it would have been better if we'd at least had the opportunity to go through and sort them. –  Shogging through the snow Aug 11 '10 at 15:24

I would keep the synonym in place because most people think of it as JavaScript. Why not have the tag be ecma-262 or even the less known ISO/IEC 16262 (see Standard ECMA-262)? If you have a question that is specific about ECMAScript, refer to that in the question body.

I will add some more questions: What about the existing emca262 (4) tag? Should there also be tags for ecmascript-3 and ecmascript-5, or are those synonyms for ecmascript (or javascript)?

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ecmascript-3/-5 shouldn't be synonyms, if that's what you're asking. See: Synonyms mean interchangeable, not similar. Good call on ecma-262 - if there are questions specific to the standard itself, that would be a much better tag than ecmascript in any case. –  Shogging through the snow Aug 11 '10 at 2:11
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Here's my problem with an ecma-262 tag: I know the language is ECMAScript. I understand how it differs from JavaScript. There are times I may have questions that pertain directly to ECMAScript which don't implicate "JavaScript" at all. I understand (at a high level) the differences between ECMAScript 3 and 5. However, I do not, and likely never will, remember that ECMAScript is defined by the ECMA-262 spec. Hell, I always have to check Wikipedia for the C and C++ spec numbers. I doubt I'm alone in this regard. Tags should be obvious to anyone familiar with a subject. 'ecma-262' fails this test –  Nicholas Knight Aug 11 '10 at 11:12

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