ECMA isn’t exactly a fast moving body, and Harmony is probably still a couple of years off. It was first announced in 2008, and was initially expected to be finalized this year. However, as things stand there is no announced release date. Even without a date, you can check out the list of proposed new features on the ECMA Wiki.
This hasn’t stopped browsers from looking at the standard, and even implementing some of its features. The Chrome team has been at the forefront of this work, and already supports a number of the new proposed features, including:
- Lexical Scoping
- Weak Maps
You won’t of course be able to rely on other users doing the same fiddling in Chrome, but this is a good way to at least test your own code and experiment a little. That way when Harmony does arrive, you should be set to hit the ground running.
jQuery is now 7 years old, and is used in half of the world’s top 100,000 sites. Version 2.0 is currently in beta, and is faster and smaller than previous releases, partly as a result of dropping support for IE 6, 7, and 8. jQuery is very good at keeping the developer community in the loop on news versions, and actively seeks feedback from the community on new features.
Backbone.js is one of the most well-known frameworks, great for rich client side applications. Development has been brisk, and there is a lot of support from the developer community.
We looked at Knockout not too long ago; it is a Model-View-View Model framework, written by a Microsoft employee. As web apps become more and more desktop-esque, frameworks like Knockout will become more and more important. Knockout seems to have gained a lot of traction very quickly, so it is worth looking at in the long term.