If you are Saying "ES6" You're Doing it Wrong

I Love the Term ES6

It easily rolls off the tongue and is slicker to write about. ES2015 sounds clunky and is hard to say. I always want to abbreviate it in conversations. I would say "ES15" or "Modern JS" or "ESNext", which of those only "ES15" is considered by TC39... And "ES15" is a few versions off from "6".

So Whats the Big Deal?

We are creating disparity between how our working standards are defined and the things we build. This is happening because as an open source community we prefer the name ES6, but it is wrong. TC39 has declared the 2015 release of the ECMAScript standard as ES2015 ( ECMAScript 2015 ) and not ES6. The next version will not be ES7, but ES2016.

It has affected the names of open source projects

The argument around the usage of ES6 is dislocated from the direction of the standards. We have tools, plugins and scripts all using "ES6" as their names.

We expect others to follow these standards

If I was a browser builder I would laugh at us for not even following the name of our standards document when we expect browser builders to follow each and every detail exactly as they are defined.

We are confusing ourselves

What may be worse is that some Developers I speak with are confused about what ES2015 is as if it were any different than ES6 is.

There is also a disconnect in our online research. Are you searching for ES2015 module loader or ES6? How are search engines going to give us the most relevant content if we keep calling it two different things?

How You can Help

There is no looking back, we can only look forward.

  • If you are giving a tech talk, use the term ES2015. Perhaps during that talk lightly nod at this problem and encourage us to use the correct terminology. If notice a presentation title using ES6, report it, talk about the issues.

  • In Developer discussions, if you overhear someone using the term ES6, politely nudge them back into ES2015.

  • It may be a little severe, but maybe even file an issue on a repo that uses the term ES6.

Why this is Important

This year is the release of ES2016 not ES7. If you see project documentation using ES6 submit a merge request refactoring it to the correct term.

Additional Resources

Here are some various links to either reinforce the use of ES2015 VS ES6. I have also included examples of how the terminology is affecting our ecosystem.

John Masse

About John Masse

Full Stack Javascript Developer. Director of WebUX for Priceline.com. Engineer for apps like Classmate.io and Slooh.com.

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