ES4 implementation process, teams, and meetings

Brendan Eich brendan at
Thu Feb 21 09:09:36 PST 2008

On Feb 21, 2008, at 8:14 AM, Geoffrey Garen wrote:

> Is there a published specification that all these implementors will  
> be using?

We're implementing from proposals augmented by trac tickets and other  
docs including Cormac's formalization of the type system, plus  
existing extended implementations (which may need to evolve in  
parallel), at the same time as we will be writing specs. Jeff's mail  
talked about this:

> Feature spec - one of the participants from the implementation team  
> writes
> up a description of the feature based on that implementation.  
> Feature specs
> are complete and accurate descriptions of individual features to be  
> added to
> the language. They are supported by production implementation, test  
> cases
> and implementer commitment to release the feature.

But then Graydon pointed out the dependencies among "features"  
requiring partial order of work, and care about getting foundational  
work done first. The RI has been through this, so it serves as a  
proto-spec in some says (namespaces and the multiname algorithm,  
structural types and type parameters in part).

As noted, we do not plan on mythic waterfall development with specs  
entirely done before code -- more like straw/iron/diamond-man specs  
interleaved with implementation, for the hard cases and the full  
spec. We have many strawman specs, but not a rigorous and formal  
integrated spec.

There are indeed easy cases of mini-specs, not foundational items,  
that can be written pretty completely ahead of implementation, don't  
get me wrong. But the totality of the language spec won't be done  
until we have some implementations interoperating, and the RI matching.


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