Strengthening Function.prototype.toString

Karl Krukow karl.krukow at
Fri Sep 26 03:27:33 PDT 2008

On 26/09/2008, at 11.13, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> I would agree with such a requirement, but only in the case where  
> the eval(f.toString()) is performed in the same scope where f was  
> originally defined, since toString does not represent the scope chain.

Agreed! The classic variable capture problem ;-)

> Note however, that this still allows for some quite significant  
> rewrites of the function body, so it might still not be very  
> interoperable to rely on parsing and modifying the toString result.

Yes, indeed the result of toString would be distinct in different  
implementations but semantically, I would get the same functions,  
which is quite a strong guarantee  (I think this was originally the  
intended meaning of 'implementation dependent' in ECMAScript 3).

For my example application of partial evaluation, if I know that the  
result is parseable as a FunctionDeclaration and I know that semantics  
is preserved, then I can good ahead and perform optimizations although  
the syntax is different. I would then get different performance gains  
on different implementations.

However I would have to move from a form:

(function(a,b) {return a+b;}).specialize({ a: 42})


(function(a,b) {return a+b;}).specialize([42])


(function(a,b) {return a+b;}).toString()

could rewrite names of local variables and yield e.g.,  
"function(v1,v2) {return v1+v2;}"

Thanks for your input,
- Karl

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