"dynamic" attribute nomenclature

Allen Wirfs-Brock Allen.Wirfs-Brock at microsoft.com
Thu Jun 26 13:38:46 PDT 2008

At today's ES 3.1 conference call (see http://wiki.ecmascript.org/doku.php?id=meetings:minutes_jun_24_2008)  we agreed to use the term "Flexible" for the property attribute that we recently had been calling "Dynamic" and which subsumes the DontDelete attribute.

From: Allen Wirfs-Brock
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 10:37 AM
To: Lars Hansen; Mark S. Miller
Cc: es3.x-discuss at mozilla.org x-discuss
Subject: "dynamic" attribute nomenclature

In Lars's feedback on the the June 11, ES3.1 draft he said:

p26 8.6.1.  (And throughout the spec) The meaning of "dynamic" in ES4
is something else (it means a non-fixture property).  It would
probably reduce confusion if the property name Deletable were used
here, as I though we had agreed previously.

Dynamic as currently used in ES3.1 means more than just Deletable, it also means that the property attributes (including the Dynamic attribute) can be modified and that it can be transformed  between being a data and procedural property. Hence, the name Deletable seems to imply something too narrow.

Playing around with the thesaurus, the best "positive, active term that I could find that seems to be a reasonable description of this semantics is:

(other, perhaps less satisfy or otherwise unacceptable alternatives include: changeable, mutable, modifiable, flexible, amendable)

Note this would mean  that data properties would expose properties named Writable and Alterable.  My sense is that there is enough conceptual  distance between those terms that there won't be too much confusion.


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