This new release marks the first release in the updated release schedule that was announced back in 2015. The new changes that were brought along, included a plan to push more frequent–yearly, to be precise–updates to the language.
Since the publication of the first ECMAScript specification in 1997, this release marks the seventh edition.
Invented by Brendan Eich, the language first appeared in Netscape Navigator 2.0 browser. With time, it has grown to become one of the world’s most popular general purpose programming languages.
Compared to the previous ECMAScript 2015 release, this one brings less number of features. The ECMA International has also decided to bring the support for async functions next year.
This release also grants the developers a “raise to the power” operator to write mathematical statements more easily.
You might be knowing that popular web browsers like Chrome and Firefox already implement the ECMAScript specifications before their official approvals.
The organization calls the current release a work in progress and labels Object.values/Object.entries as a confirmed feature for the next release.