Allen's lambda syntax proposal

Peter Michaux petermichaux at gmail.com
Tue Dec 2 17:32:10 PST 2008


On Tue, Dec 2, 2008 at 4:08 PM, Yuh-Ruey Chen <maian330 at gmail.com> wrote:

> (As a side note, sometimes I wonder if all this talk about sugar is
> moot, because I suspect more and more languages will start compiling
> down to ES.)

I keep a list of all the X->ES3 compilers I encounter in the middle of
the following page

http://peter.michaux.ca/articles/compiling-down-to-javascript-1-5

This list has grown quite long with the majority of popular and
revered languages included. I wonder how many companies are using
these technologies and if that group is growing very quickly. ES is
"good enough" for most developers that I think the attraction is low
given the extra difficulties in development process and compiled code
speed (i.e. trampolines for tail calls are slow.)

If ES is the byte code of the browser then the better ES is, the
better the compiled code can be. Tail calls and continuations would be
valuable additions to ES. Threads are probably a trickier issue. If
these features cannot be added to ES directly then it would be great
if ES ran on a VM which exposed these features. Then all languages
could compile to that VM's byte code. I vaguely recall a web page
where Brendan Eich listed some of these features as part of JavaScript
3 (perhaps ES5). I can't find the page at the moment. The really
unfortunate part is the time lines to reach such goals are likely very
long...available in 95% of browsers in the year 2020? Who knows?

Peter


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