A Proposal For Formalizing __noSuchMethod__ in ECMAScript 3.1.

Brendan Eich brendan at mozilla.org
Tue Aug 19 08:44:08 PDT 2008

On Aug 19, 2008, at 7:48 AM, Mark S. Miller wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 2:09 AM, Igor Bukanov <igor at mir2.org> wrote:
>> [...] So a generic mechanism, like the catchAll proposal,
>> to proxy arbitrary property access would be more appropriate.
> I agree with need for some kind of generic catchAll, and with the
> objections to __noSuchMethod__. I also agree that it's too late for
> any such thing to make it into ES3.1.
> As we discussed in Oslo, I expect there will need to be a significant
> version between ES3.1 and ES-Harmony.

It's not clear what ES-Harmony is, but the main idea is a major  
successor using a better specification technique, with new syntax  
where appropriate, and some new semantics if we agree (new Name, e.g.).

We did not lay out a roadmap including two successors, for sure. That  
is, we did not agree to do a 3.2. So I think it's premature to assign  
any 3.x version right now. The work is the thing, not the staging  
into manageable specs.

Thanks for the pointers to proxy and membrane work. Many  
implementations have wrappers of various kinds already. Then there  
was the ES4 catchalls proposal, which if you ignore namespaces can be  
used as an informative source along with the other precedents. The  
trick will be synthesizing a proposal that handles the common cases.

In this light, __noSuchMethod__ may not be fit for standardization as  
is, but it covers the Smalltalk-style doesNotUnderstand use cases of  
TIBET (Bill Edney and Scott Shattuck).

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