What question would you ask Scott Guthrie and Travis Leithead

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At Remix UK this year, we will see the return of the Speaker Panel, which was one of my favourite events from last year. And even better, this year, the “veteran” Scott Guthrie will be joined by a Program Manager on the IE team, Travis Leithead.

Last year I got the opportunity to ask Scott whether Microsoft had any plans to revive JScript.NET, or to implement a .NET version of ActionScript to enable the easy porting of Flash to Silverlight. The answer was sadly disappointing: he hoped the community would develop an ActionScript compiler for .NET. That disappointment aside, it was great fun to ask the question, so I plan on trying to ask another this year.

Two questions immediately spring to mind, and I’m unsure which one to ask:

  1. Given the recent announcement that JavaScript 4 will likely never see the light of day, has JavaScript finally outlived its usefulness as the ubiquitous browser language? Is it now time to retire JavaScript, or at least to open up the DOM to multiple languages? The .NET runtime code can be created from C#, Visual Basic, Ruby, J# etc, yet all compile to the same byte code ready to run on the CLR. Likewise these days JRuby, Java etc can all be compiled to the same byte code ready to run on the JVM. Are there any plans to create a JVM or CLR type environment for a future version of IE? Or are we stuck with the inadequacies of JavaScript for years to come?
  2. Last year Scott described Linux as the “arch friend” of Microsoft. Whilst IE 8 has embraced HTML 4 standards, there seems little noise from Microsoft regarding future technologies such as HTML 5. Mozilla seem to be growing ever more impatient with this, even resorting to developing a plugin for IE to enable it to support the HTML 5 canvas element, as Microsoft seem reluctant to do so themselves. Does the IE team have plans to become more future-orientated and to see Mozilla as an arch friend too; or is it likely to remain an arch enemy?

If you have any thoughts on which one I should pick, please do let me know via a comment. Also I’ve added these two questions to the Remix UK backnetwork. If you are going to Remix, don’t forget you can sign up to the backnetwork too and add your questions to the list. One or more of them might get read out at the session after all.