Weak references and destructors

Mark S. Miller erights at google.com
Thu Dec 10 11:27:24 PST 2009

On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 11:10 AM, Brendan Eich <brendan at mozilla.com> wrote:

> On Dec 10, 2009, at 10:11 AM, Charles Jolley wrote:
> That looks pretty much right on.  Thanks Tom!  Can anyone give any insight
> as to how likely it is this might actually happen?
> You want me to lay odds? ;-)
> It might help to read these wiki pages, in this order:
> http://wiki.ecmascript.org/doku.php?id=harmony:harmony
> http://wiki.ecmascript.org/doku.php?id=harmony:proposals
> http://wiki.ecmascript.org/doku.php?id=strawman:strawman
> According to Goals 1(II) "libraries (possibly including the DOM) shared by
> those applications" and 1(III) "code generators targeting the new edition",
> weak references are pretty important.
> I think we'll get some kind of weak reference / ephemeron support in for
> the next edition, but we need to hash out details of what's normative and
> what's implementation-dependent, and finalize things to the point where
> implementors can take the chance to invest in prototyping.

By all means, let's continue hashing it out. I posted this proposal to
es-discuss and presented it to the committee some time ago. I do not recall
any serious objections, and I do recall several positive responses. However,
the committee has not yet made any decision. If there were serious
objections I have forgotten, my apologies, and I ask that you (re?)post them
to es-discuss.

There is one very good suggestion from Cormac Flanagan (cc'ed) that I have
yet to incorporate that would make the specification much simpler and
clearer. Or, Cormac, please feel free to modify the wiki to incorporate your
proposal. Since Cormac's proposal doesn't really affect the meaning of the
proposal or how programmers would use the API, we should proceed to hash out
this proposal now.

If we seem to have approximate consensus here on es-discuss, then I propose
we try to make a decision on this at the next committee meeting. (At this
stage, a positive decision operationally means moving it from "strawman" to
"proposals".) Istvan & John, I'm cc'ing you to request this be put on the
agenda. Thanks.

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