ES4 draft: Name

Waldemar Horwat waldemar at
Tue Mar 11 18:17:22 PDT 2008

> public function Name(a, b=undefined)
> static meta function invoke(a, b=undefined): Name

It would be help the spec's readability if the formal parameters had more descriptive names than "a" and "b".  Here it's not clear which one is which.

> new Name( a, b=... )

Ah, I see why the formal parameters were called "a" and "b".  I think that the design is too weird though -- one of the parameters ought to be a name and the other one ought to be an optional namespace.  If I have the following:

var ns:Namespace = ...
var id:string = ...

and don't know anything about the ...'s, then I currently can't just call:

  n = new Name(ns, id);

Instead, I must use:

  if (ns !== null)
    n = new Name(ns, id);
    n = new Name(id, undefined);

The reason is that, under the current specification, new Name(null, x) requires x to be undefined (null is a Name).

[I'm assuming that the expression
  null is T
is true for any nullable type T.  If that's not the case, then there are different issues here.]

My preference would be to always have the identifier as the first parameter and the namespace as the optional second parameter.  This will avoid hassles with values like null that can be either a namespace or a name.

Is there a compelling reason to treat numbers between 0 and 2^32-1 specially here?  It adds complexity and I'm not sure what it's for.

Creating the ambiguity of whether Name values appear to be interned is likely to lead to trouble.  For example, if I create a Map<Name, ...> and insert the result of
  Name(ns, "abc")
into it then it's unclear whether the value
  Name(ns, "abc")
will be present in the map.  It's at the implementation's whim.  We should specify it one way or another; my preference is to make these indistinguishable, which can be done either by interning them when creating them or by making === not distinguish them.

> The |Name| constructor is implementation-dependent.

What implementation-dependent behavior does it have, other than the above?  Shouldn't it be normatively specified in the spec?

What is analyzeArgs?  It's defined but not used here.

Why does valueOf do a toString on the Name?


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