Newbie Q's

Aaron Gray aaronngray.lists at
Mon Dec 1 09:48:19 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".

Yes I found that one, cheers :)

> 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.

Okay, I get that now. Strange terms.

> 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.

No I should have joined the mailing list sooner than I did !

Its a great shame I was very looking forward to the pre harmony ES4.

I have been reading Tamarin source on and off for a couple of months or so, 
and had just started with the RI.

Luckily for me I am only really interested on an academic level and seeing 
how far static/dynamic language divide can be pushed.

Looks like order and attribution problems of text based scripting languages 
in general. Had ECMAScript progressed onto a binary bytecoded distribution 
format like ActionScript then maybe these problems could have been solved, 
but then I am forgetting ES3.1.

Order dependance is a difficult one.

Many thanks for the reply,


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