ES3.1 Object static methods rationale document

Brendan Eich brendan at
Wed Jul 16 12:40:22 PDT 2008

On Jul 16, 2008, at 12:31 PM, Allen Wirfs-Brock wrote:

> (I'm not going to get you to take the bait on "reify", am I?)

(no way! ;-)

> I think I like "describe" better than "inspect" for no particularly  
> tangible reason, although it does have more characters. I generally  
> find the Thesaurus a useful tool in this process and it turned up  
> "depict" which is shorter but also seems to capture the same core  
> distinction as "describe".

Length is less of an issue, given the rationale doc's points in favor  
of "keyword parameters via object literals", etc.

> I think that the currently named getOwnProperty is more fundamental  
> than getProperty so in considering length we should probably use  
> the former as our benchmark. BTW, I'm open to arguments that we  
> don't really need getProperty (as long as getPrototypeOf is kept).  
> (Oh shit ... do we need to rename that one, too??)

No, that's a value-get, not a descriptor-get. But you raise a good  
point: defineProperty creates an own property. Is there really a need  
for getProperty as drafted? If not, I'd favor making describeProperty  
return null if the named property is not "own", but in a prototype.

What are use-cases for getProperty as distinct from getOwnProperty?

> I think we've pretty much covered the "name space" and would be  
> content, at this point, to sit back for a few days and see if  
> anybody else is brave enough to argue for one name over another. If  
> not I think we can reach agreement on one of these that we have  
> been discussing.

Cool. I'm standing pat on describeProperty.


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