Spice documentation

I have pulled the following documents together as background information on Spice for ECMA TC39. I started work on Spice in 1997 when I realized that CSS suffers from a lack of extensibility. Spice adds CSS style rules to ECMAScript to provide a powerful yet easy to write way to script Web-based applications using XML. HP submitted an early description of Spice to W3C in February. I was invited to present this work at the SGML UK meeting on style sheets and subsequently at the Developer's Day at the WWW'7 web conference in Australia.

Following this I was lucky to get Chris Dollin and Steve Leach of HP Labs to help me refine the language and to apply their considerable experience with computer language design and compiler writing. Chris and Steve have worked hard on tackling the peformance scaling issues as well as innovative work on syntax that aims to avoid a number of common programming errors as well as adding a number of powerful features such as multiple dispatch, multi-valued expressions, unifying methods and properties etc.

The documents linked below reflect our current view of Spice. I expect there are some inconsistencies, at least between what I have written and Chris and Steve's notes. They are strong on language design and weak on Web issues, whereas I am in the reverse position. I am very much looking forward to working with ECMA and mining our work on Spice as a basis for adding style rules and higher performance to ECMAScript. HP Labs is working on a full implementation and will make this available to others wishing to evaluate the changes under consideration.

Adding Style and Behaviour to XML pages with a dash of Spice
An explanation of what motivatived the development of Spice and a comparison with other work. Dave Raggett
Evolving ECMAScript to add style rules and boost performance
A good starting point for understanding the additions proposed to ECMAScript. Dave Raggett
Rational for differences between ECMA 262 and Spice
More information motivating the changes. Chris Dollin & Steve Leach
Further information on Spice details
Covers the language details in a chatty style with examples in the syntax preferred by Chris and Steve. Chris Dollin & Steve Leach
Spice Language Grammar
Chris and Steve present a grammar for the details of Spice. Chris Dollin & Steve Leach

Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> 27th September 1998