Spec proposal

Michael O'Brien mob at mbedthis.com
Thu Dec 13 08:07:37 PST 2007

I understand that the cut off for proposals is long past. But I believe 
this is an important issue that will force non-standard implementations 
.... bad.


Running ECMAScript on embedded devices is more and more common. It is 
being used in mobile phone widget engines, mobile browsers and it a wide 
variety of embedded infrastructure hardware. However many such devices 
do not have floating point and this has forced non-standard language 
extensions to allow other default numeric types. For example: most 
feature phones (> 500M devices) do not have floating point and have very 
modest CPU resources. Furthermore, the proposed ES4 decimal standard is 
currently implemented in software as there is no common hardware support 
for it (yet). Consequently, it is fairly large and slow and will 
certainly put a strain on feature phones!

We should allow the default number type to be an integer or 64 bit 
integer. Many of embedded devices have very good 64bit integer support 
that is quite fast. 64 bit integer support is important if floating 
point or decimal is not available to provide a wider scale of numeric 

To do this, I'd like to propose that:

1. We change the "use decimal" pragma to "use number NUMBER_TYPE". This 
would allow for other number types. E.g.

    use number decimal
    use number int

2. We add support for int as the default number

3. We add "long" and ulong types that are by definition 64 bit. Also 
support "use number long"

Michael O'Brien

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