Newbie Q's

Graydon Hoare graydon at
Mon Dec 1 09:01:44 PST 2008

Aaron Gray wrote:
> Hi,
> I have been beginning to read the ML reference implementation and have a 
> few basic questions.
> What is REPL and what does it stand for ?
> What is a RIB and does it stand for anything ?
> What are FIXTURES ?

REPL stands for "read, eval, print loop". It's lisp slang for 
"interactive programming-language prompt".

A "fixture" (in ES4-ese) is a fixed property -- either of a scope, an 
object type, or a class -- known at definition-time. A "rib" (in 
ES4-ese) is a static map from names to fixtures. It's not an acronym. 
This is all written up in the last draft of the ES4 proto-speclets. But 
at this point it doesn't matter.

Considering how much of the ES4 design is now either permanently off the 
table or in "indefinitely deferred" status awaiting re-appraisal in the 
future ES-harmony effort, I'd recommend *against* reading the existing 
ES4 RI. It's more likely to confuse than to illuminate. Probably we 
should take the links to it down, at least for the time being.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.


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