complexity tax

Neil Mix nmix at
Thu Mar 27 08:01:34 PDT 2008

> I think this is the specific point of disagreement. Complexity in a  
> language
> does not necessarily reduce the complexity of programs. I think the  
> opposite may
> be truer. The difficulties we have had in the development community  
> since 1999
> were not due to over-minimization. They were due to features that  
> did not work
> as expected or reliably over the various brands and versions. I  
> think that with
> minimal changes we can significantly improve this language. Most of  
> the changes
> I would make would make it simpler, not more complex. And of course,  
> our
> overwhelmingly most important problem, insecurity, is not addressed  
> by this
> proposal. The proposal is trying to solve a problem from a 2000  
> viewpoint. We
> have moved on since then. We have new problems now, and the proposal  
> does not
> match them.

The community of JS developers is wide and deep, and the applications  
of JS differ dramatically in scope.  I, for one, am a member of "we"  
who couldn't disagree with you more.  So who exactly is "we"?  What  
evidence do you have that simplification would meet the needs of the  
vast majority of "us"?

I say this not to be argumentative, but to point out that the  
"development community" can't be generalized so easily as you  
suggest.  You represent an important voice in the community to be  
sure, but it's by far not the only one.

> I believe that it will be easier to improve the performance of the  
> language by
> simplifying it. That performance improvement will be critical as we  
> move toward
> mobile.

Do you have evidence to support this claim?  Which simplifications can  
you point to where objective evidence demonstrates that performance  
will improve?

It's all well and good to invoke the "simple is better" mantra (no  
disagreement here), but it needs to be backed up with evidence, detail  
and definition.

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