ECMA announced (with an online PDF?!?) it is completing what it calls E4X (ECMAScript for XML). The goal of this extension is to
standardize the syntax and semantics of a general-purpose, cross-platform, vendor-neutral set of programming language extensions adding native XML support in ECMAScript. John Schneider's article on BEA's dev2dev site that illustrates the concept and value of native XML scripting in detail.
This is really exciting stuff that should contribute significantly to the development of more lightweight and fluid Internet applications that can take full advantage emerging spectrum of Web services in a rapid and efficient manner.
This development reflects my thinking in how Sun should (but probably won't) simplify Java development and why Flash/SWF is on track to achieve a great deal of success in developing Internet applications. Insights from Adam Bosworth, Jon Udell and Ward Cunningham have reinforced and contributed to my views further.
Incidentally Adam Bosworth was instrumental in driving the E4X effort. It is no surprise that BEA is the first to implement it in a product given the fact Bosworth is their Vice President of Engineering and public face for technologists.
What do you think of native XML scripting in ECMAScript?