Allen Wirfs-Brock Allen.Wirfs-Brock at microsoft.com
Wed Aug 20 09:04:23 PDT 2008

I think Ingvar bring up an interesting point.  While this usage on "let" feels very natural to those of us who have had exposure to functional languages that use it in this manner, it may not be nearly so intuitive to the millions of "script writers" who will be exposed to it. (And, arguably, there are probably still quite a few more former BASIC programmers out there, to whom "let" means assignment, then there are Scheme and ML programmers.)  In addition, while I can't personally speak to it, I can also see where there may be understandability issues for non-native English speakers.

I think it is a fine idea to consider usability issues like this as we work towards defining ES-Harmony.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: es3.x-discuss-bounces at mozilla.org [mailto:es3.x-discuss-
> bounces at mozilla.org] On Behalf Of Jon Zeppieri
> Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 8:56 AM
> To: Ingvar von Schoultz
> Cc: es3.x-discuss at mozilla.org; es4-discuss at mozilla.org
> Subject: Re: local
> On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 11:47 AM, Ingvar von Schoultz
> <ingvar-v-s at comhem.se> wrote:
> > Peter Michaux wrote:
> >> On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 8:21 AM, Ingvar von Schoultz
> >> <ingvar-v-s at comhem.se> wrote:
> >>> The keyword "let" breaks the very valuable JavaScript tradition
> >>> of using intuitively meaningful keywords.
> >>
> >> I have read a lot of math proofs that start with "let x be the..."
> >
> > That's exactly the problem. The word makes perfect sense, it
> > has an easily understandable meaning. And this meaning has
> > nothing at all to do with the localness that the word is used
> > for.
> >
> > The word suggests quite strongly that it's talking about the
> > assignment. This is completely wrong, since it actually specifies
> > the visibility scope of the name.
> ... except that let is used this way in other programming languages.
> The appeal is not (and ought not be) to the use of 'let' in English,
> especially since many ES programmers are not English speakers.  The
> appeal is to the use of 'let' in other programming languages.  Scheme
> and the ML family are the most relevant here.
> -Jon
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