Language Size (was Re: [TLUG]: ECMAScript ("Javascript") Version 4 - FALSE ALARM)

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at
Wed Oct 31 04:47:43 PDT 2007

On Oct 31, 2007, at 4:45 AM, Harri Porten wrote:

> Hi!
> On Wed, 31 Oct 2007, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> Does anyone else have other ideas for objective metrics of language
>> size?
> "Compilation time" - of course not that objective as heavily
> implementation specific but still an indicator for the complexity of  
> the
> language :)
> But seriously: from my own work on an ES4 interpreter (based on the
> previous draft back then) I saw the biggest impact on the  
> implementation
> to be in the "compilation phase". This went hand in the hand with the
> *advantages* of the type system, i.e. the possibility to apply
> optimizations before execution.
> In my personal book I therefore judge the complexity of a language  
> also
> based on the observation whether runtime implementations typically  
> include
> a compiler, i.e. offer an eval() function or not.

Specifically comparing ES4 to ES3, I would hope for no significant  
increase in compilation time if one is willing to accept that there  
won't be much improvement in execution time. I am not sure if this is  
a reasonable expectation based on the spec, but it seems like many on  
the committee share roughly similar goals.


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